SupercalifragilisticexpialidociouS

Yes, that is the correct spelling of the word. Well, minus the capital ‘s’ at the end, I just added that for symmetry. You all know this from the Mary Poppins movie, duh, and if you don’t, what rock do you live under? I mean. It’s Mary Poppins.

Oh stop, I don’t mean that in a bad way. Maybe your rock is very comfortable, and that is where you like to be. No problems with that. Just sayin’ you must live under one if you haven’t heard of Mary Poppins.

Here are some fun facts about this word that you may not know:

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: is a 34 letter English word

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: was created by Richard M. Sherman and his brother Robert Sherman in two weeks using mostly double-talk.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: definitely has recognizable English morphemes, but does not necessarily follow the rule of English morphology.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: there are five roots defined and separated in this long word.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: the five roots are as follows:

  1. super – “above”
  2. cali – “beauty”
  3. fragilistic – “delicate”
  4. expiali – “to atone”
  5. docious – “educable”

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: means with the sum of its parts something close to “Atoning for educability through delicate beauty”.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: the word is defined differently in the film saying it’s defined as “something to say when you have nothing to say”.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: is spoken backwards during the son by Mary Poppins as she says, “You know, you can say it backwards, which is ‘dociousaliexpilisticfragicalirepus’, but that’s going a bit too far, don’t you think?”

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: spelled backwards is actually “suoicodilaipxecitsiligarfilacrepus”.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: has been studied to find that actually saying it backwards is closer to her pronunciation than the spelling although the stage musical uses the correct and proper reversed word.

So what have you learned about this word that you didn’t know before? I learned a whole crap load to be honest. I didn’t know so much of that. Actually, all of it. I had it spelled mostly right, but missed it toward the end of the word.

“docious” was spelled “doshis” for me, other than that I got it completely right without being told. That’s not too bad I think.

I thought this was a great word, a great song and a great movie. Such brilliant linguistic thought that can be thrown in to different movies without anyone realizing.

Go Linguistics!

6 thoughts on “SupercalifragilisticexpialidociouS

  1. I love reading posts that make me think! I haven’t thought about
    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious since I was a kid, but it’s interesting to revisit. 🙂

    1. Right? It just popped into my head one day. I very much loved being able to say it when I was a kid. The biggest word I could say. I think I just need to learn to say it backwards now 🙂

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