F is for Floccinaucinihilipilification

nothingFrom Uncommon parlance:
“Floccinaucinihilipilification is the act of estimating something as worthless or without value. It has the distinction of being the longest non-technical word in the English language.”

So why do we have such a long word to designate so little?

“Apparently the term was coined by pupils at Eton from a line in the Eton Latin Grammar that listed verbs that govern a genitive noun: Flocci, from floccus, a wisp or piece of wool + nauci, from naucum, (a trifle) + nihili, from the Latin pronoun, nihil (nothing) + pili, from pilus, (a hair, or something insignificant) + fication.”

In case you’re having any difficulty with the pronunciation, go HERE. It just trips off the tongue, does it not?

I love the notion of the long word having a small meaning. It’s somewhat like the musical term hemidemisemiquaver, which mean a 64th note, which is mighty short.

And speaking of notes, LISTEN TO:

Worthless from The Brave Little Toaster
Nothing From Nothing – Billy Preston. It went to #1 in 1974.

And yes, it is another one of those words that you ALMOST never see in blogs.


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