The Longest Italian Word

For all you Italian language enthusiasts out there, I’ve got a special little tidbit today. You’ve already read about my favorite Italian swear words, and you’ve seen my periodic posts about Italian idiomatic expressions, but this is different. It’s part language fun, part trivia, and part tongue-twister.

Ladies and gents, may I present to you the longest word in the Italian language:


I won’t make you count the letters, I’ll just tell you that it’s 26 letters long. 26 letters. That’s the same as if you ran the entire English alphabet together and pretended it was a word. According to an email I got from the fine folks at LearnItalianPod:




It’s derived from the adjective “precipitevole” (in English: precipitous), and it is an adverb that means “as fast as you can”.

And no, I’m not going to write out a pronunciation guide for this one. I’d like to go to bed sometime tonight, and I’m thinking that if I tried to write this out phonetically I’d be here for hours. Instead, try this pronunciation sample on for size – just click the little blue arrow button below:

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