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honorificabilitudinity

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

honorificabilitudinity (ON-uh-rif-i-kay-bi-li-too-DIN-i-tee, -tyoo-) noun

Honorableness.

[From Medieval Latin honorificabilitudinitas, from Latin honor.]

Another form of this, honorificabilitudinitatibus (27 letters), is the longest word Shakespeare ever used. It comes out of the mouth of Costard, the clown, in Love's Labour's Lost:

"I marvel thy master hath not eaten thee for a word;
for thou art not so long by the head as
honorificabilitudinitatibus: thou art easier
swallowed than a flap-dragon."

Note that its spelling alternates consonants and vowels. Some have used an anagram of this word to claim that Francis Bacon was the author of the works attributed to the Bard. Honorificabilitudinitatibus anagrams to the Latin "Hi ludi F. Baconis nati tuiti orbi." which means "These plays, F. Bacon's offspring, are preserved for the world." Of course, that doesn't prove anything -- the word had been used by other writers earlier. And if you torture words enough, they confess to anything. Have fun with anagrams at the Internet Anagram Server.

"Honorificabilitudinity and the requirements of Scrabble fans dictated that the New Shorter [Oxford English Dictionary]'s makers be open-minded enough to include dweeb (a boringly conventional person), droob (an unprepossessing or contemptible person, esp. a man) and droog (a member of a gang: a young ruffian)."
Jennifer Fisher; Droobs and Dweebs; U.S. News & World Report (Washington, DC); Oct 11, 1993.

X-Bonus

The trouble with this country is that there are too many politicians who believe, with a conviction based on experience, that you can fool all of the people all of the time. -Franklin P. Adams, columnist (1881-1960)

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