Last modified on 18 October 2014, at 04:12

Floccinaucinihilipilification

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, floccinaucinihilipilification is the second longest word in the English language. It means an estimation of something as worthless.

SourcedEdit

  • [...] for whatever the world might esteem in poor Somervile, I really find, upon critical enquiry, that I loved him for nothing so much as his flocci-nauci-nihili-pili-fication of money.
    • William Shenstone, letter (1741); anthologized in The Works, in Verse and Prose, of William Shenstone, Esq, vol. III (1769), p. 49
  • From what I hear, the poor man is not sensible of the nature of his own situation; for myself, I have succeeded in putting the matters perfectly out of my mind since I cannot help them, and have arrived at a flocci-pauci-nihili-pili-fication of money, and I thank Shenstone for inventing that long word.
  • Digby was a floccinaucinihilipilificator at heart—which is an eight-dollar word meaning a joker who does not believe in anything he can't bite.
  • A slaughtered crew, a sunken ship, and my collections destroyed—these do not weigh at all against their punctilios. There is a systematic flocci-naucinihili-pilification of all other aspects of existence that angers me. I spend half my time purging them, bleeding them, prescribing low diet and soporifics. They eat far too much, and drink far too much, especially JD.
  • "Sharpie darling, you are a floccinaucinihilipilificatrix."
    "Is that a compliment?"
    "Certainly! Means you're so sharp you spot the slightest flaw."
    I kept quiet. It was possible that Zebadiah meant it as a compliment. Just barely— "Maybe I'd better check it in a dictionary."
    "By all means, dear-after you are off watch." (I dismissed the matter. Merriam Microfilm was all we had aboard and Aunt Hilda would not find that word in anything less than the O.E.D.)
  • They happen to produce huge billion dollar differences over seven years in the federal budget, which is why they become fairly incendiary as the debate goes along. But if you—as a practical matter of estimating the economy, the difference is not great. There's a little bit of floccinaucinihilipilification going on here.
  • Griffy: Do you think I may be too quick to find fault with things & people, Zippy?
    Zippy: Yeh. Th' "floccinaucinihilipilification" process.
    Griffy: Th' what?
    Zippy: Floccinaucinihilipilification!! ... It means "the estimation of something as valueless"!
    Griffy: You've been randomly reading th' dictionary, haven't you?
    Zippy: Yes... that and my natural tendency toward antifloccinaucinihilipilification!!

AttributedEdit

External linksEdit

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