Words at Play : People's Top 10 Favorite Words

#10: Sesquipedalian

Definition:

long; characterized by the use of long words

Example:

"Plus he has a weakness for what we can mischievously call sesquipedalian excess: Look out for such terms as 'epiphenomenal,' 'diegetic' and 'proprioceptive.'" – Jabari Asim, Washington Post, November 19, 2000

About the word:

Sesquipedalian pleases in part because it is what it describes: a long word for long words. The Latin sesquipedalis translates as "foot-and-a-half long." That's the way the Roman lyric poet Horace used it when he advised young poets to use common speech instead of sesquipedalia verba ("words a-foot-and-a-half long"). This concept is similar to the modern term "20-dollar word."

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