5 lengthy words in the English language

1 min read

Since English borrows heavily from other languages, you can find many words that have gotten longer as they incorporate multiple roots and influences. In scientific parlance, it’s easy to add suffixes and prefixes to create very long words. In fact, the word for the titin protein found in humans is so long, it takes over three hours to say and over 57 pages to write. While that word isn’t listed here, we do have five lengthy words in the English language to spice up your vocabulary.

Antidisestablishmentarianism

This is the original long word — the one you learned on the playground in elementary school to impress your friends. Antidisestablishmentarianism means dissension against the philosophy of separation between church and state, particularly the separation of the Anglican church and the civil government. Since this word has a very specific usage, it’s not often used anymore; still, it’s considered one of the longest English words at 28 letters.

Subdermatoglyphic

Subdermatoglyphic describes the set of patterns that are the fine whorls, arches and other finger ridges that have an underlying dermal matrix. That is to say, it’s the layer of skin right beneath the fingertips. Like many protracted words, this comes from the medical field and tends to be only used in a scientific context.

Electroencephalograph

Another medical term, electroencephalograph is often shortened to EEG. It’s an instrument for recording the electrical activity of the brain. This word is one that a lot of people know in its shortened form; regardless, its true state is long and should be remembered as such.

Abstentious

People who use 25-cent words may be considered pretentious. Abstentious means self-restraining, not indulging an appetite. It tends to refer specifically to an appetite for food or drink.

Sesquipedalianism

Perhaps the best word to round out this list is sesquipedalianism. This word means the practice of using long, sometimes obscure words in speech or writing. Live up to your reputation and if anyone points out your habit of using such long words, you can use sesquipedalianism to prove how much you know.

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