“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from Mary Poppins
My elementary-school music teacher introduced me to “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” while we sat on the stage along risers, a heavy velvet curtain behind our backs shielding us from the rope-climbing and ball-tossing in the multipurpose room. It sounded atrocious, and I tried to spell it in my head as we all sang along (most of my fellow students were off-key, but not me, because I was a STAR), and I wondered what it meant. Superfragicaliwha? She led us through the song, while we stumbled and mumbled trying to put all those vowels and consonants together in the right order. It was definitely the biggest word I had ever heard. Superdociousexpicalafragalistic? No, that’s not right. Sigh. I’m pretty sure most of us had no idea it was from the movie Mary Poppins. I know I didn’t; I mostly wanted to see the word written down so I could dissect it. Superexpicalawho? Ugh. And what’s this about the cat getting my tongue? Ow. Then, we got it: SUPERCALIFRAGILISTIEXPIALIDOCIOUS! SUPERCALIFRAGILISTIEXPIALIDOCIOUS! Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Supercalifragilisticexpialidociousssssss!
—Tanya Ballard Brown, Editor, NPR Digital News