hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia love



from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The fear of long words.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian, an extension of sesquipedalian with monstrum ("monster") and a truncated, misspelled form of hippopotamus, intended to exaggerate the length of the word itself and the idea of the size of the words being feared; combined with phobia.


  • One word he learned from Wasson was "hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia," which means fear of long words.


  • Sorry for the sesquipedalianism, and my apologies to those who suffer from hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia. heh heh heh .... love ya Rex, even with all yer far right winger warts that you grew during the Bush Years.

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  • The fear of long words. As in "he couldn't say onomatopoeia because he had hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia."

    June 9, 2009

  • And if that hippo should chomp your red-nosed reindeer, it's just another case of rhodorhinorangifericide.

    May 22, 2009

  • The earliest instance I can find is

    ". . . arachibutyrophobia, fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth, and hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia, fear of long words!"

    --Dennis Coon, 1991, Essentials of Psychology: Exploration and Application, p. 505

    November 15, 2008

  • — fear of long words. Hippopoto- "big" due to its allusion to the Greek-derived word hippopotamus (though this is derived as hippo- "horse" compounded with potam-os "river", so originally meaning "river horse"; according to the Oxford English, hippopotamine has been construed as large since 1847, so this coinage is reasonable); -monstr- is from Latin words meaning "monstrous", -o- is a pseudo-Greek noun-compounding vowel; -sesquipedali- comes from "sesquipedalian" meaning a long word (literally "a foot and a half long" in Latin), -o- is a pseudo-Greek noun-compounding vowel, and -phobia means "fear". Note: This was mentioned on the first episode of Brainiac Series Five as one of Tickle's Teasers.

    November 21, 2007

  • A concept that might seem absurd to a Wordie...and obviously a joke word, by the way. Don't know who came up with it.

    January 4, 2007