Word Trivia

Word Trivia

“Stewardesses” and “reverberated” are the two longest (and commonly used) words (12 letters each) that can be typed with only the left hand.

“lollipop” is the longest word typed with your right hand.

The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.

No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.

“Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt”.

The sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” uses every letter of the alphabet.

The words ‘racecar,’ ‘kayak’ and ‘level’ are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes).

There are only four words in the English language which end in “dous”: tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: “abstemious” and “facetious.” (a e i o u)

Typewriter is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.

A “jiffy” is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.

The only city whose name can be spelled completely with vowels is Aiea, Hawaii.

82 Responses to Word Trivia

  1. Avatar
    Deborah Raney May 11, 2012 at 6:13 am #

    YOU SAID: There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: “abstemious” and “facetious.” (a e i o u)

    Make them “abstemiously” and “facetiously” and you’ve got the old-school vowels. a e i o u and sometimes y. : )

    This was a fun post for word-lovers!

    • Avatar
      Jeanne May 11, 2012 at 6:34 am #

      I’m impressed! I’m still reeling with all the word trivia! 🙂

    • Avatar
      Dylan May 18, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

      ^ Nicely done

    • Avatar
      Bryan May 22, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

      Kool.

    • Avatar
      saurav samal May 28, 2012 at 12:07 am #

      education is also a word.. isnt it.

      • Avatar
        Budly May 24, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

        The five vowels in “education” are not in alphabetical order.

  2. Avatar
    Jeanne May 11, 2012 at 6:36 am #

    What a fun post. I’ve been to Aiea, Hawaii. I love palindromes. When I used to substitute teach, I made a game of having students think of as many palindromes as they could.

  3. Avatar
    Sally Bradley May 11, 2012 at 8:16 am #

    Nothing rhymes with Gagne, either. Thank you, SportsCenter commercials, for that bit of trivia. 🙂

  4. Avatar
    JennyM May 11, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    This was fun! But, dude, like, what’s a typewriter?
    😉

  5. Avatar
    Anita Mae May 11, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    I love this post!

    I look for palindromes in the serial numbers of paper money. Numismatists refer to these bills as “radar notes”.

    I’m shaking my head that “humongous” wasn’t listed as one of the official “ous” words. It’s even listed on my Dictionary.com iphone app. When will the academic world wake up? (*wink)

    • Avatar
      Danielle May 16, 2012 at 11:10 am #

      That’s probably because it’s words that end in “Dous” not “Ous”.

      • Avatar
        Anita Mae May 17, 2012 at 6:21 am #

        LOL Yup, you caught me sleeping. Thanks. 🙂

    • Avatar
      cam May 20, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

      dous* not ous 🙂

  6. Avatar
    Peter DeHaan May 11, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    “The quick brown fox…” gave me flashbacks to high school typing class — which wasn’t so fun — but the rest of the trivia does indeed qualify as “fun.”

    Thank you — and happy Friday!

  7. Avatar
    Nicole Butler May 14, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    “No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple”

    Curple rhymes with purple. It’s a word used regularly in equestrian circles, it’s a strap under the girth of a horse’s saddle to stop it from slipping forward, some riders also use it to refer to the hindquarters or the rump of a horse.

    • Avatar
      Matthew Walker May 21, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

      I have to dispute that it is ‘regularly’ used. I rode for 10+ years growing up, and competed in national level equestrian events, without ever hearing that word.

      • Avatar
        Deb May 23, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

        Ditto. I rode, competed and had friends who did the same and I have never heard the word “curple”. I did google it and its defined almost word for word as you put it- I also don’t know that I’ve ever seen any strap that was under the girth. The only thing that comes to mind is possibly a rear cinch?

  8. Avatar
    Mick May 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    The only noun in the English language that ends in “ic” is chiropractic.

    Actually I have no idea if that’s true. But I can’t think of any others!

    • Avatar
      Frank Martin May 14, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

      A mystic: n. – One given to mysticism; one who holds mystical views, interpretations, etc.; especially, in ecclesiastical history, one who professed mysticism.

