Did you read the word completely or you just read it like hippozhzhshshzhshshzhsh…

I did this too!

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is the longest word of the dictionary. The word includes 36 letters. And, you will be surprised to know that it actually means the fear of long words.

Earlier it was said that there is nothing like the fear of long words and this phobia is fictional. But later, the American Psychiatric Association said that the phobia of long words is real and actually exists.

There are many people in the world who are suffering from Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia. It is said that whenever they see a long word, they tend to feel anxious or scared. To cope with this, they might skip reading the word which makes them feel panicky.

Strangely Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is also known as Sesquipedalophobia which is another long word.

Before knowing more about the longest word of the dictionary – Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, learn how to pronounce the word in this video.

Origin of the Word Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia can be divided into several parts to know its etymology.

According to the oxford dictionary, Hippopotamine is used to refer to “something very large or big”.

The other word is ‘monstr’ is a Latin word which means, “monstrous being or something that is huge and scary”.

‘Sesquippedalio’ is also a Latin word, Sesquippedali which means ‘measuring a foot and a half long’.

And lastly, Phobia, a Greek word which is originally derived from Phobos, meaning fear or horror.

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia meme

Symptoms of Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia

The fear of long words usually makes the person feel embarrassed about their inability to pronounce the word. Apart from this, the person starts trembling and feels afraid of being mocked or punished.

So here I will tell you other symptoms of Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia:

  • Accelerated heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Breathing uneasily
  • Headache
  • Avoid reading long words
  • Stress

Causes of Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia

There is no absolute cause for Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia: the fear of long words. No one is actually born with this kind of fear rather it is something that people learn from a nasty episode.

It may cause because of certain events which are recorded as dangerous or deadly by some parts of the brain. The body reacts to the words as if the same event is about to happen and they have to face everything all over again.

The mind creates negative images on the sight of long words or even on the thought of it and the body responses in fear to those negative images.

Treatment of Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia

The phobia of long words can be cured with the help of therapists or for the worst case drugs and medicines can also be used. But usually, it is treated by therapies only.


The treatment can be started once the therapists examine the root cause of the Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia. He/she should evaluate the factors of the event that led to the phobia.

The main solution is by slowly exposing the patient to the long words. Maybe make them see the words first, then make them think about it and gradually make them speak the long word.

This process will eventually help the patient to overcome their phobia and feel less panicky. It will free the patients from the fear and anxiety of long words.

Final Words

In the end, I would just like to say that if you did not feel panicked not even for a single time while reading the word Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, then you are not in the radar of this disorder.

But, if you felt something wrong then you need to read the article more thoroughly ask for some help.


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