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Another question on the site made me take notice that through is monosyllabic, but quite long. Are there longer monosyllabic words? What's the longest disyllabic word in English?

Edit: so, Wikipedia has a page for monosyllabic words, but none for disyllabic ones. Anyone can think of any long disyllabic example?

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measured how? vocally, orthographically? –  bmargulies May 5 '11 at 20:28
    
@bmargulies: orthographically –  F'x May 5 '11 at 20:30
    
I've seen lots on monosyllabic words, but nothing ever on disyllabic ones. –  Mitch May 6 '11 at 19:31
    
I'm guessing we aren't allowed to suggest, Aaaaaarrrrrrrrrggggghhhhhhh! –  Jon Hanna Jan 16 '13 at 14:02
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Defining syllables orthographically does not really make any sense, but I guess we can assume the intended definition is “containing only one/two vowel(s)/vowel combination(s)”. If we define instead by phonetic syllables (and include proper names), the longest disyllabic word I can think of is the surname Featherstonehaugh (pronounced /ˈfænʃɔː/, for no apparent reason other than English aristocracy). –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Oct 12 '13 at 19:25
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6 Answers

up vote 14 down vote accepted

From Wikipedia:

  • Strengths is the longest word in the English language containing only one vowel.

  • Rhythms is the longest word in the English language containing none of the five recognised vowels.

  • Schmaltzed and strengthed appear to be the longest monosyllabic words recorded in OED; but if squirrelled is pronounced as one syllable only (as permitted in SOED for squirrel), it is the longest.

This Wikipedia article suggests that schtroumpfed is the longest; however, it's really a stretch to say this is an English word in any even remotely established sense (and I am definitely not strict in the words I would consider to be "part of" a language).

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Strengths is a nine-lettered monosyllable. And it is compulsory to mention that smiles has one mile between the two S's...

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THWACK! (but +1 anyway) –  Marthaª May 5 '11 at 20:31
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http://braingle.com/news/hallfame.php?path=language/english/pronunciation/syllable.p&sol=1 gives "scratchbrushed" (14 letters) as the longest 2-syllable word. A more common word is "breakthroughs" (13 letters).

If you allow hyphens, perhaps "straight-stretched" (17 letters) is acceptable.

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Assuming you don't allow hyphens for disyllabic words, the London street name Knightsbridge is 13 letters. (It is also one of the rare words with six consonants in a row.)

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Scraunched Scroonched Strengthed

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Despite your unembellished brevity, I think you may actually be on to something there. Alas, schmaltzed given separately) ties you. But these are all of the same form of a liquid *s (possibly palatalized) following by an optional stop and then a nasal or liquid, and finally given an -ed suffix. One might make something of that. –  tchrist Jan 29 '13 at 2:52
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Wikipedia has a nice list. Schmaltzed is probably the longest "real word", being in the OED, but it depends on what you consider standard / reputable.

I'm not sure about disyllabic words.

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Did you just equate “real word” and “being in the OED”? Courageous. –  tchrist Jan 29 '13 at 2:52
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@tchrist See the quotes and the caveat that follows? –  Matthew Read Jan 29 '13 at 3:37
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