I usually write in German, and I'm used to using various babel shorthands, e.g. "= for an explicit hyphen that does not keep a word from being hyphenated elsewhere. I've found that while these work for German, they do not do so for English.

Others have had the same problem; I've found this question and answer, but I'm actually using polyglossia rather than babel (though with babelshorthands=true), and as might be expected the solution provided isn't working.

I'm actually not too hung up on most of the shorthands, but "= is extremely useful if you're talking about e. g. the Lotka"=Volterra predator"=prey model or some such thing — more so when the individual component words are longer, say when a person is described as antidisestablishmentarianism"=averse.

So my question is:

  1. Is there a way of enabling babelshorthands for English, in polyglossia?
  2. If there isn't, what's the best way of duplicating the effect of "=, with the least effort required? (No listing all possible hyphenation points for each word with an explicit hyphen, etc.)


1 Answer 1


Answering my own question and digging into Polyglossia's code, the following appears to work:


There may be unintended side effects, but if so I've not observed them yet.

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