It’s one of the longest and probably one of the most famous words in the English language, but where did supercalifragilisticexpialidocious come from?

A nonsense word, it was popularised when it appeared in a song in the musical Mary Poppins. Songwriter Robert B. Sherman explained its origins:

“We used to make up the big double-talk words, we could make a big obnoxious word up for the kids and that’s where it started. ‘Obnoxious’ is an ugly word so we said ‘atrocious’, that’s very British,” he explained. “We started with ‘atrocious’ and then you can sound smart and be precocious. We had ‘precocious’ and ‘atrocious’ and we wanted something super-colossal and that’s corny, so we took ‘super’ and did double-talk to get ‘califragilistic’ which means nothing, it just came out that way,” and that “in a nutshell what we did over two weeks.” Simple. (Source: Contact Music)

Simple indeed!