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.


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 [9]

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]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Wells, John C. (2000) Longman Pronouncing Dictionary, 2nd edition, Longman, →ISBN
  2. 2.0 2.1 Spelling: “2squirrel”, in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary[1], accessed 2009-01-14
    Pronunciation: “1squirrel”, in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary[2], accessed 2009-01-14
  3. 3.0 3.1 Gardner, Martin (April 1979) , “Mathematical games”, in Scientific American, volume 240, issue 4
  4. ^ “schmaltz, v.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford: Oxford University Press, launched 2000.
  5. ^ Joseph P. Pickett et al., editors (2000) , “scrooch”, in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language[3], 4th edition, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, →ISBN
  6. 6.0 6.1 Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, 1966, →ISBN
  7. ^ Template:cite report cited in Rabel-Heymann, Lili (1972) , “The disreputable monosyllable”, in M. Estellie Smith, editor, Studies in Linguistics in honor of George L. Trager (Janua Linguarum), volume Series Maior, 52, The Hague: Mouton, pages 295;302
  8. ^ Shaw, George Bernard (1932) Our Theatres in the Nineties, London: Constable and Company, page 205: “...horsed and broughamed, painted and decorated, furnished and upholstered...”
  9. ^ “strength, v.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford: Oxford University Press, launched 2000.
  10. ^ Cullen, Ruth (2006) The Little Black Book of Party Games: The Essential Guide to Throwing the Best Bashes, Illustrated by Kerren Barbas, Peter Pauper Press, →ISBN, page 14: “If the first person has been schwartzed, he can either look at a new person and say "Zoom," or send it right back to the second person by saying "Pifigiano"”
  11. ^ “Scoughall”, in (Please provide the title of the work)[4], Scripture Union Holidays, 2007, retrieved 2009-01-15: “Scoughall (pronounced “skole”) is in East Lothian, not far from North Berwick.”
  12. ^ “Do you Schweppes”, in (Please provide the title of the work)[5] (in French), Orangina Schweppes, December 2007, retrieved 2009-01-15
  13. ^ Diesenhouse, Susan (June 26, 2004) , “Landscapes of the mind”, in Boston Globe[6], archinect, retrieved 2009-01-15: “So distinctive is her style that her name has become a Euro design verb, as in Barclays at Canary Wharf is being 'Schwartzed.'
  14. ^ Mandel, Roberta G. (Spring 2005) , “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”, in The Record[7] (PDF), volume XI, issue 1, Tallahassee: Florida Bar, Appellate Section, retrieved 2009-01-14, page 8: “there is no other jurist who has inspired the formation of a new terminology:“to be Schwartzed” or “to get Schwartzed” or “passing the Schwartz test.””
  15. ^ Barbanel, Josh (October 23, 1990) , “Negotiator's Quiet Style Elicits Loud Protest”, in New York Times[8], retrieved 2009-01-15: “"I have now turned Schmertz into a verb and a noun," the former Mayor said. "If you have been abused, we say you have been Schmertzed. If you get an unwarranted and undeserved payment from the City of New York, you say, 'Thank you Mr. Mayor, for the Schmertz.' "”

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