The human language is an interesting medium of communication. Made up of letters, characters, and pictures, every language is unique and distinct in itself. Take, for example, the English language, with its alphabets and letters; it presents a unique challenge for everyone willing to learn it.
However, one cannot simply ignore the importance of letters that make up a word in every language. These letters link the words together to form an intelligible and comprehensible sentence.
There are, however, some words that are composed of so many letters that it is difficult to write them down. Such words are difficult to pronounce as well.
In The $64,000 Question show, a reality TV show, a contestant surprised everyone when she correctly spelled the word “Antidisestablishmentarianism”. This 28-letter word, defined as the political movement which opposes proposals for the disestablishment of the Church of England.
It still holds the title of the longest non-coined, non-medical, and non-technical word in the English language. However, this is not the only word that has so many letters.
Here is a look at some of the longest words in the world.
1. The Human Protein Word
Chemical names are long and lengthy. It comes as no surprise; therefore, that one of the longest words belongs to this category. The chemical name for human protein is
“Methionylthreonylthteonyglutaminylarginyl…isoleucine”. Note that this is not the full name. It contains 189,819 letters in total.
This word takes about three-and-a-half hours to simply pronounce it. This is common with the chemical names—there’s generally no limit to their length. Take, for example, the case of naming a single strand of DNA.
With its millions and millions of base pairs that repeat themselves, naming them could be a challenge. The reason is, they may contain billions of letters.
2. A Word from the Play
English plays are well-known for their dialogues and words. One of the longest words in literature comes from a play by Aristophane play,
Assemblywomen. The word, first published in 391 BC is called “Lopadotemachoselachogaleokranioleipsan…pterygon”.
The Greek word counts to 171 letters, which translates to 183 letters in English. This word refers to a fictional word meaning rotted dogfish head, wood pigeon, wrasse, roasted head of dabchick, and other food items.
3. The Disease Word
One word that you are likely to find in all major dictionaries is related to the medical field. The word “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis” is a 45-letter word and refers to a disease that causes inflammation in the lungs due to inhalation of fine silica dust.
However, this word is generally considered unnecessary. It has been simply coined to claim the title of the longest word in English.
4. The Name of the Fly
Another of the longest words is “parastratiosphecomyiastratiosphecomyioides” which is the longest accepted binomial construction, with 42 letters. This word refers to a species of fly that is native to Thailand. It is also one of the words which have made it to the dictionary.
5. Thyroid Disorder
A word called “pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism” refers to a type of thyroid disorder and is 30-letter long. It appears in major dictionaries and is related to the medical field.
6. Non-technical Word
Having just one more letter than the word “antidisestablishmentarianism”, the word “floccinaucinihilipilification” is the longest non-technical word of the English language. This word is a combination of 5 Latin roots.
It refers to an act of describing something that has little or no value. Although it appears in the Oxford English Dictionary, Merriam-Webster refuses to recognize this word. It refers to it as simply a linguistic word with a limited existence.
7. In the Fingerprints
The longest accepted isogram, a word called “subdermatoglyphic” is a 17-letter word that has an interesting aspect to it. It is an isogram, meaning that every letter in the word comes only once.
It refers to an underlying skin matrix that determines the pattern of arches, whorls, and ridges that make up our fingerprints.
8. The Squirrel Word
“Squirrelled” is a non-medical, non-coined monosyllabic English word that is comprised of 11 letters. Both Merriam-Webster and Oxford Dictionary recognize it as having only one L, instead of two.
9. The Abstinence
One interesting word that uses all five vowels in order exactly once, “abstentious” is an 11-letter word. It refers to a person who abstains from indulging in immoderations, especially food and drink.
10. The Soil Tiller
A word “rotavator”, a type of soil tiller is the longest non-coined word. The English dictionary includes it, and it has 9 letters.
11. The Consonants and Vowels
Two words, which are the longest ones to appear in a major dictionary, are “cwtch’ and “euouae”. These are interesting ones using consonants and vowels, respectively. Cwtch is a Welsh word that refers to a hiding place. Euouae appears in Latin psalters and defines a medieval music term.
The Last Word
Although the pronunciation of these words is a challenge in them, these letters are sure to boggle a person’s mind. If you are looking to translate these longest words into other languages, a translation agency might help you only as much because these words are unique and cannot be translated without distorting the meanings.