Can someone suggest a humorous scientific-sounding synonym for “foot in mouth”? I mean in the spirit of sesquipedalian for a long word.

closed as off-topic by FumbleFingers, Drew, Hellion, Scott, curiousdannii Oct 15 '17 at 11:10

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  • 1
    Can you give a sentence in which this purported word would be used? (this will give us a better idea on how it should be used) – Mitch Oct 12 '17 at 17:31
  • I think perhaps you misunderstand idiomatic (put one's) foot in (one's) mouth) (say or do something that you should not have, esp. something that embarrasses someone else). A word like sesquipedalian is a (bit of a) mouthful (a word or phrase that is difficult to pronounce or that has a lot of syllables). I'm not embarrassed that I know the word sesquipedalian, nor should anyone else be. – FumbleFingers Oct 12 '17 at 18:02
  • Yes, sesquipedalian is a perfectly fine word. It isn't humorous or "scientific-sounding". It's just not very common. I provided less serious examples in my answer, words that don't actually exist nor have ever been used (as far as I know). If that's not what you were after, please clarify. – terdon Oct 12 '17 at 18:10
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    Wot? No contrafibularities? – FumbleFingers Oct 12 '17 at 18:11
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    Or metatarsal-uvular contact – Hellion Oct 13 '17 at 17:08

Here are a couple:

  • "Greek"

    Podostomiasis, from the Ancient Greek ποδός (foot) and στόμα (mouth).

  • "Latin"

    Pedobuccality, from the Latin root ped for foot and bucca, mouth.

You could play with them a bit. For instance:

This is a grave case of podostomiasis.


He was known for his penchant for pedobuccality.


What a pedobuccalous thing to say!


Ouch, that was a positively podostomical utterance.

I make no promises, however, as to whether your interlocutors will have the slightest clue what you're saying. I also can't attest to the validity of either construct, nor do I know whether they would be considered street legal in the corridors of a Classics department. Use at your own risk.

  • @sumelic ah, thanks. That sounds much more natural to me, but I was afraid it was my modern Greek getting in the way. I was also thinking of words like octopus though which uses the pous. Is that one different? – terdon Oct 12 '17 at 22:47
  • Never mind. Yes, of course it is. It isn't genetive there since it's "the animal with seven feet" and not "the seven-footed animal". – terdon Oct 12 '17 at 22:50
  • I think the relevant factor is maybe that in "octopus", "pous" is on the right-hand side of the word, where inflectional suffixes are expected to occur. – sumelic Oct 12 '17 at 23:25
  • @sumelic nah, I think it's just my Greek confusing me. The modern Greek word is actually χταπόδι (from οχταπόδι, presumably). And the modern Greek for foot is πόδι, so I guess I just wanted to make it sound more "ancienty" to my native's ear. In Ancient Greek it would have been οχτοπους and οχτόποδους in the genitive. Or words to that effect. – terdon Oct 13 '17 at 10:12
  • I adore the choice of 'podostomiasis' because it sounds like a medical condition. – Spencer Oct 14 '17 at 12:44

He had a sudden attack of ospedistris and later regretted it.

  • I see the ped portion, but can you explain how it's formed? – JDługosz Oct 14 '17 at 2:10

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