"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Tuesday, 19 May 2009


Humongous / humungous is a (slang?) term meaning of a very large size. Nowadays I find it hard to differentiate between what is slang and what is not. Slang is defined as informal language consisting of words and expressions that are not considered appropriate for formal occasions; often vituperative or vulgar. There is nothing vituperative or vulgar about humungous and it seems to be creeping into our formal language so perhaps it isn't slang. Who decides? The answer, I suppose lies with the compilers of the Oxford English Dictionary. If a word makes it into the OED it can be said to have arrived in the language and no longer be slang. I don't have an up-to-date OED so I'm not sure about humongous.

1 comment:

  1. It may not be vituperative, but it sounds so crass.