According to Jeff Kacirk’s Forgotten English calendar entry for Saturday and Sunday, January 31 / February 1, 2015, “St. John Bosco. A 19th –century Italian patron of editors, is honored on January 31.
Greek- and Latin-based ‘inkhorn terms’ [esoteric neologiisms] abundantly coined beginning in the 1400s, were so called from their association with an ink container, originally made of horn and carried by scribes. In 1553, scholar Thomas Wilson finished The Arte of Rhetorique, which was intended to help budding poets develop their craft. The book lampooned the unnecessary use of pompous inkhornisms, offering such ridiculous examples of gibberish as, ‘I cannot but celebrate and extoll your magnifical dexterity above all other. For how could you have adepted such illustrate prerogative and dominical superiority if the fecundity of your ingeny had not been so fertile and wonderful pregnant?’
The 27-letter inkhornism ‘honorificabilitudinitatibus’ – a 13-syllable monstrosity unleashed in Thomas Nash’s Lenten Stuff (1599), meaning ‘worthiness of honor’ – was once the longest English word. But in the late 1700s, it was surpassed by the 29-letter abomination ‘floccinaucinihilipilification,’ a noun which deemed something to be worthless. In the late 19th century, ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’ fell one letter short of the record,” but in 1959 “psychoproboscularanalizationist,” an inkhornism meaning “toady” or “bumkisser” was coined and mounted on a desk at the Bureau of Naval Personnel in Arlington, VA, becoming the longest non-scientific word in the English language.