The longest word in the English language

What is it?

I don’t mean a word that has been contrived to have a bunch of shoehorned prefixes and suffixes.

I also don’t mean chemical names which can likewise go on and on.

Also, no diseases, which can also be agglutinative.

(And, of course, not “flocci. . .ion.” IMHO, it would not have any relevance if not for the sheer novelty of its length.)

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (sp?)


Sorry, just to tempting.

smiles. :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Work like you don’t need the money…
Love like you’ve never been hurt…
Dance like nobody’s watching! …(Paraphrased)

So I take it from your initial comments that
won’t cut the mustard?

Life is short. Make fun of it.

How would you define contrived.

What profession-specific words would you allow?

(Chemestry has already been struck.)

I think the “$40 Word Of The Day Award” goes to Melatonin. Antidisestablishmentarianism is the longest word in the English language that I know of.

You can’t save your face and your ass at the same time.

Sing with me now - if you say it loud enough you’ll always sound precocious…

Shoot, I was all ready with the lung disease word when you banned it.

I’m assuming you’re looking for the longest English word that might sneak its way into an everyday conversation, so you probably won’t go for “antidisestab…” either.

How about uncharacteristically? It’s 20 letters (antidisestab… is 28).

Aw, you just wanted to say “agglutinative.”
Btw… what’s that mean?

Everyone’s a comedian :).

I can’t think off-hand of any other professions (like medical and chemical) that lend themselves to padding words together like German.

An example is “uniformitarianism.” That is a bit contrived, but it is an accepted word–and it’s actually USED. I would have just coined it as “uniformism,” but nobody axed me.

Aseymayo’s is a winner so far.

“Agglutinative” means that it agglutinates.

According to my Guiness’ BOWR (86 ed), “floccipaucinihilipilification” (29 letters) is the longest word in the OED. If it’s good enough for the OED, I’m not going to question it.

It also lists two words that may be the longest in common use: “interdenominationalism” (22), “disproportionableness” (21), and “incomprehensibilities” (21). It also goes on to say that “interdenominationalistically” (28) may be considered “permissable”.



Yeah, I’m aware of “flocci”–AFAIK it’s a made-up word from Eton.

I think the other words you cited were the winners.

I don’t look at the OED as the ultimate source for whether a word is real or not, since language has an ongoing evolution. I look at it more as the record for every word that has ever been printed in the English language, regardless of its credibility–which I like, and I refer to it constantly for that reason.

BTW, you probably already know this, but it also lists about 100 words ending in “-gry.”

Thanks for your input. I knew that Guinness had mentioned “flocci” and the lung disease in the past, but had forgotten that it also listed the longest words that are actually used. Shoulda read it before posting.

My Guinness 1998 sez:

My Mrs. Byrne’s Dictionary also lists a thousand letter chemical compound, but I’ll be DAMNED before I type that sucker in.

Apparently I need to update my OED. That lung disease is not listed.

It still wasn’t what I was looking for, as I had mentioned in the previous posts.

MrKnowItAll has the correct answers, I think.


You could probably get Satan to type that chemical name in.

How about:
. . . . . . . . .r e
. . . . . . . . o. .c
. . . . . . . . s. .u
. . . . . . . . . r


I would visit the “A Collection of Word Oddities and Trivia” web page, in particular these sections:

Jacques Kilchoer
Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains.

A) I have used antidisestablishmentarianism. The word comes up quite legitimately when discussing church/state relations in England.

B) That “pneumoultra…” word is a hoax. Yes, I know it’s in some real dictionaries – the more fools they. It was intentionally created as a hoax to see if dictionary editors would bite.

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams

How about “Praetertranssubstantiationalistically” (37 letters)? It means “In the manner of something that transcends or goes beyond the transsubstantiation of Christ’s body and blood into bread and wine.” Or is that too agglutinative for you?

This has little or no bearing on the discussion, but at the mention of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious I have to tell a joke:
Mohandas K. Gandhi, the well known “Mohatma” was known to walk very long distances in his non-violent quest for Indian independence. However, he refused to wear British made shoes as part of his boycott. For this reason, his feet were extremely callous.
In addition, due to his occassional fasting, he was somewhat weakened and fragile.
His diet when he was not fasting consisted, as do the diets of many in the region, heavily of foods with a pungent aroma.

Therefore, it can be said that Gandhi was a super-calloused fragilistic man with halitosis.

bah dum ching! I love it! If anybody slaps me with being non P.C. or misdiagnosing halitosis I will kill you.


The only thing a nonconformist hates more than a conformist is another nonconformist who does not conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.

“Establishmentarianism” is legitimate. That and the ones MKIA cited earlier I think take the prize. Padding it with the other prefixes, while technically do make up a new word, it’s not one that would be considered a non-contrived word.

“Flocci” is IMHO a pun of sorts–create a very large word composed of various Latin diminutives (whose exact meanings I don’t RC). Hence you create something very large out of a bunch of nothing.

Neuro: Yes.

Kaje: Bah Dum CHING! and welcome.