hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian

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English

Etymology

An extension of sesquipedalian using a modified form of hippopotamus and Latin monstrum; the extensions almost certainly chosen with the intention of making the new construct autological.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ˌhɪpəˌpɒtəˌmɒnstɹəˌsɛskwɪpɪˈdeɪlɪən/
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Adjective

hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian (comparative more hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian, superlative most hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian)

  1. Of or pertaining to extremely long words[1].
    • 1997, Steven George Krantz, A primer of mathematical writing:
      To indulge in hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian tergiversation is not to show your erudition: rather, it is to be superficial.
    • 2005, Greg Vaughn, Fred Holmes, Letters from Dad
      And when it comes to language, short, simple words often have more impact and power than multisyllabic, hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian ones.
    • 2006, Richard Lederer, Word Wizard: Super Bloopers, Rich Reflections, and Other Acts of Word Magic:
      ...a forty-five-letter hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian word for black lung disease.

Related terms

References

  1. ^ Mrs. Byrne [Josefa Heifetz Byrne] (1979) , “hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian”, in Mrs. Byrne’s Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure and Preposterous Words: Gathered from Numerous and Diverse Authoritative Sources, London: Granada Publishing, →ISBN.