Rhopalic sentences are sentences which have words whose length is one more than the previous word. eg:

  • I do not hunt birds.

  • I do not know where family doctors acquired illegibly perplexing handwriting; nevertheless, extraordinary pharmaceutical intellectuality, counterbalancing indecipherability, transcendentalizes intercommunication's incomprehensibleness.

These sentences begin with I whose length is 1. The next word is of 2 letters, and so on.

Your challenge is to create a rhopalic sentence which has at-least 5 words, and begins with a word which is as long as possible. eg:

  • Yes, they drink orange extract.

(This was the best I could think of.)

  • Proper nouns are not allowed.
  • The words should be listed on dictionary.com
  • The sentence should make sense.
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    $\begingroup$ 's are not counted. Any piece of punctuation is not counted. So don't is of 4 letters. $\endgroup$ – dryairship Jun 5 '16 at 13:04
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    $\begingroup$ Unless you define precisely what you mean by "make sense", I'm voting to close as unclear what you're asking. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Jun 5 '16 at 15:58
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    $\begingroup$ "Counterbalancing indecipherability transcendentalizes intercommunication's incomprehensibleness." starts at 16 :) $\endgroup$ – chepner Jun 5 '16 at 22:49
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    $\begingroup$ And grammatically correct too. $\endgroup$ – dryairship Jun 6 '16 at 12:48
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    $\begingroup$ Not enough rep to answer, but here's an alliterative one: Self-satisfied superciliously, sesquipedalians superspecialized subclassification. $\endgroup$ – Quinn Culver Jun 6 '16 at 15:26

13 Answers 13


7 words, starting at 14 letters, ending at 20:

Anticapitalist circumnavigator underrepresented unsophisticatedly noninterventionist greatgranddaughters, uncharacteristically.

You’d have thought this old left-winger would be supportive of his descendants’ views — but apparently not.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This could be 6 words starting at 15 letters. I'm not sure which is better for the challenge. $\endgroup$ – user21939 Jun 6 '16 at 14:49
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    $\begingroup$ @dan1111: right, I wondered about that too. The OP phrased the headline as “beginning with as long a word as possible”, so taking that literally, the 16–20 version would be better than the 15–20 one. But I feel it would be more natural to say that the longest word (i.e. the last word) is the main criterion, and then the starting point should be a tie-breaker when the longest words are equal, with longer sentences being better. So (describing sentences by their first and last word lengths) I’d rank 14–19 < 15–20 < 14–20 < 17–21, and I gave the version of mine that I think is best :-) $\endgroup$ – Peter LeFanu Lumsdaine Jun 6 '16 at 15:14

Starting at 11 characters going to 19:

"Dreadnought increasingly misrepresents battlecruiser's transformations," overapprehensive commanders-in-chief unenthusiastically counterdemonstrate.

  • $\begingroup$ misrepresent has only 12 characters and not the needed 13 $\endgroup$ – Frozn Jun 5 '16 at 16:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Frozn Oops, I thought I counted 13 there. Fixed it anyways. $\endgroup$ – SMS von der Tann Jun 5 '16 at 16:38

Starter for 8

Brothers embracing solidarity demonstrate sectarianism

  • $\begingroup$ Solidarity means unity/harmony... Sectarianism is hatred. How can brothers who embrace solidarity demonstrate sectarianism? $\endgroup$ – dryairship Jun 5 '16 at 13:10
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    $\begingroup$ Solidarity (which is not specifically harmony) with each other, sectarianism (which is not specifically hatred) against others. Real-world solidarity often involves opposition to some other group, in fact. But this is a puzzle site, not a political one :-) $\endgroup$ – Joffan Jun 5 '16 at 13:20

How about 7 characters:

Finally somebody destroyed ridiculous helicopters.


And how about 10 characters:

Cappuccino plantations declassified extraordinary specifications.

And now even 11 characters:

Permanently accomplished extraordinary underestimated generalizations!



Congregationalist's counterintelligence uncharacteristically electroencephalograms counterrevolutionaries

could this be classified as torture?

the challenge seems to be to download the largest word list and sort it by length....

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Very nice, but if we’re being persnickety about following dictionary.com, electroencephalogram is only listed there as a noun, not a verb as you use here. $\endgroup$ – Peter LeFanu Lumsdaine Jun 6 '16 at 13:51

My contribution:

Rhopalic disasters calculably deemphasize predicaments.


