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Was someone just trying to be funny by being ironic?

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Is this real word? I tried googling this but there were several opinions (more like arguments). – Dian Aug 26 '10 at 8:43
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Sesquipedalian means having many syllables, and you'll probably know what phobia means. Thus, "sesquipedaliophobia" is an irrational fear of words with many syllables. The prefixes "hippopoto-" and "monstro-", as you might guess, are not there to add anything in terms of meaning, in fact they are rather nonsensical. Their only purpose is to make the word longer, in a witty and cruel, sarcastic twist.

Wiktionary says:


From hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian, an extension of sesquipedalian with monstrum "monster" and a truncated, misspelled form of hippopotamus, intended to exaggerate the length of the word itself and the idea of the size of the words being feared; combined with phobia.

So I guess the answer to your question is yes, you can say that someone was trying to be funny.

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It was an ironic way to say the fear of long words with a long word.

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