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Floccinaucinihilipilification is the act or habit of esteeming or describing something as worthless, or making something to be worthless by said means.

It is pronounced \\'flš-chE-'nau-chE-ni-'hi-lE-'pi-lE-fI-'ca-shun\\. (Pronunciation Symbols) It may also be pronounced "FLOK-sih-noh-see-NEE-hee-lee-PEE-lih-fih-KAY-shun".

It is the longest non-technical word in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), where it dates back to 1741. The first use the OED gives is from the poet William Shenstone in 1741: "I loved him for nothing so much as his flocci-nauci-nihili-pili-fication of money".

It is said to have been made up by some Eton College students from four words meaning 'nothing' or 'worthless', presented in "a well-known rule from the Eton Latin Grammar", as for example:

In fact, as given in the OED, the word includes four sets of quotation marks and is presented thus:
"Flocci" "nauci" "nihili" "pili" fication

It is often spelled with hyphens, and has even spawned the back formations: floccinaucical ("inconsiderable, trifling") and floccinaucity ("thing of small importance").


[... I] have arrived at a flocci-pauci-nihili-pili-fication of money, and I thank Shenstone for inventing that long word. "Do you think I may be too quick to find fault with things and people, Zippy?"
"Th' 'floccinaucinihilipilification' process."
"Th' what?"
"Floccinaucinihilipilification!! It means 'the estimation of something as valueless'!"
"You've been randomly reading th' dictionary, haven't you?"
"Yes. That and my natural tendency toward antifloccinaucinihilipilification!!"
"I note your distress at my floccinaucinihilipilification of the CTBT" (Helms claims he learned the word from Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan) "But if you -- as a practical matter of estimating the economy, the difference is not great. There's a little bit of floccinaucinihilipilification going on here." "Sharpie darling, you are a floccinaucinihilipilificatrix."
"Is that a compliment?"
"Certainly! Means you're so sharp you spot the slightest flaw."
I kept quiet. It was possible that Zebadiah meant it as a compliment. Just barely- "Maybe I'd better check it in a dictionary."
"By all means, dear-after you are off watch." (I dismissed the matter. Merriam Microfilm was all we had aboard and Aunt Hilda would not find that word in anything less than the O.E.D.)
slams anarchists Murray Bookchiní and Timothy Balash