5 words, starts with 5 letters:

Learn pieces without advanced polyphony.


Here's a long one:

Everyone excitedly overthrows liquidizing puzzleheaded aerodynamic anagrammatical overcapitalized hyperventilating neuropathological electrophysiologic comprehensivenesses

Starts at 8, goes up to 19. Total of 12 words.


Starting at 18 letters in the first word, and has 5 words, ultimately ending at 22 letters in the last word.

Disenfranchisement electromagnetically overenthusiastically clinicopathologically countercountermeasures.

This one is the highest as of now. (that is grammatically correct)

For countermeasures, technically countermeasures and measures are correct as verbs so countercountermeasures should be correct.

  • $\begingroup$ countercountermeasures can't be assumed, in my opinion. Words like greatgrandfather and demisemiquaver illustrate the preference to use prefix variations in these sort of built-up words. However the internet is on your side, although it also supports my own preferred anticountermeasures. I don't think either word gets enough "air time" to have the real weight of English-speaking opinion make a final judgement. $\endgroup$ – Joffan Jun 7 '16 at 19:11

5 words starting with 18 letters

Paleoclimatologies characterologically, overenthusiastically, overintellectualizes contemporaneousnesses.

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    $\begingroup$ See... that's why I asked if it should be a grammatically correct sentence. (noun/verb agreement) $\endgroup$ – Chowzen Jun 6 '16 at 12:42
  • $\begingroup$ Chowzen is not an English teacher. $\endgroup$ – Chowzen Jun 6 '16 at 12:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Chowzen What do you mean by that? $\endgroup$ – haykam Jun 13 '16 at 19:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Peanut I was just saying that "Paleoclimatologies" is plural, therefore the verb would be "overintellectualize," not "overintellectualizes." $\endgroup$ – Chowzen Jun 14 '16 at 0:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Chowzen, I meant "Chowzen is not an English teacher." $\endgroup$ – haykam Jun 14 '16 at 1:17

Abdominohysterectomy counterdemonstrations spectrophotometrically photoheterotrophically paraskevidekatriaphobias.

20 letters in the first word, with five words in total, going up to 24 letters in the last word.

  • $\begingroup$ What's the verb in this sentence? $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain Jun 13 '16 at 17:05
  • $\begingroup$ "paraskevidekatriaphobias" $\endgroup$ – haykam Jun 13 '16 at 19:44
  • $\begingroup$ Every reference I've found to "paraskevidekatriaphobia(s)" says it's a noun, not a verb. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain Jun 13 '16 at 19:50
  • $\begingroup$ Even if it were a verb, it doesn't agree with the subject. It would have to be "counterdemonstrations ... paraskevidekatriaphobia" or "counterdemonstraion ... paraskevidekatriaphobias". $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain Jun 15 '16 at 16:56

Start with 2 letters, 6 words. (I fixed it.)

No one will treat lemons sweetly.

Start with 6 letters, 4 words.

WARNING: Contents Extremely Precarious

Okay, is this acceptable? 3 letters, 5 words.

The café never serves samples.

And another one! (3 letters, 5 words.)

Can this dream become reality?

  • $\begingroup$ Both are unacceptable. The first one uses a proper noun and the second one is only of 4 words. Nevertheless, good try. $\endgroup$ – dryairship Jun 8 '16 at 11:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Hackerdarshi I'm really young and I tried my best. $\endgroup$ – Xxoplechic Jun 8 '16 at 11:46

Here are some ones that are not as long as others, but still would count.

  • This one starts with 8 letters, has 9 words total, ends in a 16 letter word, and is alliteration all the way through:

Actually, abandoned abacterial abiological ablutophobes accommodating accompaniments adrenalectomize acousticophobics.

  • Another one sharing most words with the previous rhopalic sentence that starts with 9 letters, has 8 words, and ends in a 15 letter word:

Yesterday abacterial abiological ablutophobes accommodating accompaniments adrenalectomize acousticophobics.

  • Here's another derviration of the first rhopalic sentence that actually mentions rhopalic sentences itself. Starts with 8 letters and has 9 words total, ending in a 16 letter word.

Rhopalic sentences abbreviate abiological ablutophobes accommodating accompaniments adrenalectomize acousticophobics.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ alliteration tornado $\endgroup$ – Xxoplechic Jul 19 '16 at 20:27

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