Blog de Cristina

a new language means a new vision of life

Archive for September 22nd, 2008


Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under The English Language
I was 14 ,and staying in England, the first time I heard this word.We were a group of teenagers attending classes from 9.00 to 13.00 and we really needed some funny breaks in-between the sometimes tedious lessons.
So I remember the teacher challenged us to try to give her the longest word we could think of, and I offered the popular ” supercalifragilisticoespialidoso”. Well, I was pretty sure nobody could beat me there but then she said  she had an even longer one.
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch .   
She was at pains to write it and… to pronounce it.
But what is this long  name? What does it stand for?
It is the name of a village on the island of Anglesey  in North Wales ; in fact, it’s  one of the most-photographed  places in North Wales and it has been officially recognised as one of the longest words in the world, but it cannot be considered an authentic Welsh toponym as it was made up in the 1860s  to give the railway station the longest name of any railway station in the UK  to  mainly attract visitors . And this early publicity stunt has worked as thousands of visitors visit this place every year.
By the way, this toponym has a meaning: “The church of St. Mary in the hollow of white hazel trees near the rapid whirlpool by St. Tysilio’s of the red cave”. 
Want to have a go at  pronouncing it?
Now, there is some homework , what do you call the people  living in this tiny picturesque village?
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