Wordsmithing Saturday:   One of the Largest Words in English


The definition of floccinaucinihilipilification: “(rarely used) the estimation of something as valueless. It is typically encountered mainly as an example of one of the longest words in the English language”. Or so states Dictionary.com. I had never encountered it until a recent daily email from Dictionary.com.

Here is a link to the pronounciation and definition of this monstrosity of a word.

One early instance of using the word is by William Shenstone in 1741 Never heard of him? Yeah. Me neither. Anyway, Mr. William Shenstone wrote in Letters: “I loved him for nothing so much as his floccinaucinihilipilification of money.” I bet Mr. Shenstone went through a lot of ink and quills to jot that line down. 

According to Wiktionary floccinaucinihilipilification is “often cited as the longest non-technical word in the English language, being one letter longer than the commonly cited antidisestablishmentarianism. In the debate on the remuneration of EU staff, Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg used the word on 21st February 2012 making it the longest word ever used in the British House of Commons.”

I sincerely doubt the word will ever be used in the U.S. Congress. These representatives of the people and for the people major in denominations of money and minor in acquiring more power while gradually eating away at the foundation of our Bill of Rights. Not that I’m cynical or anything.

scared dude So a new word to throw out when conversation lulls and becomes awkward. Of course, being seen as a word nerd may result as well. 



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