The Longest Word in the English Language

Tony Barnes By Tony Barnes, 3rd Nov 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Textbook

I was runner up in the 7th grade spelling bee...would have won but they hit me with a French word.

Wow - Long Word

Anyone that knows me well have heard me in an exaggerated way puff out my chest and say, “I’ll have you know I was the runner up for the 7th grade spelling bee.” I say it as if that is the most significant thing I have ever done despite 28 years in the Marine Corps and Air Force. And, then they have to hear me whine about how I lost to Randy Hill because they whipped out a foreign word on me. Come on, I hadn’t studied foreign language words. “Avoirdupois”…are you serious? Sure its in an English dictionary…but, come on that’s a French word if I ever heard one. And, yes I spelled it without looking it up because I never, ever want to be in a situation where I misspell it again. Yeah, like a situation involving avoirdupois would come up anytime in the next 10,000 years of my life.

But, the word I am most proud to know is “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis”. Now, that 45 letter word is fun to spell out on a bar napkin to astound your colleagues at a conference. First I say it aloud. Then I spell it verbally…and then they want to see it. But, of course someone has to buy you another drink before you put pen to mouth wipe. And, for those wondering…it’s a lung disease common in coal miners that is caused by the breathing in of fine siliceous dust particles. Now, don’t you feel more fulfilled now that you know shipping weight and lung disease terminology?


Avoirdupois, Coal Miners, Dictionary, Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, Siliceous

Meet the author

author avatar Tony Barnes
I am a native Texan who spent 3 years in the Marine Corps Reserves and 25 years on active duty in the Air Force. I have been a Christian since 1985 and am an ordained minister. I am conservative politically and love to study history. I publish a mont...(more)

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
4th Nov 2013 (#)

Interesting and nice post as well!

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
4th Nov 2013 (#)

I thought the longest word in the English language was "smiles" -- you know, since there's a "mile" between each "s."

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author avatar Retired
4th Nov 2013 (#)

sure this is interesting

i liked this one yeah

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