The longest word in the English language

The longest word in English

The longest word in the English language

How long do you think the longest word in the English language is? Think about the word ‘beautiful’. That’s 9 letters. So maybe the longest one is 10, 11 or 12 letters long? No, it has 28 letters!

Antidisestablishmentarianism

Antidisestablishmentarianism is a pretty long word but it’s not that complicated when you actually look at it.

The establishment is the governing body, either a physical thing like a government, or a concept, such as a set of rules.

So, disestablishment means to remove the establishment. It was created in the 19th century to describe the removal of the Church of England as the state church of England.

Which means antidisestablishment is the opposition to this.

Which means that an antidisestablishmentarian is a person who believes in this (another example of this suffix is a vegetarian).

Which means that antidisestablishmentarianism is the political movement of people who oppose the removal of the establishment. Ok, so maybe it is complicated.

 


 

Other long words in English

But antidisestablishmentarianism is only the longest non-technical word (non-scientific). The longest scientific word in English is the name of the longest protein known to man, called Titin. Of course Titin is only its common name. It’s full name is a bit longer, at… 189,819 letters long! (Yes, like a short story!)

It’s too long to include here but you can see it at Wikipedia.

Maybe one day when it’s raining and you have nothing to do you can try reading it aloud. But if seeing that word scares you then you might have a phobia of long words. In which case, you have

Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia

At 35 letters long this word is one of the longest words in the English language. However, because it’s actually a technical word it doesn’t take the crown of English’s longest word!

 

And then there’s the long word from the movie Mary Poppins:

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

This has 34 letters in its name though doesn’t mean anything. It was invented for a song in the film.

 

What is the longest word in your language?

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9 Responses to “The longest word in the English language”

  1. Seppo Laaksonen 29 January, 2012 at 6:41 am #

    Epäjärjestelmällistyttämättömyydelläänsäkäänköhän is the longest word of a finnish language

    • woodward 6 February, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

      Thanks Seppo, now that looks like it would be fun to pronounce. 😉

  2. Arsenio C. Alisbo Jr. 10 April, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    The longest known Filipino word in a dictionary is the 32-letter, 13-syllable Nagsisipagsisinungasinungalingan, which means “trying to tell fake lies to another.”

    • woodward 13 April, 2012 at 8:05 am #

      Thanks Arsenio. I spent a while trying to imagine where the syllables are in that word.

  3. Arsenio C. Alisbo Jr. 16 May, 2012 at 1:57 am #

    Nag-si-si-pag-si-si-nu-nga-si-nu-nga-li-ngan
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

  4. Turkish people were here! 5 December, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    Çekoslavakyalılaştıramadıklarımızdanmısınız is the longest word and question in Turkish language. Dağılabilirsiniz.

    • woodward 6 December, 2012 at 9:24 am #

      Another impressively long word. Thanks for sharing that.

  5. Evgenia 6 September, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    In the Russian language much depends on which word unit it is, whether it has hyphens or not. For instance – сельскохозяйственно-машиностроительный – one of the longest adjectives with hyphen; корчеватель-бульдозер-погрузчик, одушевлённость-неодушевлённость – two of the longest nouns with hyphens; водогрязеторфопарафинолечение – a 29-letter non-hyphen noun. There is a number of more technical examples as well.

    • woodward 8 September, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

      Thanks for that Evgenia.
      In English whenever you join two words together with a hyphen to make an adjective they’re called Compound Adjectives and normally they are not as long as the ones in Russian.

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