The Meaning of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: What It Is and How To Use It

Have you ever been confused by the definition of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious mean?

According to Dictionary and Cambridge Dictionary, the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is a nonsense word that means wonderful or good. This long word was popularised in the Walt Disney movie Mary Poppins starring Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke. While some may say this is a made-up word or not a real word, new words are added to the English language all the time as they gain meaning through popular culture. Some people may argue whether or not it belongs in Scrabble (if they can even spell a word that long!) but overall, the word means wonderful and is one of the longest words in the English language.

While you may not find the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious in other languages, you will find equivalent words for its definition. Below is a list of many ways in which you can describe something as wonderful in other languages. This list of translations is provided by Word Sense

  • Greek: θαυμάσιος‎, εκπληκτικός‎ (masc.), υπέροχος‎ (masc.), έξοχος‎ (masc.), καταπληκτικός‎
  • Turkish: harika‎
  • Chinese – Mandarin: 奇妙‎ (qímiào), 太好了‎ (tài hǎo le)
  • Norwegian: underfull‎
  • Scottish Gaelic: mìorbhaileach‎
  • Nynorsk: vidunderleg‎
  • Ukrainian: вражаючий‎, чудовий‎
  • Interlingua: meraviliose‎
  • Italian: meraviglioso‎
  • Arabic: عَجِيب‎ (masc.)
  • French: merveilleux‎
  • Icelandic: yndislegur‎ (masc.), dásamlegur‎ (masc.), undursamlegur‎ (masc.)
  • Korean: 놀라운‎
  • Danish: vidunderlig‎ (common)
  • Latin: mirabilis‎, mirus‎ (masc.), mira‎ (fem.), mirum‎ (neut.)
  • Dutch: fantastisch‎, heerlijk‎
  • Czech: skvělý‎, báječný‎
  • Spanish: maravilloso‎
  • Old English: wundorlic‎
  • Latvian: brīnišķīgs‎
  • Persian: شگفت‎ (šegaft), شگرف‎ (šegarf)
  • Irish: iontach‎
  • Old Saxon: wundarlik‎
  • Catalan: meravellós‎
  • Polish: cudowny‎, zdumiewający‎, zadziwiający‎
  • Luxembourgish: wonnerbar‎
  • Portuguese: maravilhoso‎ (masc.), maravilhosa‎ (fem.)
  • Russian: замеча́тельный‎, чуде́сный‎, восхити́тельный‎
  • Finnish: hieno‎, mainio‎, loistava‎, ihana‎
  • Serbo-Croatian: čudesan‎ (masc.)
  • Bokmål: vidunderlig‎
  • German: wunderbar‎, wundervoll‎
  • Norman: mangnifique‎ (masc.) (fem.)
  • Belarusian: цудо́ўны‎ (masc.)
  • Dyirbal: mali‎
  • Armenian: հրաշալի‎
  • Esperanto: mirinda‎
  • Japanese: 素晴しい‎ (すばらしい, subarashii)
  • Hungarian: csodálatos‎
  • Swedish: underbar‎

How can the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious be used in a sentence?

While the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is not commonly used in sentences aside from being used for emphasis, it might be used by a child to describe something that is wonderful or amazing when they can’t find a word big enough to describe it. In this example, Tony has just gone on his first roller coaster.

Dad: Well, buddy? What did you think?

Tony: It was… it was…

Dad: Fun? Awesome? Terrifying?

Tony: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Let’s go on it again! That was the best ride I’ve ever been on. Some on, dad. We have to go again!

Here, Tony uses the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious to describe how he felt about the ride. In this next example, Tony’s teacher is passing out the exams she has graded.

Teacher: I am very proud of the work you have all done. Tony, great job – supercalifragilisticexpialidocious even!

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious?

While you may not find the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious in a Thesaurus, there are certainly synonyms for this word. At its core, the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious means wonderful. It is incredibly useful to know synonyms for the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Since it is a made-up word, it is not always appropriate to sue it in professional or formal settings. Additionally, the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is long and difficult to spell. It is useful to know synonyms to expand your vocabulary and to avoid repeating yourself. This list of synonyms for the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is provided by Thesaurus

  • dynamite
  • pleasing
  • fine
  • astounding
  • startling
  • superb
  • outstanding
  • admirable
  • wonderful
  • amazing
  • incredible
  • miraculous
  • strange
  • enjoyable
  • awesome
  • groovy
  • surprising
  • swell
  • stupendous
  • staggering
  • fabulous
  • sensational
  • prime
  • extraordinary
  • peachy
  • phenomenal
  • wondrous
  • tremendous
  • magnificent
  • great
  • divine
  • cool
  • unheard-of
  • too much
  • excellent
  • super
  • astonishing
  • marvelous
  • remarkable
  • brilliant
  • pleasant
  • fantastic
  • terrific
  • something else
  • awe-inspiring

There are also many different words that have the opposite meaning of the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. These are called antonyms. Antonyms are also very useful to know if you wish to expand your vocabulary or knowledge of English grammar. This list of antonyms for the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is also provided by Thesaurus

  • defective
  • cruddy
  • imperfect
  • dreadful
  • sad
  • raunchy
  • bad
  • downer
  • bad news
  • gross
  • lousy
  • rough
  • fallacious
  • careless
  • beastly
  • blah
  • junky
  • substandard
  • unacceptable
  • godawful
  • poor
  • grody
  • amiss
  • off
  • grungy
  • awful
  • cheap
  • dissatisfactory
  • icky
  • not good
  • crummy
  • bottom out
  • poor
  • the pits
  • stinking
  • cheesy
  • erroneous
  • inadequate
  • unsatisfactory
  • slipshod
  • atrocious
  • abominable
  • inferior
  • diddly
  • synthetic
  • crappy
  • deficient
  • incorrect
  • garbage
  • bummer
  • faulty

Where did the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious come from?

According to Merriam-Webster, the first known variant of the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is from a column in the Syracuse Daily Orange from the year 1931. Here, the columnist Helen Herman mused about her made-up word “supercaliflawjalisticexpialidoshus” and described it as something including all words in the category of wonderful. In the year 1949, a song called “Supercalafajalistickespeealadojus” was released. Later, the 1964 film Mary Poppins popularized the word with a song written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, called “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” The 1949 songwriters even filed a suit against the Sherman brothers for copyright infringement, which was later dropped in Sherman’s favor. In the film Mary Poppins, the word was used as a word to say when you have nothing to say. People have also begun to use the adjective form supercalifragilistic and the adverb form supercalifragilistically, though these are less common.  These often mean wonderful or amazing. Overall, while the term was invented in the 1930s, the film Mary Poppins brought it into the common vernacular. 

Overall, the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is a word that is often used to describe something as wonderful or amazing. This word was popularized by the 1964 children’s film Mary Poppins, though variations on the term date back to the 1930s. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/wonderful
  2. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/bad
  3. https://www.wordsense.eu/wonderful/
  4. https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/origin-supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
  5. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
  6. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/supercalifragilisticexpialidocious