WordPlaying with Muddyum

muddyum gluestick

Glue stick

Muddyum Choudhury likes to play with words. In fact, even the name she uses professionally—Muddyum—is a clever twist on the phonetic pronunciation of her given name, Maryam. “It’s a name no one else has and everyone remembers,” the Pakistani-Italian American designer and illustrator says.

Muddyum is inspired by everyday objects, typography, puzzles, puns, and her home turf; New York City. In the last six months, she’s been chipping away at a personal project she calls WordPlay, using found objects to create familiar idioms. “I love playing with words and creating designs that make people laugh,” Muddyum says. “WordPlay has been really fun for me because I’m taking two things I love; food and type, and am creating, in many cases, edible type.”

muddyum jelly


Muddyum now has a Tumblr home for her brain teasers, and is about to create a WordPlay iPhone app with PicPocket Books. “It’s been really nice to step away from the computer and get a little messy,” she says as she shifts into high gear to generate a plethora of puzzles. “There will be different, increasingly challenging levels using all kinds of fun categories, including food, of course.” Muddyum also has big plans for a WordPlay book—the perfect appetizer—declaring, “You can entertain guests and give them the automatic munchies.”

Why is this all so intriguing? I met Muddyum at a summer type workshop last year, and was completely amused by the idea of WordPlay. “You’ve got to do a blog, or a book, or something with this,” I recall blurting out in one breath. I wanted to make my own. I wanted to give the assignment as a project. I wanted to pretty much send Muddyum on a really long vacation and steal the idea. And now it’s going to be an app. Jealousy, thy name is Gail.

muddyum paper bag

Now it’s your turn to guess.

muddyum cheese

The appetizer before a TV dinner.

muddyum salt

Easy one.

muddyum chocolate

A tasty dessert.

muddyum pepper

My favorite cheese.

muddyum mustard

Heh heh.


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36 thoughts on “WordPlaying with Muddyum

  1. Hassan

    / I wish I knew how to get into app development. Blogging has been rveitaelly easy to me but when the topic is on html and css I want to cry. Haha. I guess App development would never be for me.

  2. mable

    I didn’t think it was much of anything in the beginning but I was definitely loving it more and more as I went from one pic to another. Now I want to play more! More, more please!!!

  3. Omar Choudhury

    These are awesome.  My favorite is “cut-the-cheese” haha.  Keep sending me the new ones you finish so I can try to figure them out.  I might just have to get an iphone to use the app 🙂

  4. Tati Dengo

    English is such an ideal language for this project, too! There’s so many words in it that are made by two words stuck together. I must admit I have trouble figuring out some of these but I’d definitely like to see more, I enjoy the challenge.

  5. Ryan

    These are awesome! I would love to get my hands on that app. Great fun and super creative. The possibilities are endless. I would have to agree with Gail…this project is brilliant and could make a great coffee table book. See! Another word…”Coffee Table. Keep it up Maryam.
    Rye Ann

  6. Rygelle

    This should definitely be some sort of puzzle book. It’s fun, whimsical and creative. I can’t wait for them to get more challenging beacause it always brings a smile to my face when I figure them out.

  7. Jessica Cruser

    I agree with stephanie!  I would love to see this in some form of app!  Interactive but on a digital scale!  (or a paint with foods for kids book…?)  Either way great fun and creativity is being shown here and is it me but is anyone getting hungry?