This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Sunday Rest: antidisestablishmentarianism. Word Not To Use Today.

Compared with some sesquipedalian  German words, antidisestablishmentarianism isn't that long.

In English, however, the use of the word antidisestablishmentarianism (unless you're discussing the history of the Church of England, which is, let's face it, vanishingly unlikely) is a sign that the speaker is both a show-off and a pompous bore.

If anyone's interested (though I can't imagine anyone much is), antidisestablishmentarianism means...well, the establishment bit is to do with the Church of England having a special legal basis in the constitution of England (establishmentarians hold the view that this is a good and necessary thing); disestablishmentarians think the C of E should have no such special political place; and antidisestablishmentarians think they are nuts.

See? It's all quite simple, though very pompous and silly - and surely - surely! - the word must originally been made up as a joke.

Sunday Rest: antidisestablishmentarianism. Establish comes from the Latin word stabilīre, to make firm.


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