14 of The Hardest Words to Say in English

March 15, 2022
By Sarah Angela Almaden
A group of friends laughing together

Unsplash: Nate Johnston

Do you ever wonder how many words there are in the English language? Some say there might be around a million words, but do we really know the exact count? 

The Second Edition of Oxford Dictionary recorded an entry of 171,476 words being used. On the other hand, Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged together with its 1993 Addenda Section noted a total of 470,000 words. So if we combine both numbers together, the sum would be 641,476 words. 

But is that the exact count of words in the English language? The answer is no. The number of the recorded English words in the two dictionaries don’t really determine the number of words out there. However, one thing is certain: each year, between 800 and 1000 new words are added to the English dictionary.

Words vary. Some are simple and short. Some are long and complicated. But one thing is in common – words are powerful. They make up a sentence. They make up a story. They make up a language. And when it comes to learning a new language, words are important. 

Well, did you know you can learn a new language by reading stories you love? Think about reading beloved childhood classic stories like Peter Pan in Italian or Winnie the Pooh in Spanish. The possibilities are endless, so get Beelinguapp now and discover the magic of learning a new language through reading.

On another note, care to know 14 very long words that you may or may not use in your life? Check out our collection below and let us know of your favorite long words!

1. Methionylthreonylthreonylglutaminylarginyl…isoleucine (189, 819 letters)

Methionylthreonylthreonylglutaminylarginyl…isoleucine is the chemical name for the protein of “titin” also known as “connectin.” The largest known protein that consists of 26, 926 amino acids is made up of 189, 819 letters and can take about three hours to pronounce.

2. Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (45 letters)

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is a lung disease caused by the inhalation of fine silica or quartz dust. The term is also a synonym for the disease known as “silicosis.” Everett K. Smith coined the term in the late 1930s, but it is not currently used in real medical usage.

3. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (34 letters)

Oh, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! The word itself is the title for a famous song, sung by the great Mary Poppins. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious might closely rhyme with the word atrocious but it actually means quite the opposite. In fact, the word is used to describe something extraordinarily wonderful or it can be used to describe when you have nothing to say. 

4. Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism (30 letters)

Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism, also known as PPHP, is the name of a genetic disorder which causes short stature, round face, and short hand bones. 

5. Antidisestablishmentarianism (28 letters)

The term antidisestablishmentarianism was coined in the 19th century in Great Britain.

The word was used to describe the withdrawal of state support particularly from the Anglican church. But now, antidisestablishmentarianism can be used to describe any opposition to the withdrawal or recognition from an established religion or church. 

6. Honorificabilitudinitatibus (27 letters)

Another way of saying “with honorableness” is to say the word honorificabilitudinitatibus. The word is the longest word mentioned in one of Shakespeare’s  plays called Love’s Labour’s Lost. 

7. Dichlorodifluoromethane (23 letters)

Dichlorodifluoromethane is a colorless gas under the name Freon-12 and chlorofluorocarbon halomethane. The gas is used in aerosol sprays, in plastics, refrigerators, and air conditioners.

8. Floccinaucinihilipilification (29 letters)

The action of estimating something worthless and unimportant is known as floccinaucinihilipilification. According to records, the word has been used since 1741 and apparently coined by students of Eton College. 

9. Incomprehensibilities (21 letters)

In the 1990s, the word incomprehensibilities was known to be the longest word “in common usage.” Incomprehensibilities is the plural form for the word incomprehensibility and is used to describe something that is difficult or impossible to understand.  

10. Sesquipedalianism (17 letters)

Sesquipedalianism is the practice of using long words in speech or writing. A person who enjoys and appreciates using long words in either speech or writing is known as a sesquipedalian. 

11. Aequeosalinocalcalinoceraceoaluminosocupreovitriolic (52 letters)

In the 17th century, Dr. Edward Strother coined the 52-letter word aequeosalinocalcalinoceraceoaluminosocupreovitriolic. The word is used to describe the spa waters in Bath, England. 

12. Spectrophotofluorometrically (28 letters)

A spectrophotofluorometer is a device that measures how much light something emits. In a sentence, you can say That piece was analyzed spectrophotofluorometrically.”  

13. Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg (45 letters)

A drawing of Webster Lake
A drawing small boats in Webster Lake

Flickr: Boston Public Library

Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg is a lake in Webster, Massachusetts. It is also known as Webster Lake or Lake Chaubunagungamaug.  The lake’s name is said to have originated from an Algonquian Language meaning “fishing place at the boundaries – neutral meeting grounds.” Another amusing translation for the name of the lake is “You fish on your side. I’ll fish on my side, and no one shall fish in the middle.”

14. Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia (36 letters)

The social fear of long words is known as hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia. Although the 15-syllable phobia differs from person to person, it can have a negative impact on one's life. If you or someone you know has hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, make sure to seek professional assistance to better manage symptoms and coping methods.

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