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Spelling (untitled)[edit]

Are you sure of the spelling? A long word is "sesquipedalian", with only one "P". -PierreAbbat

-most likely, i will try to find out.


Yes i think it is as hippopotomonstrosesquipedalianism has only 1p in sesquipedalianism -fonzy

*cough* *cough* It would just be vindictive of me to point out that you wouldn't have the spelling problem if you had quotes, so I'll just sit here quietly and hand these over(while looking smug :),
  • 2002 - anon, The Scotsman (April 9, 2002) page 13.
    However, we assume that despite the best endeavours of science, some phobias will always remain. These include paraskavedekatriaphobia, or fear of Friday the 13th. And hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, which is fear of long words.
  • 2002 - Chris Lloyd in The Northern Echo (December 14, 2002) page 10.
    Those who find this column troubling are suffering from hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia - the fear of long words. Or, more likely, rupophobia - a fear of rubbish.
--Imran 10:51 Dec 19, 2002 (UTC)

Ok I'll move it back again -fonzy


[found this page from rfd] I was going to add this under the etymology section, but I didn't know how well it would be appreciated (what's en's policy on recommending spellings? because a note like this would not be out of place on la):

The most well-formed spelling of this word according to its etymology would be hippopotamomonstrosesquipedaliphobia (or -alophobia, following the base word sesquipedalophobia), but it is never so spelled.

The reason, of course, is because of all those "irregular"s in the etymology, when the word should be straightforwardly put together from hippopotamo- + monstro- + sesqui- + pedali- + phobia. If someone more familiar with en: article format wants to add it, they can feel free. —Muke Tever 06:19, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)

so does this mean the people who have hippopotamostrosesquippdaliaphobia are afraid of the name? Who was the idiot who came up with that word? I'm starting to think that some people are too lazy to make meaningful words. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 18:01, 22 November 2008.

The standard spelling of the root word from which this is derived is "hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian". Looking at this derivative on Google:
hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia 17100
hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia 478
hippopotomomonstrosesquippedaliophobia 150
hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliphobia 82
hippopotomonstrosesquipedalophobia 20
hippopotomonstrosesquippedalophobia 1
hippopotamomonstrosesquipedaliphobia 1
among various others giving zero hits. The only thing this seems to prove is that 97% of the world can't spell. From an etymological standpoint, the double 'p' for a start is well and truly wrong. -- Smjg 10:56, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Look you here has it as hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia. that is with two "p"s in squippedia. thank you —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 22:07, 7 May 2009.

Look you here is not an authoritative source. -- Smjg 00:19, 10 May 2009 (UTC)


Anyone can confirm the German translation? Sofar the corresponding page (Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobie) has been deleted a bunch of times... (nonsens text) \Mike 22:13, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Does this belong in wiktionary?[edit]

As the wikipedia article points out, this is something of a non-word.

"Note that in real Greek, Hippo-pot- might mean a "flying horse" or a "drinking horse" (depending on the exact spelling), but could never mean anything like "big". This coinage contains so many errors and solecisms from the point of view of Greek and Latin morphology, that it is doubtful whether it would convey much meaning to a classicist who did not already know what it was supposed to mean. The word is a tongue-in-cheek coinage; the joke is that anyone with a fear of big words would also be afraid of the name for that fear."

Though I'm no expert in etymology, I would suspect that a more appropriate word would be "megalogophobia" or something to that effect. But looking past that, I have yet to see any evidence that the fear of long words even exists. Anyone can cobble together a series of Greek and Latin roots to create a superficially reasonable phobia (say... "liporhinophobia" for fear of big noses) but that doesn't make it a legitimate word deserving of a dictionary entry.

Well, the problem with your first argument (on etymology) is that poor etymological formation does not keep a word from existing (we say cerium, not cererium, even though Klaproth tried to fix it), and neither does good etymological formation entail a word's existence (as you already mention). The problem with your second argument (whether the fear exists) is that the existence of a word does not depend on the existence of its referent (we have words like time machine, golem, and phlogiston), just as existence of a referent does not entail the existence of a word (there are many things we don't have words for). WT:CFI is the policy that describes what are valid words for the purpose of this dictionary. —Muke Tever 22:32, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Humor category[edit]

Do we have a good category ("Wiktionary humor"?) for this to go into? --Connel MacKenzie 23:23, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Used, but rarely. Mentioned often.[edit]

This is another in the class of words like bogotify that lots of people have seen mentioned and can define with confidence, but hardly anyone uses. For example, all 7 b.g.c hits are mentions. However, it is possible to glean actual uses. I found a couple with "from hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia" and "of hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia", both of them combined with -"fear of" and -phobia. Even then you have to sort through the chaff, but every once and a while someone uses it to mean fear of long words without going on to explain what it means.

My favorite so far, capitalization and punctuation asid, is "Believed to have been artificially developed somewhere inside the Camelopardis constellation textbooks are known to cause very serious symptoms ranging from abdominal cramps to Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia." [1]. -dmh 05:45, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

mah..seems quite clear[edit] seems to me like someone once came up with the word as some sort of casual joke, but wrote it as hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia. since im pretty certain (from browsing around) that its also sesquipedalophobia and not sesquippedaliophobia im certain hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is not a word. even if because of this joke going around people start spelling sesquippedaliophobia as well by now. also i see no reason to keep the page, as sesquipedalophobia should cover it. --wikipedia:user:lygophile also i found this written somewhere in spanish:

The words they owe own one etymology proveniente at all his parts of one very language , the Latin or the Greek usually , but not both , and her word hipopotomonstruo sesquipedaliofobia , presentable parts with descent Latin person and with descent Greek "hipopoto" proviene of the Greek , "monstro" of the Latin "sesquipedalio" of the Latin and "phobia" of the Greek , as a result you're not correct her formulation of this word , albeit often hay words which unfulfilled her ruler , for instance at Mexico itself she uses as gentilicio for both inhabiting of Aguascalientes hidrocálido...

its obviously just words thrown together. --lygophile

A great deal of words are made up of several words. In fact...all phobias are made up of other words.

Also it is worth me telling you that, regardless of whether this word was made up as a tongue in cheek joke, it IS a word. -- Mark

What a joke![edit]

How ridiculous does an entry have to be before someone will pull it off this site? And the sad thing about it is that people will use this word unquestioningly (as a quiz question in my case) because of its presence here. As another joke word to complement "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", fair enough (with due warnings for the gullible) but, as previously pointed out, if such a condition really existed, the term megalogophobia would be more accurate, if less entertaining.

Actually this is a real word. —This comment was unsigned. So....when and where? On the couch or on the bed? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 12:37, 8 March 2009.

You're the joke![edit]

Those trying to use etymology as the basis for spelling are the ones who don't get the joke. Or worse, are the butt of the joke. Words don't form via etymology. The etymology is merely the study of the origin. In reality, however the word enters the language and comes to be used is the true measure of its spelling.

By the way, pure supposition, but the "misspelling" of the ocmponent word may be intentional, as it causes the word to also form a fragment, "quipped," which is definitely within the spirit of the formation of the word.

What's the word for fear of ironic absurdity? Dovid (talk) 19:31, 26 February 2012 (UTC)