Netizens across the world were left flabbergasted and scouring through their dictionaries when. a couple of years ago, Shashi Tharoor said his book “The Paradoxical Prime Minister” was more than a “400-page exercise in floccinaucinihilipilification.”
Come again, sir? HowdoIeventypethiswordingoogle?
*Idea bulb lights*
Wait till he tweets this and then voila, copy-paste to the rescue!
And that’s just what I did.
1-2-3…oh my god, if I start counting the alphabets I could just about do that for all of eternity!
*Idea bulb lights again*
On doing this, a lot of people might discover that they have hippomonstrosesquippedaliophobia. Oh no, don’t copy-paste it yet and kill the fun! I’m going to tell you what that means as you read on. One thing that actually made me feel good about the word “floccinaucinihilipilification” is its meaning. What depth! The world’s longest non-technical word means “nothing”. In a world where everyone talks about everything, suddenly everyone is talking about “nothing”.
Though netizens initially wondered if the usage of such words is contrived, the ever-so Sassy Tharoor has rubbished such talks saying that his choice of words has nothing to do with its obscurity. In fact, its precision at conveying an idea with complete clarity is the sole purpose of its placement in his conversations.
All I have to say is, Thank you Shashi Tharoor sir, for being a whole country’s inspiration to venture towards an expansive and exotic vocabulary.
Our gratefulness has only leaped several feet when the fount of flawless English announced that a new book that teaches us 53 long words is on its way. This beloved MP from Thiruvanathapuram (the district with the longest name in Kerala?) is releasing his latest book soon and it is titled ‘Tharoorosaurus’, after the much-affable dig by Amul where they made a farrago (remember?) of thesaurus and Tharoor.
While the book is hitting the stands on the 1st of September, I’m excited at the voluminous addition it will make to our vocabulary, thus transforming us into unabashed lexophiles. As I wait to indulge in some quirky and unusual words from every letter of the alphabet, here’s my listicle on some of the words (apart from floccinaucinihilipilification) I think would make it to this word whiz’s book:
Alright, so I’m going to conveniently leave out the longest word in the world which is the technical (chemical, to be specific) name of titin – a protein that keeps our muscles elastic. It is 189,819 characters long, takes 3.5 hours to pronounce, and is derived from the names of 30,000+ amino acids that constitute it. Pretty much, like how your name would sound if it had not just your dad’s but also that of your dad, his dad, his dad, his dad (repeat until you reach the advent of ancestral origin) in it. Fancy that! Anyway, I don’t think this word would make it to Tharoor’s book because the word requires a whole book dedicated to itself to be spelled out.
So, here goes:
At first glance, it sounds like a whole load of gibberish. If I had seen this word typed in a Word doc, I would probably have imagined the author to be so drunk that his fingers involuntarily and literally started dancing and tapping on the keyboard. But this word exists! And is, in fact, a whopping 45-letter word which is found in a lot of science-related journals and books. By definition, it is a lung disease that is caused by the inhalation of very fine ash dust. Word nerds love to refer to this gigantic word as p45.
Next time your girlfriend drives you crazy by constantly nagging you to compliment her new haircut, you know what to tell her. Just say “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. She’d be too gobsmacked to even respond to that. Plus, you’d not stop talking for a good half a minute. The Cambridge Dictionary defines this 34-letter combination as a fanciful word to describe something as extremely good. Apparently this word was popularized by Mary Poppins in the 1964 movie where she uses the word “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” when she had nothing to say. Sherman Brothers wrote a song of the same name and if you’re a Mary Poppins fan, you’re already singing these lines aloud:
“The biggest word you ever heard
and this is how it goes:
Going by the individual contributors to this word, the meaning of this long word should be the “opposition to depriving a legally established state church of its status.” A lot of people thought this was actually the longest non-technical word in the dictionary for the longest period of time. However the dictionary Merriam Webster slammed the word and refused to include it in their thesaurus saying that not only has it not been used or cited enough number of times but also there is hardly any evidence of the word being used with the “meaning” it is claiming to have. Then again, why would anyone use these words in their daily conversation? I mean, unless you are Shashi Tharoor! Having said that, this word is pretty well known by a lot of people since the 19th century.
No, not a cousin of Thamarakshanpillabus. This monstrous word seems to have made an appearance in a Shakespearan play and vaguely means something along “loaded with honours”. I actually pity the poor soul who had to not just mug this word up but also deliver it in an oh-so-eloquent manner. History also suggests that this word was used much before Shakesperean times. In fact, it was first used by medieval and Renaissance authors.
Also Read: THE AMUL GIRL’S LINK TO SHASHI THAROOR
If you aren’t daunted by humongous and enormous words such as the ones we‘ve covered so far, then congratulations, you are not a victim of hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia. I mean, the fear of long words! Honestly, they would have to come up with a shorter synonym for this word, because someone with hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia might have levelled up on that phobia of theirs on hearing this word.
Apart from these, here are 5 other words (with their meanings) which I predict would most likely have found an honorificabilitudinitatibus place in Tharoorosaurus:
Spectrophotofluorometrically – The relative intensities of light in different parts of a spectrum
Polyphiloprogenitive – Extremely prolific
Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism – An inherited disorder that is caused by mutations of genes
Incomprehensibilities – The condition of being impossible to understand or comprehend
Unconscionablenesses – Not restrained by conscience
So, those were ten of my guesses! If Shashi Tharoor ever chanced upon this writeup, I hope he wouldn’t floccinaucinihilipilificate this exercise of mine!
No, that was not another long word for the day. It was just my one-year-old baby meddling with the keyboard!
Loved it !
Your articles are a treat indeed! I love the way you write on varied topics with a tinge of humor. As for your vocab, hats off👍