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Some Unusual Words In The English Language

By Yann, published on 14/02/2019 We Love Prof - IN > Languages > ESOL (English) > Our Rating Of The Most Unusual Words In English

With 20% of the planet speaking and learning English, almost everyone will know at least a few words in the language. It is a global language, and according to Babel.com, there are more non-native English language speakers and ESOL learners in the world than there are native English speakers. This is fascinating and shows why it has been adopted as the language for business, work and communications worldwide.

The popularity of English has led to a huge demand for the ESL teacher. Teaching opportunities to teach English language learners and students abroad in ESL programs are plentiful. With the largest requirement for being hired that the English language teacher has completed a Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate program or has some teacher training experience. Native language skills can also get you a job on the spot in many schools abroad. Which is a great teaching and learning environment if you enjoy working in a language school.

Throughout the English speaking world there is slang
The popularity of English has led to a huge demand for the ESL Classes. Photo Source: Unsplash

These English teachers work for ESOL English language programs and ESL classes to support the students to master their listening skills, reading skills, writing skills and most importantly their English Proficiency through speaking skills. Teachers and tutors commonly teach English into English language learners in group learning environments in the school or classroom. Despite how talented the class is, due to the complexities of the English language there will always be a few students who struggle with understanding. This will be especially true for Language students with limited English or basic English skills.

Like all foreign languages, ESL English vocabulary, English grammar, English conjugation, or English expressions have some unusual terms and meanings. When you take a look at them or try to understand them at face value, they look very weird to the ESL Learner or people who speak English as a second language. Often when learning a language, we can take many words. Literally, English has a whole host of words that when you take them literally can be very funny, weird and unusual. Some of these words are not used in conventional communication, but some words and phrases are used very heavily in the language and culture.

Bear in mind, that depending on where you live or visit in the English speaking world, the terminology will change. For example as a native English speaker, even when I go to Australia or the united states, I can hear funny phrases or local English idioms that make little sense to me but are accepted into the local area. These could be categorised as slang, idioms, expressions, words or phrases and while some words are universal throughout the English speaking world, others are native to the geography of the country.

Let’s take a look at Unusual terminology from the United Kingdom (UK)

The Longest Words In The English Language

In all foreign languages of the world, there are extremely short words, for example ‘I’ or ‘a’, but there are also very long words. The average school teacher is working with international students and cross-cultural education programs. Wouldn’t introduce these long and unusual words as they would surely intimidate English students. The best strategic teaching method for students is to ease them into the language slowly with short words, to help them gain basic skills and confidence.

But today we are going to rip the plaster off quickly and introduce you to the longest words that you will see in the English language. Thankfully these words will not be a part of any of your English classes or English language learning as they are not used in common verbal communication nor in reading or writing.

Thankfully these words will not be a part of any of your English classes Categorised as English slang, idioms, expressions, words or phrases. Photo Source: Unsplash

Here Is A Short List Of Very Long Words Found In The English Language.

  • Antidisestablishmentarianism: This is one of the longest words in the Oxford dictionary, it is 28 letters long, and it means To be against a movement of the separation of church and state.
  • Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis: Is a medical word which is 45 letters long and is a type of lung disease.
  • Floccinaucinihilipilification: This word is 29 letters long, and it refers to something that has no value.
  • Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch: is one of the longest words to be found in the UK. It is 58 letters long and is a place in Wales. It is usually abbreviated to Llanfair PG
  • Gorsafawddacha’idraigodanheddogleddollônpenrhynareurdraethceredigion: Is too long to read my eyes give up after the first half. This word is 63 letters long and it the name of a Welsh train station in the United Kingdom. According to Wikipedia in 2007 the name was changed to Golf Halt station. Probably because of all of the delays because of having to say “you have now arrived in Gorsafawddacha’idraigodanheddogleddollônpenrhynareurdraethceredigion and then a few minutes later having to say “you are now leaving Gorsafawddacha’idraigodanheddogleddollônpenrhynareurdraethceredigion”. Shortening the name of train stations is a great strategy to avoid delays.

So the last weird and long words is actually countless letters long and is actually a medical term and a technical word which details the DNA of a virus.

