I'm trying to understand what this word means: Голубамголовивідкушувальне (heard it on a Toronto Talk Show) and how many syllables it has. It's the longest word I have ever seen. I've looked around for other posts related to syllable counting and did not come across anything relevant. Thank you for your help!


What's this
It seems that this is a closed compound word, which appears to be a neologism, authors of this show came up on the fly.
This kind of words(ukr. - голофрастичне утворення/конструкція) is created by lexicalization of syntactic terms.


Here some examples from the source hereabove(in bold):

  1. …гра називається: Мені-зимно-притулись-до-мене-поміцніше (Л.Дереш);
  2. Незнаюнезнаюнезнаю (Л. Денисенко);
  3. ГосподийдудотебетвояДарцяБорхес (Л. Дереш);

More explanation
Highly unlikely in the real life, though it's still possible, people might just combine words into a one, effectively creating new words, which existence and applicability more likely than not are limited to the context of the ongoing conversation(But this kind of word composition is likely to be encountered in the postmodern fiction books to some degree as outlined above).

This is a case in your scenario.

Break down and meaning

The original word conforms with the characteristics of an adjective.

Let's outline the words, which form Голубамголовивідкушувальне.

Голубам | голови | відкушувальне

There are three words:

  1. Голубам - the word meaning "pigeon" in the dative plural
  2. голови - the word meaning "head" in the genitive singular
  3. відкушувальне - the word meaning "bite off", which undergone word inflection and appears as an adjective in nominative/accusative(the cases are the same for this type of word) singular.

If we were to change the word order to відкушувальне Голубам голови(subject & predicate in the form of adjective + object), the meaning becomes rather apparent - something that bites off pigeon's heads.


In Ukrainian, a number of vowels corresponds to the number of syllables. There are 11 vowels therefore 11 syllables(vowels in bold, the word split into syllables)

гOУАм-гООИІд-кУУА-льнЕ (Source)


This isn't a "real" word. There is an ongoing meme in this show where they come up with adverbs for video pieces by constructing such ridiculous words. First it started with them using normal words (especially "Страшне!") and then the meme developed. In your case, it means that the next video piece will be about "biting off heads from pigeons".

@improbable made a decent breakdown of it, I just want to add that "-льне" at the end is used to indicate that this should be understood as an adverbial participle (not an adjective).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.