It’s supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! That is probably the longest word you have heard someone speak. At least, that is what Julie Andrews had to say in the famous musical film. But, that is not the longest word in the dictionary. It was only a creative expression coming from the mind of a skilled writer. It did not mean anything. You cannot find such a word in the dictionary.
There are three extremely long words in the English language, and they all are meaningful words. If you want to learn about them, read on. The stories are fascinating.
Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is the longest word in the English language. It was first used in 1935 by Everett E. Smith. He was the president of the National Puzzlers’ League in the United States. It refers to an inflammatory lung disease popularly known as the black lung. Pneumoconiosis or silicosis is the technical term for such a condition. Smith put together a series of Latin phrases to create this extremely long word.
This 45-letter word somehow made its way into the English dictionary, but many people strongly protested against the exhausting word. The doctors to whom Smith had first presented the word did not even recognise such a term. Smith used the word to demonstrate how ridiculously long medical expressions were.
The second longest word is antidisestablishmentarianism. It is a noun which refers to the opposition of the disestablishment of the Church in England. The use of this word was more reasonable than that of Everett Smith’s lung disease. However, this useful word has not found its way to the English dictionary.
The third longest word is honorificabilitudinitatibus. It means being able to achieve honours. It appears in the works of two famous literary artists. The word comes out as the longest word in Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost. James Joyce also used it in his well-known work, Ulysses. This word is just one letter short from the 28-letter word — the use of alternating vowels and consonants make it more notable.