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hapax legomenon

Sadly, this post has nothing to do with lego men. A hapax legomenon (or ‘a thing once said’) is a word occurring only once in the written body of a language. It’s kind of the classical scholars version of GoogleWhacking.

Reading about hapaxes has led me to the discovery that honorificabilitudinitatibus is the longest word in the English language featuring alternating consonants and vowels. Sure to come in useful one day.

Other discoveries:

nonce word – one made up for the occasion, possibily with no expectation of reuse

stunt word – created to artificially suggest importance, or coined merely to demonstrate how clever the coiner is.

Written by Karen

April 5th, 2008 at 1:35 pm

Posted in words