The longest word in Shakespeare is "honorificabilitudinitatibus." Shakespeare didn't coin the word; by the time he used it, it had become something of a joke, a comment on the aggressive invasion of pompous Latin terms in English. It's an overly complicated, showoffy way to say "the state of being able to achieve honor." Over the course of the 15th and 16th centuries, English had become so infested with these types of words that they merited a bit of mockery. For some, mockery wasn't enough. They wanted to kick Latin out of the language.
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Written by Arika Okrent October 19, 2018
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