Listophilia: Sesquipedalian Words

Welcome to Listophilia!!

As an avid word collector, I love offbeat words just about as much as I love lists. Today’s topic is “Sesquipedalian Words”!

Sesquipedalian is an adjective meaning “given to using long words” or describes a word that contains many syllables. It comes from the Latin word sēsquipedālis which means “measuring a foot and a half”.

Also, to tie into my Listophilia post about phobias, sesquipedalophobia (n) is the fear of long words. If you are sesquipedalophobic, turn away now!

Let’s get started!

  1. pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis (n): an obscure term ostensibly referring to a lung disease caused by silica dust
    1. Note: This is generally considered the longest English word, clocking in at 45 letters. That being said, even though it can be found in most major dictionaries, it’s pretty much superfluous, as it was made just to claim that title
  2. pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism (n): a thyroid disorder
    1. Note: This is generally thought to be the longest “non-coined” English word, even though some major dictionaries still refuse to print it
  3. antidisestablishmentarianism (n): doctrine opposed to removing Church of England’s official religion status
  4. arachibutyrophobia (n): fear of peanut butter sticking to roof of mouth
  5. ballistocardiograph (n): instrument for detecting body movements caused by heartbeat
  6. chronosynchronicity (n): presentation of all stages of a person’s life in a single piece of art
  7. floccinaucinihilipilification (n): setting at little or no value
  8. eellogofusciouhipoppokunurious (adj.): very good or very fine
    1. Note: Here is a little history on this word and how my source, The Phrontistery, found this gem
  9. honorificabilitudinity (n): honourableness
    1. Note: Another form of this word, honorificabilitudinitatibus, is the longest word Shakespeare ever used, with 27 letters
  10. ichthyoacanthotoxism (n): poisoning from the sting or bite of a fish
  11. micropalaeontology (n): study of microscopic fossils
  12. pantochronometer (n):  combined sundial and compass
  13. polyphiloprogenitive (adj.): very fertile; very imaginative
  14. pseudochromaesthesia (n): mental association of sounds with colors
  15. spectroheliokinematograph (n): camera for taking pictures of the sun

What long words do you use on a daily basis?

(Resources: The Phrontistery,, Mental Floss, Wordsmith.Org)


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