Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dictionary Moment: Floccinaucinihilipilification

After looking up "duff," which the Caterpillar found in a fire safety pamphlet, I flipped randomly to the F section of the SOED and found this vaguely related word.  Duff, in the context, means "decaying vegetable matter covering forest ground," but more generally denotes "something worthless."  "Floccinaucinihilipilification" caught my attention by being a very long word (29 letters and four Latin roots), right in the middle of the page.  And it means "the action or habit of estimating as worthless."

It sounds like a bad habit to me.  When you are tempted to dismiss something as duff, consider it carefully.  Do you want to be guilty of floccinaucinihilipilification?  Let us value people as children of God, the world around us as His creation, and the new year before us as full of opportunity.  Not, of course, that everything has equal worth.  When we meet items or habits which are not of worth to us, let us replace them with that which is more edifying. 

Seize the year!


  1. Amen! I totally agree. Thanks for this New Year's boost (and learning a new word today)! :o)

  2. Yes, full of new friends, and opportunity. Great advice Miss ~T~!

  3. Well! What a useful word!
    I can use that almost anywhere and the meaning will be unknown to all except me, you and Corrina Terry! And the likelihood of either of you being in the room when I do so is unlikely.
    There are some ideas, particularly recent ones, fomenting hatered and prejudice around the world, that could be described thus.
    Is there a derived verb?
    Perhaps I could say to someone who is demonising a personm or persons for their beliefs as 'floccinaucinihilipilificating'!
    Then again, maybe I should just say "You're duffing!"
    Here that means stealing one's livestock as in 'rustling' so maybe I need to stick with floccinaucinihilipilificating.

    BTW, After as long career as a musician, I play by muusic, ear, instinct and bluff, but of all those, by ear is the most useful outside a 'serious' orchestra!

    I wish you and your a music filled and safe 2011.