As Webster shows, the original meaning was simply "being 18 inches in length". This fact, combined with the word's rhythm and its usual humorous meaning, lends itself well to the limerick form:

There once was a young man named Locke
Who was passably skilled with a wok.
But his once-humble name
Achieved its great fame
For his sesquipedalian cock.

Ses*quip"e*dal (?), Ses`qui*pe*da"li*an (?),a. [Sesqui- + pedal: cf. F. sesquip'edal, L. sesquipedalis.]

Measuring or containing a foot and a half; as, a sesquipedalian pygmy; -- sometimes humorously applied to long words.

<-- 2. having a tendency to use long words. -->

 

© Webster 1913.

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