Blog - Real Deal English

The Longest 9 Words in the English Language

16 Apr , 2015  

9. Honorificabilitudinitatibus
This 27-letter word coined by Shakespeare, in his comedy Love’s Labour’s Lost, is a testament to the Bard’s own intralexiconic skills. Meaning “the state of being able to achieve honors,” the word is the longest one in the English language with alternating consonants and vowels.

8. Antidisestablishmentarianism
Containing 28-letters, antidisestablishmentarianism is the longest proper word, consisting of proper and compatible root and affix attachments. After all the Lego blocks have been snapped together, the word comes to mean “the movement or ideology that opposes disestablishment (i.e. the separation of church and state, as in the movement that took place in 1860’s England).” The word has a dated relevance, or else is the greatest living thing in a world history nerd’s vocabulary.

7. Floccinaucinihilipilification
This 29-letter word, pieced together from Latin stems, means simply “the deeming of something to be trivial.” One letter more than antidisestablishmentarianism, and just as big of a mouthful, it is a valid dictionary entry with a usefulness that is much greater than anything it might be placed beside contextually. Some readers might even be able to maintain a floccinaucinihilipilification for this list.

6. Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism
This 30-letter word is a technical one for a type of inherited disorder. An individual with such a disorder resembles someone with Pseudohypoparathyroidism Type 1A, but doesn’t possess a deficiency in calcium or PTH levels (which mark the essential differences between Pseudohypoparathyroidism 1A and Hypoparathyroidism). To put it far more basically, the word is much more fun to say than to have.

5. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
This 34-letter word, which was coined by song-writers Richard and Robert Sherman in the musical film Mary Poppins, is completely made-up, the sum of word parts that don’t even follow proper prefix/suffix placement protocol; the “-istic” following “fragil-” is a suffix, which should signify a word’s end. However, it is followed by the prefix “ex-,” where a new, separate word should begin. Nonetheless, it is just another example of a phrase being irretrievably carried off by and imbedded within the culture into which it was born. Just as how words are invented all the time in rap culture, and swallowed up by a constantly-evolving (or devolving) language system. The word, containing definable roots, means something like “Atoning for educability through delicate beauty.” Miss Poppins, however, would insist the word means “something to say when you have nothing to say.”

4. Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis
The term refers to a kind of lung disease caused by a finely-powdered silica dust. This word, containing 45 letters, does appear in the dictionary, but was created primarily just for the sake of a long word. An equivalent of what the word is going for, albeit by taking the long way home, is a condition simply called silicosis. Any doctor diagnosing the former is obviously getting paid by the hour.

3. Aequeosalinocalcalinoceraceoaluminosocupreovitriolic
This 52-letter word was engendered by Dr. Edward Strother in order to describe spa waters of Bath, England in a single word. The sum of individually-meaningful parts, the word altogether means roughly, “equally salty, calcium-rich, waxy, containing aluminum and copper, and vitriolic.” Of course this word has very few applications elsewhere. Unless maybe you were talking about some kind of 9V-battery-powered robotic chicken wing.

2. Lopadotemachoselachogaleokranioleipsanodrimhypotrimmatosilphioparaomelito-katakechymenokichlepikossyphophattoperisteralektryonoptekephalliokigklopeleiolagoio-siraiobaphetraganopterygon
This word, which shan’t be uttered twice, is a transliteration of a word coined by Greek author Aristophanes in his comic play Assemblywomen. Containing 171 letters, it is the longest word appearing in literature and refers to a fictional dish; the word quite literally is just the smooshing together of the 17 ingredients contained within (including sharks, pigeons, honey, and various unappetizing animal parts). Don’t expect to see this listed on any menu, as there surely wouldn’t be enough room to list anything else.

1. Methionylglutaminylarginyltyrosylglutamylserylleucylphenyl-
alanylalanylglutaminylleucyllysylglutamylarginyllysylglutamyl-
glycylalanylphenylalanylvalylprolylphenylalanylvalylthreonyl-
leucylglycylaspartylprolylglycylisoleucylglutamylglutaminyl-
serylleucyllysylisoleucylaspartylthreonylleucylisoleucylglutamy-
lalanylglycylalanylaspartylalanylleucylglutamylleucylglycylisoleucyl-
prolylphenylalanylserylaspartylprolylleucylalanylaspartylglycylproly-
lthreonylisoleucylglutaminylaspfraginylalanylthreonylleucylarginy-
lalanylphenylalanylalanylalanylglycylvalylthreonylprolylalanyl-
glutaminylcysteinylphenylalanylglutamylmethionylleucylalany-
lleucylisoleucylarginylglutaminyllysylhistidylprolylthreonylisoleucyl-
prolylisoleucylglycylleucylleucylmethionyltyrosylalanylasparaginy-
lleucylvalylphenylalanylasparaginyllysylglycylisoleucylaspartyl-glutamylphenylalanyltyrosylalanylglutaminylcysteinylglutamylly-sylvalylglycylvalylaspartylserylvalylleucylvalylalanylaspartylvalyl-prolylvalylglutaminylglutamylserylalanylprolylphenylalanylarginyl-glutaminylalanylalanylleucylarginylhistidylasparaginylvalylalanyl-prolylisoleucylphenylalanylisoleucylcysteinylprolylprolylaspartylalanyl-aspartylaspartylaspartylleucylleucylarginylglutaminylisoleucylalanyl-seryltyrosylglycylarginylglycyltyrosylthreonyltyrosylleucylleucylseryl-arginylalanylglycylvalylthreonylglycylalanylglutamylasparaginyl-arginylalanylalanylleucylprolylleucylasparaginylhistidylleucylvalyl-alanyllysylleucyllysylglutamyltyrosylasparaginylalanylalanylprolyl-prolylleucylglutaminylglycylphenylalanylglycylisoleucylserylalanyl-prolylaspartylglutaminylvalyllysylalanylalanylisoleucylaspartylalanyl-glycylalanylalanylglycylalanylisoleucylserylglycylserylalanylisoleucyl-valyllysylisoleucylisoleucylglutamylglutaminylhistidylasparaginy-lisoleucylglutamylprolylglutamyllysylmethionylleucylalanylalanyl-leucyllysylvalylphenylalanylvalylglutaminylprolylmethionyllysylalanyl-alanylthreonylarginylserine
What you just stared at is the 1913-letter chemical name for tryptophan synthetase, a protein (an enzyme, to be exact) with 267 amino acids. Of course, it’s completely impractical to actually utter this prankster’s approach to making huge words (the largest one in print), and just looking at it for too long might even lead you to believe there are words and phrases hidden in there like a word search (if you look closely the word “party” shows up a few times, as does something resembling “asparagus”). Of course, when you cut-and-paste such a word (rather than risk missing even a single letter, for accuracy’s sake), you risk looking like an ass by not thoroughly combing through that contrived brick-o’-letters. Thanks to toptenz for the insight!



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