floccinaucinihilipilification

Pronounced (take a deep breath): FLOCK-si-NAH-si-NIH-HILL-ih-fih-KAY-shun, noun

Notes: I happen to know this word, because it was part of an quiz show, but unless someone else happened to hear it, I’d be surprised if anyone else knows it. I found the origin to be interesting.


Yesterday’s word

The word purlieu means

  • an outlying or adjacent district
  • a frequently visited place; haunt

When used in the plural, it means

  • environs; neighborhood
  • confines; bounds
First usage

This word came into English in the late 1400s

Background / Notes

In medieval England, there was a ceremony called a perambulation, in which one would walk around, recording one’s property borders in the presence of witnesses. If your land bordered a royal forest, there might be confusion about where the royal forest ended and your land started. By doing this perambulation, one may gain some amount of ownership over disputed forest areas. This regained property was originally called a purlewe, which was later spelled purlieu – it comes from the Anglo-French word purale, which means a perambulation.

Published by Richard

Christian, lover-of-knowledge, Texan, and other things.

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