Ten of the Strangest, Most Confusing Words in the English Language

The English language can be somewhat complicated at times, but we’ve found the strangest – and some of the longest – words that exist, all of which appear in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Next time you’re stuck for what to say, remember some of them, and you’re guaranteed to impress – and probably confuse – your friends and family with your extensive vocabulary!

An Unusual Kind of Phobia

The word ‘hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobics’ seems ideal to start this article with, as is means the fear or phobia of long words – if this applies to you, you might want to choose a different article to read!

Source: jesavaispas.com

Pronounced ‘hippoh-poh-toh-mon-stroh-sess-kwi-ped-ah-lee-oh-foe-bik’, it can be used in a sentence as follows: Any hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobics are going to really hate reading the rest of this article. Don’t say we didn’t warn you …

You’ll Boast About This One

Meaning to extravagantly boast, we all know someone who likes to ‘gasconade’ occasionally! Maybe next time they do it in your presence, use this word and brag about your impeccable knowledge of the English language!

Source: letgodbefoundtrue.net

Pronounced ‘gas-con-aid’, it can be used correctly in the following sentence: I don’t want to gasconade, but my vocabulary after reading this article is quite exceptional.

Words Can Be Colorful

Arguably the least interesting word featured in this article, ‘lateritious’ just means brick-red in color – although it’s a much funnier (and more intelligent sounding!) way to describe something.

Source: Pinterest.com

Pronounced ‘lat-er-rih-shush’, it can be used correctly in a sentence as follows: I am a huge fan of your lateritious bag.
Give it a go next time you see something in that color!

All of the Vowels

Facetiously’ is a wonderful word because it contains every single vowel – as well as the semi-vowel ‘y’ – just once, making it very unusual. It means deliberately making inappropriate jokes or using unsuitable humor about something that is quite serious.

Source: pixfeeds.com

Pronounced ‘fah-see-shush-lee,’ here is an example of its correct usage: When it comes to severe educational matters such as using long and complicated words, one should never behave facetiously.

It’s Worth Learning This One

Meaning the act of deciding that something is worthless, ‘floccinaucinihilipilification’ is one of the longest words in the English language, with 29 letters – so it’s a good one to remember.

Source: marcusblankenship.com

Pronounced ‘flok-sih-naw-kinih-hillih-pillih-fik-ay-shun’, an example of the correct usage of this word is as follows: My friend’s floccinaucinihilipilification of my fabulous new vocabulary is hugely offensive to me.

The Influence of Gulliver

The word ‘Brobdingnagian,’ an adjective meaning huge or gigantic, is interesting because it has a capital letter due to being derived from the name of a land in Gulliver’s Travels where everything is enormous in size.

Source: Pinterest.com

Pronounced ‘Brob-ding-nag-ian,’ it can be used in a sentence in the following way: I have a vocabulary of Brobdingnagian proportions! If used as a noun, it means you are referring to someone or something as a giant.

This Is No Waste of Time

The catchy word ‘boondoggle’ refers to work that one does just to look busy, but that is not actually useful in any way – something that’s arguably quite common!

Source: xroads.virginia.edu

This is one of the simpler words in this article regarding pronunciation, as it’s written phonetically – as a result, it’s not quite as confusing as some of the others! An example sentence using it is: Although some people think this mission to learn more long words is a complete boondoggle, it’s actually beneficial and exciting.

An Old-Fashioned Word

The word ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’ originally referred to people who were against the removal of the Church of England’s status, but now it can be used to refer to a movement against the government taking away its support of a particular church or religion.

Source: jmperkins.com

It was actually left out of the 10th edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary by mistake! Pronounced ‘anti-dis-est-ab-lish-men-tare-rian-ism’, it can be used in the following context: John was a self-proclaimed materialistic-socialist who practiced antidisestablishmentarianism.

Extending the Word Count

Circumlocution’ is a perfect word to include in this article as it means the use of many words where fewer words would actually suffice. Consolidating your sentences into as few words as possible is generally the optimum way to write or speak, and this reminds us of that.

Source: manmartin.blogspot.com

Pronounced ‘sir-cum-loh-cue-shun,’ it can be used correctly in a sentence as follows: My love of circumlocution means my conversations and written correspondence are unnecessarily long and drawn out.

Love the Long Words

Sesquipedalian’ is the ideal word to end this article with, as it means the loving of long words – hopefully, it will apply to everyone that has read this article!

Source: translatemedia.com

Pronounced ‘sess-kwi-peh-day-leean,’ it can be used in a sentence as follows: As someone who is very sesquipedalian, I strive to use long words in all my conversations.