Floccinaucinihilipilification - original song

  • Published on:  11/12/2009
  • This song is for anyone who loves words - especially long and rather silly ones.

    "Floccinaucinihilipilification": the action or habit of judging something to be worthless.

    Is what you do if you're the sort of chap
    Who can't accept that anything popular might be any good
    And dismisses it out of hand as "Total crap."
    "It's nothing, it's nothing, it's nothing, it's nothing,"
    Is what you really mean,
    But that's repetitive and a bore to say
    While floccinaucinihilipilification
    Is a simple and most economical way.

    Is great if you enjoy the chance to gripe;
    Grumpy folk have fun dismissing all that they dislike
    And can moan or mutter, "What a load of tripe!"
    "It's nothing, it's nothing, it's nothing, it's nothing,"
    Is what they really mean,
    But saying it thus sounds really quite absurd.
    With floccinaucinihilipilification
    You know you're never going to mince your words!

    We'll use it, or at least I think we might,
    If confronted with some clever thing we just don't understand
    We'll declare the whole thing's just "A heap of shite."
    "It's nothing, it's nothing, it's nothing, it's nothing,"
    Is what we really mean,
    But saying it thus is not what people do.
    Why use several words when just the one will do?

    Is the longest English word in common use.
    Antidisestablishmentarians just feel torn apart
    When they hear it, and they may well hurl abuse.
    It's nothing, it's nothing, it's nothing, it's nothing,
    But Mary Poppins fans
    Truly hate it and may offer a foul rebuke
    'Cause floccinaucinihilipilification is a real word
    Unlike supercalifragi-gobbledigook!

    Words and music ©Paddy Wex 2009

    The longest non-scientific/non-medical word in the English language, floccinaucinihilipilification combines four Latin words, flocci (something trivial), nauci (worthless), nihili (nothing), and pili (something of no significance), followed by the suffix -fication (the action of making).

    It is believed that an unknown eighteenth century wit was responsible for coining the word. Its first recorded use is by William Shenstone in a letter dated 1741: " loved him for nothing so much as his flocci-nauci-nihili-pili-fication of money".