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More vowels than consonants

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1261699.  Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:23 am Reply with quote

Forgive me if you've done this one already but I've been trying, with a colleague, to find the longest word with more vowels in it than consonants.

Sticking with English for now, I've found a 17-letter one (whited below). Anyone think of any better?


Naturally there'll be some arguments about the authority that decides whether words are legitimate or not but what is life without a little debate, eh?

1261702.  Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:44 am Reply with quote

Can I suggest "equipotentialities" (10 vowels, 8 consonants)? I've found it in a book called The Tacit Dimension.

EDIT: Better one - quasihemidemisemiquaver (12 vowels, 11 consonants).

Last edited by GuyBarry on Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:56 am; edited 1 time in total

Alfred E Neuman
1261707.  Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:56 am Reply with quote


1261916.  Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:08 am Reply with quote

Would be highly appropriate but it appears that the correct spelling is (sadly) sesquipedalophobia, with 9 vowels and 9 consonants.

I've searched for a while now and I'm going to throw down the gauntlet by saying that I don't think "quasihemidemisemiquaver" can be beaten. Any advance on 23?

1262005.  Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:43 am Reply with quote

Only if you can make 'quasihemidemisemquaverisation'.

Thanks for you contributions too, knew you guys would come through :)

1262009.  Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:00 am Reply with quote


1262014.  Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:28 am Reply with quote

If there's any way of extending the word, it would be with prefixes rather than suffixes. Half a quaver is a semiquaver; half a semiquaver is a demisemiquaver; half of that is a hemidemisemiquaver; and half of that is either a "quasihemidemisemiquaver" or a "semihemidemisemiquaver".

I looked to see if you could have a "semiquasihemidemisemiquaver" or something like that, but it seems that if you want to continue halving you have to use the second version, and say "demisemihemidemisemiquaver", "hemidemisemihemidemisemiquaver", etc. These all have the same number of vowels as consonants, so don't qualify.

Incidentally, it's the only word where I've ever seen "quasi-" used to mean "half" - it usually means "almost" or "seemingly".

Last edited by GuyBarry on Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:21 am; edited 1 time in total

Alfred E Neuman
1262027.  Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:21 am Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
Would be highly appropriate but it appears that the correct spelling is (sadly) sesquipedalophobia, with 9 vowels and 9 consonants.

Trust me, that's not my spelling :-)

1262044.  Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:37 am Reply with quote

I don't suppose either spelling is actually used much in practice. It's one of those words that only ever seem to turn up in discussions about long words, particularly because it means "a fear of long words".

There's an even longer version of the word that purports to mean the same thing, "hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia", but that was almost certainly coined as a deliberate joke. (Edit: it's 19 consonants and 16 vowels, so not a candidate for current purposes.)

Last edited by GuyBarry on Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:23 am; edited 1 time in total

1262046.  Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:13 am Reply with quote

If we're considering made up words, there's Aequeosalinocalcalinoceraceoaluminosocupreovitriolic , which has 28 vowels and 24 consonants. It was used by Dr. Edward Strother, 1675-1737, to describe the spa waters in Bath/Bristol.

1262047.  Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:18 am Reply with quote

In the Netherlands, the word quasi is synonymous to pseudo, and is used to convey pretense, false, insincere - "his lyrics sound like pseudo/quasi intellectual rubbish"
In Belgium, the Flemish use the word to indicate almost, which is entirely different.

1262051.  Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:35 am Reply with quote

@fwk: You'd have thought I'd have known that one as I live in Bath! Good call.

@'yorz: I think the prefix "quasi-" can have either meaning in English, depending on the context: the COED cites "quasi-scientific" for the first and "quasicrystalline" for the second. But a "quasihemidemisemiquaver" is neither pretending to be a hemidemisemiquaver, nor almost a hemidemisemiquaver.

1262074.  Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:06 am Reply with quote

I'm sure most people living in Bath have not heard of that word :)

Elsewhere on Wikipedia, Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu is a hill in New Zealand and Guinness World Records has listed it as the longest place name in the world. It has 45 vowels, 40 consonants, and it roughly translates to "The summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the slider, climber of mountains, the land-swallower who travelled about, played his nose flute to his loved one".

1262197.  Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:33 am Reply with quote

And the Welsh place comes second to that NZ one:
From a Business Insider article.

It is the longest town name in Europe — and second only to an 85 letter-long place in New Zealand.
The tongue-twisting name actually only has 51 letters in Welsh, as “ch” and “ll” are are considered single letters in the language.

Either way, the name is pretty descriptive — it basically tells you the town’s exact location, standing for Saint Mary’s Church in the hollow of the white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio of the red cave.

1262223.  Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:21 am Reply with quote

Surely you're not telling me that "Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch" has more vowels than consonants? (Does any Welsh place-name have more vowels than consonants? :-))

OK, I know that "w" and "y" are vowels in Welsh, and that "ll" and "ch" are single consonants, but even allowing for that I make it 30 consonants to 21 vowels.

If you count "w" and "y" as consonants, and "ll" and "ch" as two letters each, it's a whopping 45 consonants to 13 vowels!


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