Over at my obscure words website, The Phrontistery, there’s been a word that has been the subject of many astonished inquiries over the years: eellogofusciouhipoppokunurious, which means simply ‘good’. At 30 letters, it’s the longest word on a site that’s full of them. More to the point, because my site is one of the most prominent places you can find the word, and because it doesn’t appear in any standard dictionaries (including the mammoth Oxford English Dictionary), over the years, I have had many people write to ask whether it is in fact a real word at all.
So to try to answer this question, first let me tell you about how eellogofusciouhipoppokunurious came to be in my list. Back at the dawn of the Internet (well, OK, more like 1996), I had no idea that my word list would still be around (and over twice…
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