The longest word has 172 letters and was concocted by Aristophanes

30 September 2018
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Aristophanes was undoubtedly one of the most significant ancient writers and playwrights in western literature. His witty dialogues and often coarse language challenged the Athenian establishment and the core values of his day. He was a master wordsmith which can easily be seen in his concoction of what is considered to be the longest word in fiction.

It is “plaLopado­temacho­selacho­galeo­kranio­leipsano­drim­hypo­trimmato­silphio­parao­melito­katakechy­meno­kichl­epi­kossypho­phatto­perister­alektryon­opte­kephallio­kigklo­peleio­lagoio­siraio­baphe­tragano­pterygon” and is a fictional dish mentioned in his comedy “Assemblywomen”.

It is a transliteration of the Ancient Greek word λοπαδο­τεμαχο­σελαχο­γαλεο­κρανιο­λειψανο­δριμ­υπο­τριμματο­σιλφιο­καραβο­μελιτο­κατακεχυ­μενο­κιχλ­επι­κοσσυφο­φαττο­περιστερ­αλεκτρυον­οπτο­κεφαλλιο­κιγκλο­πελειο­λαγῳο­σιραιο­βαφη­τραγανο­πτερύγων. Liddell & Scott (LSJ) translate this as “name of a dish compounded of all kinds of dainties, fish, flesh, fowl, and sauces.”

The Greek word has 172 letters and 78 syllables. The transliteration has 182 Latin characters. It is the longest word ever to appear in literature according to Guinness World Records.

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