A jocular coinage, apparently by pupils at Eton, combining a number of roughly synonymous Latin stems. The word was inspired by a line in the Eton Latin Grammar that listed verbs that govern a genitive noun: "Flocci, nauci, nihili, pili, assis, hujus, teruncii, his verbis, aestimo, pendo, facio, peculiariter adduntur." Latin flocci, from floccus, a wisp or piece of wool + nauci, from naucum, a trifle + nihili, from the Latin pronoun, nihil (“nothing”) + pili, from pilus, a hair, something insignificant (all therefore having the sense of "pettiness" or "nothing") + -fication.
- IPA: /ˌflɒksɪˌnɒsɪˌnɪhɪlɪˌpɪlɪfɪˈkeɪʃən/, /ˌflɒksɪˌnɔːsɪˌnaɪɪlɪˌpɪlɪfɪˈkeɪʃən/, X-SAMPA: /%flQksI%nQsI&nIhIlI%pIlIfI"keIS@n/, /%flQksI%nO:sI%naIIlI%pIlIfI"keIS@n/
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- The act or habit of describing or regarding something as unimportant, of having no value or being worthless.
Often cited as the longest non-technical word in the English language, being one letter longer than the commonly-cited antidisestablishmentarianism.
- ^ The Spectator: 11 June 2011