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View Full Version : HONORIFICABILITUDINITATIBUS means



brian10x
05-07-2007, 07:18 PM
With honour.

We are in the arena of sesquipedalian words — those a foot and a half long, whose prime characteristic is their length rather than their sense or value.
Any word used by James Joyce (in Ulysses) and William Shakespeare (in Love’s Labour Lost) can’t be entirely dismissed from the canon of English, even though the former borrowed it from the latter, who in turn borrowed it from Latin. The only other person who seems to have used it, ever, was John Taylor, a Thames waterman known as the Water Poet, in the middle of the seventeenth century.
Shakespeare’s wondrous creation appears in Act 5, Scene 1:

I marvel thy master hath not eaten thee for a word;
for thou art not so long by the head as
honorificabilitudinitatibus: thou art easier
swallowed than a flap-dragon.

LauraA
05-08-2007, 04:13 AM
That was probably Shakespeare's version of "MY BAD". :p
What's a flap-dragon? Is it related to a henway?