Floccinaucinihilipilification

I’ve always loved words. My current bathroom reading, for instance, is a dictionary of word origins. I’m reading it word for word. I try to read it regularly.

I forget when I learned the word floccinaucinihilipilification. But it stuck. It’s the longest non-scientific word in the English language. Which, of course, begs the question:

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis…that’s what.

Floccinaucinihilipilification is the act of determining something to be useless.

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is a coal miner’s lung disease.

pneumono – related to the lungs

ultramicroscopic – really small

silico – dust

volcano – volcanic

coniosis – related to inflammation (also pulled from the pre-existing and more common pneumonoconiosis)

I was a bit flummoxed to learn tonight that my pronunciation of both of these words was slightly off. I’m giving myself grace, though, because the “push-this-button-to-hear-the-word-pronounced-correctly” button didn’t exist in my adolescence.

 

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Floccinaucinihilipilification