In Thomas Love Peacock’s satirical novel Headlong Hall (1816) there appear two high-flown nonce words (one-off coinages) which describe the human body by stringing together adjectives describing its various tissues. The first is based on Greek words, and the second on the Latin equivalents; they are osteosarchaematosplanchnochondroneuromuelous (44 letters) and osseocarnisanguineoviscericartilaginonervomedullary (51 letters), which translate roughly as ‘of bone, flesh, blood, organs, gristle, nerve, and marrow’.

An alternate spelling of the latter is osseocarnisanguinioviscericartilaginonervomedullary.



Filed under coinages, greek derivations, latin derivations

2 responses to “Osseocarnisanguineoviscericartilaginonervomedullary

  1. asd

    This word is big and scary!!:(

  2. katie

    My ten year old just came and said it to me because it has been posted on our refigerator for years!


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