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Re: What does it mean?

Posted by ESC on September 24, 2001

In Reply to: Re: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious posted by Bob on September 24, 2001

: : : : : : Whats the meaning of the words 'supercalifrajalistic' and 'espialidosious'?

: : : : : It's a song from the musical Mary Poppins. (See below for earlier history.)
: : : :
: : : : : "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"
: : : : : Written by Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman

: : : : : [Mary:] Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
: : : : : Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious.
: : : : : If you say it loud enough, you'll always sound precocious.
: : : : : Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

: : : : : [Pearlies:] Um diddle diddle diddle um diddle ay!
: : : : : Um diddle diddle diddle um diddle ay!

: : : : : [Bert:] Because I was afraid to speak when I was just a lad,
: : : : : My father gave me nose a tweak and told me I was bad.
: : : : : But then one day I learned a word that saved me achin' nose,

: : : : : [Bert and Mary:] The biggest word you ever 'eard and this is how it goes:

: : : : : [All:] Oh, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
: : : : : Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious.
: : : : : If you say it loud enough, you'll always sound precocious.
: : : : : Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

: : : : : [Pearlies:] Um diddle diddle diddle um diddle ay!
: : : : : Um diddle diddle diddle um diddle ay!

: : : : : [Mary:] He travelled all around the world and ev'rywhere he went
: : : : : He'd use his word and all would say, "There goes a clever gent!"

: : : : : [Bert:] When dukes and ma'arajas pass the time of day with me,

: : : : : [Bert and Mary:] I say me special word and then they ask me out to tea.

: : : : : [All:] Oh, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
: : : : : Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious.
: : : : : If you say it loud enough, you'll always sound precocious.
: : : : : Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

: : : : : [Pearlies:] Um diddle diddle diddle um diddle ay!
: : : : : Um diddle diddle diddle um diddle ay!

: : : : : [Mary:] So when the cat has got your tongue, there's no need for dismay,
: : : : : Just summon up this word and then you've got a lot to say.
: : : : : But better use it carefully or it can change your life

: : : : : [Pearlie:] One night I said it to me girl and now me girl's my wife!

: : : : : [All:] She's supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
: : : : : Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
: : : : : Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
: : : : : Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

: : : : From http://www.supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.com/html/super.html
: : : : SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS (34 letters) from the movie Mary Poppins is not the longest word in English, although many people believe it is. In fact pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis is.
: : : : (See www.pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis.com.)

: : : : The word Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is in the Oxford English Dictionary, which has the following as the first four citations:
: : : : 1949 Parker & Young (unpublished song-title) Supercalafajalistickespialadojus.
: : : : 1951 Parker & Young (song-title) Supercalafajalistickespeealadojus; or, The super song.
: : : : 1964 R. M. & R. B; Sherman (song-title) Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
: : : : 1967 Decisions U.S. Courts involving Copyright 1965-66 488 The complaint alleges copyright infringement of plaintiff's song `Supercalafajalistickespeealadojus' by defendants' song 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.' (All variants of this tongue twister will hereinafter be referred to collectively as 'the word'.)

: : : : (The definition says Disney won, "in view of earlier oral uses of the word sworn to in affidavits" and because they wrote the rest of the song themselves.)

: : : Maybe not the longest word but, when it comes to deciding the most bizarre cockney accent ever recorded, Dick Van Dyke's performance still towers above others. Many contenders since, including some recent worthy attempts in Friends and Frasier (including the unique angle of a cockney from Manchester) but none can dethrone the king.

: : : Incidentally, in Frasier even the English actors can't seem to manage English accents. Very odd.

: : : Gary

: : Well, I've noticed that British actors doing American accents don't quite get it. Their American accents are flat, for want of a better word. Which leads me to wonder, do we really sound like that?

: Anthony Hopkins does a great American accent ... a rare talent. And yes, Dick van Dyke's wretched attempt did identify him as coming from the east end... of Danville, Illinois.

But we digress. Vishal e-mailed me asking what the meaning of the word is. I answered that it is a nonsense word. But then I found this: "It means the greatest, the best of all." From the "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).