Fearsome Friday – Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia

Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia also known as Sesquippedalophobia

What is it?

It is fear of long words. No I am not joking. You can google it and you will find it.

Wikipedia has listed Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia as a jocular or fictional phobia.

The fear of long words however is a real fear. I have come across a few case studies where people appear to have intense physical reactions when they are faced with reading, writing or saying long words. A few of those people said the fear stemmed from childhood where they suffered from a learning difficulty or speech impediment that made long words harder to cope with than small ones.

 

 

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About Billie Jo Schinnerer

Born and raised on the edge of the Helderberg Escarpment in eastern New York. Formerly a primary and middle school teacher. Moved to the North West area of England in 2003. Now a mother of three and a wannabe author.
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4 Responses to Fearsome Friday – Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia

  1. pattisj says:

    Mary Poppins apparently didn’t suffer from that.

  2. Mina says:

    I think I have that symptom actually, and it is true that it was from experience having difficulties in school. Often, we are judged by the words we say, so I think this may also explain why there is a fear of long words. No one wants to appear ignorant in front of others, so I think everyone may have had some experience with “hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia” (Whew! Typed it! …I misspelled something, didn’t I??), even those who have extensive vocabulary.

    • I am actually dyslexic (I know it is an odd thing for a former primary school teacher and writer to say) and as a child I could read really well but struggled spelling words. It went undiagnosed until I was nearly in my teens. Once it was diagnosed I learned great coping mechanisms which helped me tremendously. I guess I probably feared long words back then. I think you are right most people probably can relate to this to some degree.

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