Wednesday 17 November 2010


The act or habit of describing or regarding something as unimportant
often cited as the longest non-technical word in the English language.

I am floccinaucinihilipilificating the fact 
that I have passed the two year anniversary of my blog.

Such a trifling matter was this event,
that it came and went unmarked back in October.
But the word may come in useful
and so I am going to give it a little airing.
Full etymology here.

Its first recorded appearance was in a letter from the poet
William Shenstone:

'I loved him for nothing so much as his
floccinaucinihilipilification of money.'

The first time I heard of him was at the Design Museum
exhibition Plain Space, about the work of architect John Pawson.

I like the idea of the eye loving liberty.

John Pawson likes it very much indeed.

I just don't think I could ever manage
to maintain such a pared down existence.

Where would I put all my jugs?


  1. Two years of use, beauty and erudition. Thank you on behalf of your many readers!
    I aim to slip floccinaucinihilipilification into my conversation at least three times today, though I suspect it will pass unnoticed. My staff have grown used to the term.

  2. That is a scary word to cope with first thing in the morning before my eyes are focussing properly.

    Congratulations on the two year mark - I always feel useful AND beautiful after I have been informed and delighted by your words and photos.

  3. Congratulations on your two years! I would love to be in the vicinity of someone who used that word so that I would know how it should be pronounced....

  4. Congratulations on two years of Useful or Beautiful! (Surely that should be "and"?) I don't think you should floccinaucinihilipilificate your blog at all, I think it's great.

  5. But look at all that plain space around the jugs!

    (Congrats on the two years. And I can't say it either.)

  6. Two years...there's a lot of experience there. Congratulations. I could count 12 syllables for this new word and it would require some memorization to recite the word from memory on my part. I could f...on the perils of ego.