One of my old hobbies is playing with words. I love all sort of dad jokes, “the longest” words, “the weirdest” words, “foreign words”, homonyms, homophones, palindromes, synonyms, antonyms, metonyms, as well as limericks, haikus, stupid poems, lyrics, word clanging, and so on and so forth. I also used to create my own crosswords, and even wrote a software to generate magic squares. Believe it or not, I got some of this work published…
Now, for the topic of today’s post I decided to look for words that include the same letter at least 6 times and all of these letters must be interleaved with other letters forming ‘real’ words. Things like:
- hohohohoho, or
- banananananana, or
These are rare occurrences, unicorns amongst words, amongst world languages, hence… interesting.
However, the examples I have listed above are quite stupid, because these are not real words, really, even if you can find some ‘definitions’ of them online…
For a more real-world example, let’s look at the word floccinaucinihilipilificate – it includes 7 “i”s in a sequence. Yay! The words divisibilities and indivisibilities as well as dirigibilities are also interesting. So is monogonoporous. So is taramasalata. So is takamarahaga. What about humuhumunukunukuapuaa? Danish word degenereret also comes to the rescue. And Dutch spiegeleieren. And so does Hungarian félrevezetése (ignore accents). And a number of Swahili words: akawatazama, atawatawala, harakaharaka.
I know it’s all a silly game, but these words have one thing in common: they represent the complexity of our world, as seen via linguistical lenses, no matter how shallow…
Today is April Fool’s Day: if there is one lesson we can learn from research like this it is that we really know very little about the world… fooling around helps though, and should be strongly recommended.