Lopadotemachoselachogaleokranioleipsanodrimhypotrimmatosilphioparaomelitokatakechymenokichlepikossyphophattoperisteralektryonoptekephalliokigklopeleiolagoiosiraiobaphetraganopterygon

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Lopado­temacho­selacho­galeo­kranio­leipsano­drim­hypo­trimmato­silphio­parao­melito­katakechy­meno­kichl­epi­kossypho­phatto­perister­alektryon­opte­kephallio­kigklo­peleio­lagoio­siraio­baphe­tragano­pterygon is a fictional dish mentioned in Aristophanes' comedy Assemblywomen.[1]

It is a transliteration of the Ancient Greek word λοπαδο­τεμαχο­σελαχο­γαλεο­κρανιο­λειψανο­δριμ­υπο­τριμματο­σιλφιο­καραβο­μελιτο­κατακεχυ­μενο­κιχλ­επι­κοσσυφο­φαττο­περιστερ­αλεκτρυον­οπτο­κεφαλλιο­κιγκλο­πελειο­λαγῳο­σιραιο­βαφη­τραγανο­πτερύγων. Liddell & Scott (LSJ) translate this as "name of a dish compounded of all kinds of dainties, fish, flesh, fowl, and sauces."[2]

The Greek word has 172 letters and 78 syllables. The transliteration has 182 Latin characters. It is the longest word ever to appear in literature according to Guinness World Records (1990).[3]

Variant forms[edit]

The form of the word quoted here is in fact, the one listed in LSJ (1940) and quoted therein as having been amended by August Meineke;[2] in contrast to this, F.W. Hall and W.M. Geldart's 1907 edition of Aristophanis Comoediae (used in the Assemblywomen story) reads, for example, (differences in bold):
λοπαδοτεμαχοσελαχογαλεοκρανιολειψανοδριμυποτριμματοσιλφιοτυρομελιτοκατακεχυμενοκιχλεπικοσσυφοφαττοπεριστεραλεκτρυονοπτεκεφαλλιοκιγκλοπελειολαγῳοσιραιοβαφητραγανοπτερυγών.[4]

Description[edit]

The dish was a fricassée, with at least 16 sweet and sour ingredients, including the following:[3]

Context[edit]

The term is used in the ultimate chorus of the play when Blepyrus (and the audience) are summoned to the first feast laid on by the new system.

[1167] And you others, let your light steps too keep time.
[1168] Very soon we'll be eating
[1170] lepado­temacho­selacho­galeo­kranio­leipsano­drim­ypo­trimmato­silphio­karabo­melito­katakechy­meno­kichl­epi­kossypho­phatto­perister­alektryon­opte­kephalio­kigklo­peleio­lagoio­siraio­baphe­tragano­pterygon. [sic]
[1175] Come, quickly, seize hold of a plate, snatch up a cup, and let's run to secure a place at table. The rest will have their jaws at work by this time.

— translation ed. Eugene O'Neill, 1938[1]

English translations[edit]

In English prose translation by Leo Strauss (1966), this Greek word is rendered as "oysters-saltfish-skate-sharks'-heads-left-over-vinegar-dressing-laserpitium-leek-with-honey-sauce-thrush-blackbird-pigeon-dove-roast-cock's-brains-wagtail-cushat-hare-stewed-in-new-wine-gristle-of-veal-pullet's-wings".[5]

English verse translation by Benjamin Bickley Rogers (1902) follows the original meter and the original way of composition:

Plattero-filleto-mulleto-turboto-
-Cranio-morselo-pickleo-acido-
-Silphio-honeyo-pouredonthe-topothe-
-Ouzelo-throstleo-cushato-culvero-
-Cutleto-roastingo-marowo-dippero-
-Leveret-syrupu-gibleto-wings.[6]

Older English verse translation by Rev. Rowland Smith (1833) destroys the originally composed word and breaks it in several verses:

All sorts of good cheer;
Limpets, oysters, salt fish,
And a skate too a dish,
Lampreys, with the remains
Of sharp sauce and birds' brains,
With honey so luscious,
Plump blackbirds and thrushes,
Cocks' combs and ring doves,
Which each epicure loves,
Also wood-pigeons blue,
With juicy snipes too,
And to close all, O rare!
The wings of jugged hare!

The translation edited by O'Neill, quoted above, does not translate this word and uses only a transliteration.

See also[edit]

References[edit]