word for using big words?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by maryp3177, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. maryp3177 New Member

    English, US
    What's an adjective for someone that uses $10 words when a 50 cent word will do nicely? I'm trying to describe how in academic articles on political theory that there are so many big words that the meaning and purpose of the article gets lost.
     
  2. TrentinaNE Senior Member

    USA
    English (American)
    Pretentious?
     
  3. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    A compulsive polysyllabricator?
    .
    .
     
  4. Porteño Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    British English
    What about pedantic?
     
  5. doodlebugger Senior Member

    France
  6. Vanda

    Vanda Moderesa de Beagá

    Belo Horizonte, BRASIL
    Português/ Brasil
    sesquipedalian, adjective:
    1. Given to or characterized by the use of long words.
    2. Long and ponderous; having many syllables.



    Oops, post crossing! :)
     
  7. la reine victoria Senior Member

    Doodlebugger and Vanda :)

    I think this is a wonderful word (which I admit to never having heard of) and one which I shall add to my vocabulary.

    (My late, dear old father, whenever I used a long word, used to say, "Where did you find that word? Hanging on the bathroom door? :D )

    He would have had a lot to say about your offering. :)





    Thanks,
    LRV
     
  8. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Ah yes-- that's the standard. Couldn't think of it, so I coined something.
    .
    .
     
  9. mgarizona

    mgarizona Senior Member

    Phoenix, AZ
    US - American English
    Nice to see 'sesquipedalian' getting so much respect. I suggested it in a similar thread a few months back and it attracted no attention. A great word for which we have Horace to thank.
     
  10. EditAmerica New Member

    U.S.A.
    English, U.S.A.
    Hyperarticulate:
    \hi-per-ar-TIC-you-lit \
     
  11. loladamore

    loladamore Senior Member

    Zacatecas, México
    English UK
    I don't use big words. I'm hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobic.
     
  12. french4beth

    french4beth Senior Member

    Connecticut
    US-English
    Hi Mary & welcome to the forums!

    There's also pleonastic but this is the use of more words than necessary (not necessarily the size of the words).

    Also: ostentatious.

    Don't know why, but sesquipedalian sounds like some kind of early primate...
     
  13. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    :D :) ... and a very big welcome to maryp3177 :) :D
     
  14. loladamore

    loladamore Senior Member

    Zacatecas, México
    English UK
    Sorry for not noticing that this was your first post (fortunately french4beth and panjandrum did!). Welcome!

    Academics often write in purple prose, or at least have the occasional purple passage in their articles.
     
  15. loladamore

    loladamore Senior Member

    Zacatecas, México
    English UK
    How many feet would it have? Bi-, tri-.... sesqui. Or would sesqui refer to the kind of legs or feet? :confused:
     
  16. la reine victoria Senior Member

    Yes, Mary, welcome to the forums.! :)

    An excellent first post if I may say so.





    Kind regards,
    LRV
     
  17. "sesquipedalian"... I did not know that word either, and it is a beauty! Excellent, excellent...
     
  18. rsweet

    rsweet Senior Member

    English, North America
    I found a few to add.

    macroverbumsciolist
    1) a person who is ignorant of large words
    2) a person who pretends to know a word, then secretly refers to a dictionary

    grandiloquent
    pompous or extravagant in language, style, or manner, esp. in a way that is intended to impress

    fustian
    pompous or pretentious speech or writing

    LRV, when I was younger and used a big word, my dad used to say, "You do and you'll clean it up!":rolleyes:
     
  19. la reine victoria Senior Member




    Almost certainly the kind of feet, Lola. Really, really long ones which allowed it to ski across snowy wastes as the first ice age approached. :cool:





    LRV
     
  20. loladamore

    loladamore Senior Member

    Zacatecas, México
    English UK
    Another couple of lovely words:

    bombastic - grandiose but with little meaning, ostentatiously lofty in style
    turgid - (of language or style) tediously pompous or bombastic.


    Edit: I love your explanation of sesqui, LRV!
     
  21. mgarizona

    mgarizona Senior Member

    Phoenix, AZ
    US - American English
    Horace's phrase was verba sesquipedalia which would mean "words a foot and a half long'

    Like 'sesquicentennial' means the 150th anniversary.
     
