Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia - The Fear of Long Words

There are two spellings of this word. 35 or 36 letters long.

Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia or with two "P's" Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia. 

Taken from the root word sesquipedaliophobia, which would be more technically correct. Commonly misspelled to make the word longer.  I'm sure just to aggravate the sufferer.

Let's break down the word.

  • Hippopotomo - exaggerates the word meaning big.
  • Monstro - meaning monster
  • Sesquippedalio - literally means a foot and 1/2 in Latin. or long words. 
  • Phobia - a fear
This 15-syllable word is rarely used for it's meaning. Instead we use, a 4-syllable phrase, "fear of long words"

Like most phobias, the fear of long words is different for many people. Some people are afraid of extremely long words and some with average length words.

External symptoms limit speaking, writing, and vocabulary and may be related to other fears of reading and writing like Bibliophobia, the fear of books. Mythophobia, the fear of legends, and Metrophobia the fear of poetry. 

If this phobia is affecting your life, causing depression or anxiety, consider getting a mental health professional for assistance in coping and managing your symptoms.

Dog Brindle

1 comment:

A Long said...

Interesting as usual Dog! I think i'm more afraid of a hippo sitting on me than of long words. Some express superciliousness toward those who use long words! thanks for the fun. Again!