Boy, 16, uses 'longest word' in Parliament

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A 16-year-old boy who used a 45-letter word in Parliament has missed out on making a House of Commons record.

Michael Bryan said the word pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis – a lung disease – at a Youth Select Committee meeting on 14 July.

However, as it was not a parliamentary proceeding it will not be officially recorded in Hansard.

MP Jacob Rees-Mogg’s use of 29-letter floccinaucinihilipilification in 2012 remains the longest recorded.

A House of Commons spokeswoman said although Mr Bryan’s use of pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis would not appear in Hansard, it would appear on the British Youth Council website.


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The Oxford English Dictionary said the word was “invented in imitation of very long medical terms”.

‘Raise awareness’

Addressing body image therapist and psychotherapist Liz Ritchie during the meeting, Mr Bryan, from Bournemouth, said: “The 2015 Youth Select Committee report cited children and young people’s mental services as the Cinderella of Cinderella services.

“Regarding the lack of funding and attention do you agree that there should be parity of esteem between mental conditions such as body dysmorphia and physical conditions such as pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.”

Mr Bryan, who starts sixth form in Dorset in September, said he had not tried to break any record by uttering the longest word in the House of Commons, but said he had intended its use might help raise awareness about mental health issues.

“I wanted to show the disparity between mental and physical condition,” he said.

“I set out to raise awareness and even if just one person is inspired I have done my job.”

According to the Oxford English Dictionary it is “an invented long word said to mean a lung disease caused by inhaling very fine ash and sand dust”.

It originated in the 1930s and was “probably” invented by Everett M Smith – the then president of the National Puzzlers’ League, it said.