  22. maxiogee Senior Member

    imithe
    Yes, it refers to the beast's ability to move its manifold feet sequentially ;)
    When you've got 20+ it takes some concentration to get the rhythm right, I imagine.
     
  23. la reine victoria Senior Member






    Millipedes seem to do it well :D (she said, continuing to go off topic). ;)

    "This year is the sesquicentennial of my stone-built cottage", she added (truthfully) to get back on topic. :p





    LRV
     
  24. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Prolix is a good word, but it refers to the quantity of words and their obfuscatory characteristics rather than their length.
     
  25. Porteño Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    British English
    What a great selection of words, especially that sesqui... thing! I'd never remember how to write it.
     
  26. loladamore

    loladamore Senior Member

    Zacatecas, México
    English UK
    Obfuscatory is a good word, too: very good indeed!
     
  27. cochabamba

    cochabamba Senior Member

    La Paz, Bolivia
    Cochabamba - Bolivia
    I agree with "grandiloquent", seems accurate to me.
     
  28. scotu Senior Member

    Paradise: LaX.Nay.Mex.
    Chicago English
    Is there an English word for "big words"
    ....and a word for someone who chooses a big word when they could just as eaisly use a simple word.

    thanks for your suggestions, scotu
     
  29. KHS

    KHS Senior Member

    Some possibilities:

    complex word, multisyllabic word, difficult word, obfuscatory ;) word

    Karen
     
  30. setantaclaus Junior Member

    English, Ireland
    In one sense, polysyllabic words are big or long words, although I think that you're looking for another sense, perhaps something along the lines of highfalutin or verbose language or speech.

    You could call somebody who uses such speech pompous or a pedant and maybe a logophile, although that's somebody who loves all words, not just big ones.
     
  31. Yet Another Jefe Banned

    US - English
    One who chooses to use them might be termed sesquipedalian.
     
  32. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    The standard BE expression is long words - complicated, latinate, difficult: all these things are suggested by the adjective long.
     
  33. scotu Senior Member

    Paradise: LaX.Nay.Mex.
    Chicago English
    Thank you all for the suggestions.

    Jefe, I like your word so much I'm going to use it in my signature. Thanks.

    edit: and it lead me to another interesting word: hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia = Fear of big words
     
  34. SwissPete

    SwissPete Senior Member

    94044 USA
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    I thought it was hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia :eek: .
     
  35. scotu Senior Member

    Paradise: LaX.Nay.Mex.
    Chicago English
    wikidictionary suggests that hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is a deliberate mispelling just to make the word longer.
     
  36. SwissPete

    SwissPete Senior Member

    94044 USA
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    :cool:
     
  37. Dad1 New Member

    uk english
    verbiage is an option
     
  38. nzfauna

    nzfauna Senior Member

    Wellington, New Zealand
    New Zealand, English
    "Verbose" might work?
     
  39. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    Verbose means to use more words than are necessary to describe a concept that can be expressed with fewer words or in less space or less time, particularly when the concept can be expressed more simply.

    As an example, see the preceding sentence. Verbose doesn't have anything to do with using big words.

    In view of some of the words offered on this thread, I wonder if anybody could use them without being guilty of that which they are describing.
     
  40. Porteño Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    British English
    I don't think so. Verbose applies to using more words than necessary and has nothing to to do specifically with long words.:)
     
  41. nzfauna

    nzfauna Senior Member

    Wellington, New Zealand
    New Zealand, English
    Yeah, I knew that :) I thought it might be good to describe the overall phenomenon of the piece of writing. Just an idea. I should have explained myself:)
     
  42. Redfox007 New Member

    English
    [h=1]polysyllabricator[/h] The word you've entered isn't in the dictionary. Click on a spelling suggestion below or try again using the search bar above.
     
  43. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    Yes, but sesquipedalian is in the dictionary. :) (I think polysyllabricator was an invention of Foxfirebrand's.)
     
  44. farhad_persona

    farhad_persona Senior Member

    Farsi
    -He likes using big/fancy words.
    -high-flown rhetoric
    -stilted style of writing
     

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