Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Word

For many ardent movie buffs, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and 1964’s Mary Poppins are inextricably linked. Indeed, it was this film that popularized the word. 

This exceptionally overlong word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious in the movie about the world’s coolest nanny is said to be simply a word used as "something to say when you have nothing to say". 

In any case, the 34-letter word actually appeared in print more than thirty years before Mary Poppins.

The earliest known written record of a variant is for "supercaliflawjalisticexpialidoshus" from an "A-muse-ings" column by Helen Herman in The Syracuse Daily Orange (Syracuse University), March 10, 1931. 

The columnist mused about her made-up word, describing it as including "all words in the category of something wonderful" and "though rather long and tiring before one reaches its conclusion... once you arrive at the end, you have said in one word what it would ordinarily take four paragraphs to explain". 

Additionally, you may use a shortened adjective form, supercalifragilistic, as well as the adverbial supercalifragilistically. These forms don't appear often – but when they do, they mean something along the lines of "wonderful" or "amazing". 

On May 08, 2019, I too had used the word in my post titled “Liverpool’s Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Goals” to describe the 4 times the Reds had scored and which represented their amazing comeback in the semi-final second leg match against Barcelona. Yes, they demolished the La Liga 2018-19 champions 4-0 to qualify for the Champions League final. 

And today, by chance, I found this YouTube clip by a barbershop quartet who are famous for combining harmony with humor called The Newfangled Four. Their members are Jake Tickner, Jackson Niebrugge, Ryan Wisniewski and Joey Buss and here, they performed a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious song on that uplifting word “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. Enjoy!

[Additional Notes: A barbershop quartet is a group of four singers who sing music in the barbershop genre of singing, which uses four-part harmony without accompaniment by instruments, a style called a cappella. 

It consists of a lead, the vocal part which generally carries the tune/melody; a bass, the part which provides the bass line to the melody; a tenor, the part which harmonizes above the lead; and a baritone, the part that completes the chord with the note not being sung by the lead, bass, or tenor singers. The baritone can sing either above or below the lead singer].

Check out their other songs:

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