Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia Definition

What is the Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia definition? Have you ever heard this word? What does it mean anyway? This word is not really a ‘normal’ word. The chances you hear someone pronouncing it in every-day speech are next to zero. So, what is it used for, then? Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is used to describe a fear of long words. That’s right! You may think that this is a joke, but it’s not.


There are many different kinds of fears and each has a name. The same thing is with fear of long words. You see, among all fears known to us, it is not so strange to have a fear from long words. Now, you may ask, “Why would anyone have a fear of long words?” Well, from the same reason why anyone has any other fear.

Like any other phobia, Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is related to trauma. People usually have fears without even knowing why. In most of the cases, fears come from early child hood, but they can also develop later. It all depends on a type of trauma. If your traumatic experience is related to long words (it is possible), you can develop this type of fear. This is not a joke for schoolchildren who hate spelling! This truly is a fear.

Now, couldn’t they find some other, shorter name for this phobia? Well, not really. This is a perfect name. Being so long, this word perfectly explains the very essence of this phobia. There is another shorter word used to describe a fear of long words. It is “sesquipedaliophobia”. Not very short – but more acceptable anyway.

Most people find this phobia a kind of ridiculous. Yes, it really sounds funny and a bit strange, but one cannot be surprised by anything nowadays.

There are kids that simply have aversion to writing and/or reading. This will last until they finally get it and realize how important it can be. However, this is not a fear, but simply an aversion. If your kid hates writing and reading, try to make it fun! Play together and read him his favorite stories. His first words should be related to objects he likes the most. Those can be animals, toys or names of your family members. That way your child will probably start to like writing and reading from the very start. The chances for Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia will be considerably reduced! Do not laugh at what we have just told you! If you think it’s funny, why don’t you try to pronounce it correctly or even better – spell it!

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