Re: The Longest Word

Kragen Sitaker (
Mon, 25 Oct 1999 01:07:24 -0400 (EDT)

Rohit quotes:
> The longest word to appear in standard English dictionaries is
> pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis. This is the name of a
> lung disease suffered by miners. It first appeared in Webster's New
> International Dictionary and then alter in the second edition of the
> Oxford English Dictionary.

I believe this word is misspelled; I believe the last few syllables are
"coniosis". I'm usually pretty good at remembering spellings of words;
can somebody in possession of the cited dictionaries check? I'd hate
to go to my grave with a misspelling in my memory -- particularly of
such a noteworthy word.

I believe that in North America somewhere is a lake whose name is the
text of a treaty between tribes living on opposite sides. Its meaning
is, if I remember correctly, "You fish on your side, I fish on my
side, and nobody fishes in the middle." The name of the lake,
according to some random AOL web page AltaVista threw at me, is the
43-letter(?) Lake Chargoggagoggmanchaugagoggchauunagungamaugg. It is
currently called Webster Lake.

The story is apocryphal; perhaps it is true, but it seems doubtful.