Appendix:List of longest English monosyllable words

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This is a list of candidates for longest English word of one syllable, i.e. monosyllables with the most letters. Some candidates are questionable on grounds of spelling, pronunciation, or status as obsolete, dialect, proper noun, or nonce word.

List[edit]

word pronunciation letters source notes
squirrelled skwɝld 11 LPD;[1] MWOD[2] compressed American pronunciation of a word which in British RP always has two syllables ˈskwɪɹəld. In America the given spelling is a variant of the more usual squirreled: see -led and -lled spellings.
broughammed bɹuːmd 11 Sc.Am.[3] meaning "travelled by brougham", by analogy with bussed, biked, carted etc. Suggested by poet William Harman in a competition to find the longest monosyllable.
schmaltzed ʃmɔːltst, ʃmɒltst, ʃmæltst 10 OED[4] meaning "imparted a sentimental atmosphere to" e.g. of music; with a 1969 attestation for the past tense.
squirreled skwɝld 10 LPD;[1] MWOD[2] the more usual American spelling of squirrelled.
scrootched skɹuːtʃt 10 AHD[5] variant of scrooched, meaning "crouched"
scroonched skɹʊnʃt 10 W3NID[6] variant of scrunched, meaning "squeezed".
scraunched skɹɔːnʃt 10 W3NID[6] a "chiefly dialect" word, meaning "crunched". This is the longest in a 1957 list of 9,123 English monosyllables.[7]
broughamed bɹuːmd 10 Shaw[8] a shorter variant of broughammed, used by George Bernard Shaw in a piece of journalism.
strengthed stɹɛŋθt 10 OED[9] an obsolete verb meaning "strengthen", "force", and "summon one's strength". The latest citation is 1614 (1479 for strengthed), at which time the Early Modern English pronunciation would have been disyllabic.
schwartzed ʃwɔː(ɹ)tst 10 [10] meaning "responded 'schwartz' to a player without making eye-contact" in the game zoom schwartz profigliano.
schnappsed ʃnæpst 10 Sc.Am.[3] meaning "drank schnapps"; proposed by poet George Starbuck in the same competition won by his friend William Harman.
New Orleans nɔlnz 10 [1]

Proper names[edit]

Some nine-letter proper names remain monosyllabic when adding a tenth letter and apostrophe to form the possessive:

It is productive in English to convert a proper noun into an eponymous verb or adjective:

  • A 2007–08 promotion in France used the slogan "Do you Schweppes?", implying a past tense Schweppesed (11 letters) for the putative verb.[12]
  • Schwartzed (10 letters) has been used to mean "(re)designed in the style of Martha Schwartz"[13]
  • Schwartzed has also been used to mean "crossed swords with Justice Alan R. Schwartz"[14]
  • Schmertzed (10 letters) has been used to mean "received undue largesse from New York City through the intervention of negotiator Eric J. Schmertz"[15]


References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 2000 May 19, John C. Wells, Longman Pronouncing Dictionary, 2nd, Longman, ISBN 978-0-582-36467-7:
  2. 2.0 2.1 Spelling: "2squirrel", Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. URL accessed on 2009-01-14.
    Pronunciation: "1squirrel", Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. URL accessed on 2009-01-14.
  3. 3.0 3.1 1979 April 1, Martin Gardner, “Mathematical games”, Scientific American, volume 240: 
  4. ^ “schmaltz, v.” in OED Online, Oxford University Press, 1989.
  5. ^ 2000 May 19, “scrooch”, in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language[2], 4th, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 0-395-82517-2, retrieved on 2009-01-14:
  6. 6.0 6.1 1966, Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, ISBN 0-7135-1038-2:
  7. ^ Template:cite report cited in 1972 May 19, Lili Rabel-Heymann, “The disreputable monosyllable”, in M. Estellie Smith editor, Studies in Linguistics in honor of George L. Trager, volume Series Maior, 52, Janua Linguarum, The Hague: Mouton, page 295;302:
  8. ^ 1932 May 19, George Bernard Shaw, Our Theatres in the Nineties, London: Constable and Company:
  9. ^ “strength, v.” in OED Online, Oxford University Press, 1989.
  10. ^ 2006 May 19, Ruth Cullen, The Little Black Book of Party Games: The Essential Guide to Throwing the Best Bashes, Illustrated by Kerren Barbas, Peter Pauper Press, ISBN 1593599196, page 14:
  11. ^ "Scoughall", Scripture Union Holidays: 2007. URL accessed on 2009-01-15.
  12. ^ "Do you Schweppes" (in French), Orangina Schweppes: December 2007. URL accessed on 2009-01-15.
  13. ^ Diesenhouse, Susan (June 26, 2004), "Landscapes of the mind", Boston Globe. archinect. URL accessed on 2009-01-15.
  14. ^ Error: Invalid time., Roberta G. Mandel, “The End of an Era at the Third District Court of Appeal: The Retirement of Judge Robert L. Shevin, Judge Mario P. Goderich and Chief Judge Alan R. Schwartz”, (PDF), The Record, volume XI, number 1, Tallahassee: Florida Bar, Appellate Section, retrieved on 2009-01-14, pages 8: 
  15. ^ Barbanel, Josh, "Negotiator's Quiet Style Elicits Loud Protest", New York Times, October 23, 1990. Retrieved on 2009-01-15.

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