I’d like to highlight a John Emerson contribution to this thread; another commenter had complained that Mrs. Byrne’s Dictionary included the “word” zzxjoanw, allegedly a Maori word for ‘drum,’ and John linked to the Wikipedia entry:
Zzxjoanw is a famous fictitious entry which fooled logologists for many years….
Ross Eckler describes the hoax in his 1996 book Making the Alphabet Dance:
“The two-Z barrier was breached many years ago in a specialized dictionary, Rupert Hughes’s The Musical Guide (later, Music-Lovers Encyclopedia), published in various editions between 1905 and 1956. Its final entry, ZZXJOANW (shaw) Maori 1.Drum 2.Fife 3.Conclusion, remained unchallenged for more than seventy years until Philip Cohen pointed out various oddities: the strange pronunciation, the off diversity of meanings (including “conclusion”) and the non-Maori appearance of the word. (Maori uses the fourteen letters AEGHIKMNOPRTUW, and all words end in a vowel). A hoax clearly entered somewhere; no doubt Hughes expected it to be obvious, but he did not take into account the credulity of logologists, sensitized by dictionary-sanctioned outlandish words such as mlechchha and qaraqalpaq.”
I have to admit, I feel the way Hughes no doubt did: who could take such a collection of letters seriously? And as John adds, “The pronunciation given, “shaw” makes it virtually certain that the hoax was a dig at the spelling-reformer and music critic GBS.”