I got a huge laugh when my brother reminded me last week of  my love for the word "sesquipedalian."  I got a huger laugh when I looked up its roots this morning.

sesqi- means "one and a half," and it’s from the Latin.

-ped- comes from Latin, and it means "a foot." We get pedometer, pedestal, pedestrian, and pedicure from this base.

-alian, from last week’s entry, means "of or characterized by."

So "sesquipedalian" means measuring (characterized by being) a foot and a half;  that’s the first dictionary definition.
[Thanks to the Webster’s New World College Dictionary] I didn’t realize that was it’s first definition!

The laughs come with the second and third definitions: (2) very long; said of words (3) using, or characterized by the use of, long words. Can you just imagine a word a foot-and-a-half long? These days, we use the phrase "$10-dollar words" to describe long words. "Sesquipedalian" is so much more fun, isn’t it?


Word Nerd Challenge of the Week: Can you come up with another English word using sesqui-? Hint: It’s a prefix. Press comment to give me your answer!