“The biggest word you ever heard”

“Rhema currently presents with a limited phonemic repertoire. She currently does not contain a number of age-appropriate sounds within her speech. With sounds Rhema does have in her repertoire, she is inconsistent in their use across word positions.”
~Speech evaluation,  April 2013

Yes, but Hope decided to teach Rhema to say a new word.

The word with eighteen consonants and sixteen vowels of course!


“Oh, that’s nice sweetheart,” said I patronizingly. It is such a challenge for Rhema’s mouth to form even one-syllable words.

But they’ve been working on it for months. And Hope tells anyone who will listen that Rhema is learning how to say the word.

Today I took it all in: Hope making blinders by putting her hands by Rhema’s eyes, breaking down each part, Rhema giving to Hope – responding in a way she does with no one else.

“Say ‘Su’, Rhema!”

“Su… Su.”


They made it up to “Supercal.” Su-su-per-per-cal-cal.

Mary Poppins suggested that it is “something to say when you don’t know what to say.”

I’ve seen definitions of: Extraordinarily good; wonderful.

And great, fantastic, extremely cool; something that surprises and delights you.

*Photo by Kerrie James

*Photo by Kerrie James

Daily I am encouraged and inspired by Hope’s fantastic, unwavering belief in her sister, her tender love, and sweet dedication to all that is Rhema. Watching the two of them, well it’s like the cartoonish reporter in the movie said – ‘there probably aren’t words to describe my emotions.’ The only thing that comes close is… ahhh… you know… the biggest word you ever heard!

My girls, they are that.

Wikipedia defines the root words as follows:

  • super- “above”
  • cali- “beauty”
  • fragilistic- “delicate”
  • expiali- “to atone”
  • docious- “educable”

The sum of the parts roughly means “Atoning for educability through delicate beauty.”

Yes, Hope you’re right. That’s the perfect word.

14 thoughts on ““The biggest word you ever heard”

  1. This is just wonderful! It IS the perfect word and I love your definition!! I can’t wait to share with M. Your fam is such an amazing example to all of us. Thank you for telling your beautiful stories.

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