  • Acetyl­seryl­tyrosyl­seryl­isoleucyl­threonyl­seryl­prolyl­seryl­glutaminyl­phenyl­alanyl­valyl­phenyl­alanyl­leucyl­seryl­seryl­valyl­tryptophyl­alanyl­aspartyl­prolyl­isoleucyl­glutamyl­leucyl­leucyl­asparaginyl­valyl­cysteinyl­threonyl­seryl­seryl­leucyl­glycyl­asparaginyl­glutaminyl­phenyl­alanyl­glutaminyl­threonyl­glutaminyl­glutaminyl­alanyl­arginyl­threonyl­threonyl­glutaminyl­valyl­glutaminyl­glutaminyl­phenyl­alanyl­seryl­glutaminyl­valyl­tryptophyl­lysyl­prolyl­phenyl­alanyl­proly­lglutaminyl­seryl­threonyl­valyl­arginyl­phenyl­alanyl­prolyl­glycyl­aspartyl­valyl­tyrosyl­lysyl­valyl­tyrosyl­arginyl­tyrosyl­asparaginyl­alanyl­valyl­leucyl­aspartyl­prolyl­leucyl­isoleucyl­threonyl­alanyl­leucyl­leucyl­glycyl­threonyl­phenyl­alanyl­aspartyl­threonyl­arginyl­asparaginyl­arginyl­isoleucyl­isoleucyl­glutamyl­valyl­glutamyl­asparaginyl­glutaminyl­glutaminyl­seryl­prolyl­threonyl­threonyl­alanyl­glutamyl­threonyl­leucyl­aspartyl­alanyl­threonyl­arginyl­arginyl­valyl­aspartyl­aspartyl­alanyl­threonyl­valyl­alanyl­isoleucyl­arginyl­seryl­alanyl­asparaginyl­isoleucyl­asparaginyl­leucyl­valyl­asparaginyl­glutamyl­leucyl­valyl­arginyl­glycyl­threonyl­glycyl­leucyl­tyrosyl­asparaginyl­glutaminyl­asparaginyl­threonyl­phenyl­alanyl­glutamyl­seryl­methionyl­seryl­glycyl­leucyl­valyl­tryptophyl­threonyl­seryl­alanyl­prolyl­alanyl­serine.

As a native speaker of English even I would require special education or at least some tutoring by a qualified English language teaching master, to learn to read those words. So I hope that brings a smile to your face to know that you are off the hook and especially for nothing else than for the fact that you will never have to learn to say, read or write these monstrous words. If you tried you will likely make lots of mistakes in English.

Unusual English Expressions Words

Whether you speak British, American, Australian or New Zealand English, it’s a safe bet for some words to come together and be untranslatable into your native language. Let’s take a look at some weird English words.

  • Badass: Here we had 2 words that have been put together to mean something new. Bad usually means naughty, and ass is the America word for bottom or behind. Putting them together makes you feel like you might be in trouble, but it is a kind of compliment that means you get things done even when it seems difficult or challenging. “My boss was screaming at me, but I put him in his place without losing my cool” “ wow! You are such a badass, how did you do that?”
  • Kerfuffle: This word is adopted from Scottish and Irish and means what is all of the fuss about or why is it so noisy. “What is the kerfuffle?” It sounds very weird, and I have heard some people use this.
  • Ragamuffin: This is a word from the middle ages, A rag in English is a dirty piece of cloth. So a Ragamuffin is a person wearing dirty clothes. You would use this for scruffy people dressed badly. “Tuck your shirt into your trousers, you look like a ragamuffin” I don’t know if people still say this.
  • Gobbledygook: This word came from the USA and was inspired by the sound a Turkey makes, think about it, gobble gobble. Well, when someone is just talking without making any sense, you can say. “English students who don’t want to learn English and study will sound like they are speaking Gobbledegook when they speak to English ”
  • Gibberish: has the same meaning as gobbledegook and can be used in the same way. “English students who practice their language proficiency can avoid speaking ”

The Longest Words In The English Language are not useful. Unusual English expressions and words can be hard to learn and even harder to understand. Photo Source: Unsplash

Unusual English Expressions

Learning native language idioms and funny expressions can be an excellent way to study. Especially when you feel like you are blocked or need a break from your traditional grammatical English language development. Here are some weird and wonderful British English expressions to bring a smile to your face. Most of these expressions are very much used today, and you may hear a few of them in conversation with a native English speaker.

  1. Bite the Bullet: Meaning to accept difficulties
  2. Break the Ice: Meaning to start a relationship or a conversation
  3. A few sandwiches short of a picnic: It means the person is a bit weird or crazy not always in a bad Your gran could be a few sandwiches short of a picnic and be perfectly lovely.
  4. Budge up: It means “Could you move over please” used on park benches or shared sitting spaces.
  5. Cost a bomb: Means it is expensive
  6. Gobsmacked: This means shocked
  7. Cat got your tongue?: It means you are being quiet or you seem lost for words
  8. Butter someone up: it means you are flattering them to get something
  9. Turn a blind eye: This means to ignore something
  10. Let your hair down: means to relax
  11. Caught red-handed: Means to be found out when doing something wrong.
  12. Give the cold shoulder: is to be unwelcoming to someone.

These are wacky words and expressions, but they are used in the English language regularly. They literarily don’t make much sense, but they have an understandable meaning to English speaking Brits. So if you plan to visit the UK brush up on some of these terms or listen out for them and smile when you do because you now know their meaning. Welcome to the club!

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