      Magnetic: n. – Any metal, as iron, nickel, cobalt, etc., which may receive, by any means, the properties of the loadstone, and which then, when suspended, fixes itself in the direction of a magnetic meridian

      • Avatar
        Mick May 14, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

        Yeah but those words suck.

        • Avatar
          Mark March 16, 2016 at 12:46 pm #

          Well then you’re just a cynic.

    • Avatar
      Steve May 17, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

      picnic
      comic

    • Avatar
      Flo May 17, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

      epic and topic -also

    • Avatar
      Joshua May 19, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

      transgenic, scenic, pathetic, telepathic, ceramic, apologetic, semantic, pedantic, epileptic, septic, hectic, automatic, somatic, democratic, republic, skeptic, pessimistic, optimistic, simplistic, sarcastic, spastic, politic, comic, polemic, stoic, magic, tragic

      That’s all I can think of, you could probably find more in the dictionary or online.

      • Avatar
        charlie May 23, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

        He said nouns.
        He’s still wrong, but not THAT wrong.

    • Avatar
      Meherr May 20, 2012 at 4:58 am #

      I think ‘critic’ is also there.

    • Avatar
      tixximmi May 21, 2012 at 9:58 am #

      Democratic, Systematic and Tic Tac.

    • Avatar
      Vik May 22, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

      therapeutic…
      psychic

      … seriously? that’s all you could think of?
      pathetIC.

      🙂

  9. Avatar
    Frank Martin May 14, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    1. There are more than four words that end in dous:

    phyllocladous – Adj. – Having phylloclades.

    jeopardous – Adj: perilous; dangerous; hazardous; risky.

    2. Another word with vowels in order: arsenious

    3. Other ten letter words using one row: pepperroot, pepperwort, perpetuity, pewterwort, pirouetter, prerequire, pretorture, proprietor, repertoire, repetitory, tetterwort

    • Avatar
      Mick May 14, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

      You left out extrapidous – Adj. – Having the propensity to make up fake words in an effort to look smart.

      • Avatar
        charlie May 23, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

        Most of those words aren’t worthy of any skepticism. Either way, I don’t think that poster is implying that he thought of the words. I’m sure he used a search engine.

  10. Avatar
    Kalei May 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

    How funny, I go to Aiea all the time and that never occurred to me. I think my other favorite town name here would be Ka’a’awa. (kah-ah-ah-vah)

  11. Avatar
    Libby May 15, 2012 at 11:14 pm #

    My favorite word to type is “pleasing”, because it uses all eight fingers exactly once. In fact, I often find myself tapping out the pattern of that word on tables and desks as though they were keyboards. pleasingpleasingpleasingpleasingpleasing. 🙂

  12. Avatar
    Jon May 16, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    All non-binary acids that include compounds ending in “ite” end in “ous”.

  13. Avatar
    Paul May 17, 2012 at 4:30 am #

    You state there are only four words ending with “dous”. You are incorrect. One more I can think of off the top is stupendous.

    • Avatar
      Joel May 17, 2012 at 5:23 am #

      Stupendous is in there already…

  14. Avatar
    Anne May 17, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    @Mick – you are very funny! Thanks for the laugh

  15. Avatar
    Pyncky May 17, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    Sporange rhymes with orange: In botany, the case or sac in plants in which the spores, which are equivalent to the seeds of flowering plants, are produced or carried. Also sporangium.

  16. Avatar
    Duncan May 18, 2012 at 1:56 am #

    A sentence that uses all of the letters of the alphabet that is slightly shorter than ‘the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog’ is ‘jackdaws love my big sphinx of quartz’

  17. Avatar
    Jerramy May 18, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    apodous
    hazardous
    horrendous
    iodous
    iridous
    jeopardous
    macropodous
    molybdous
    palladous
    phyllocladous
    podous
    stupendous
    tremendous
    vanadous

  18. Avatar
    Taylor May 18, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    A jiffy is not 1/100 of a second, no matter who you talk to. In physics it’s 3e-24 seconds (or, in one proposal, the Planck time or 5.4e-44 seconds); in computer science it’s one tick of a system timer interrupt, which is variable, but on Linux machines tends to be about .004 seconds; in alternating current a jiffy is the time between AC power cycles, and again it is variable, but it tends to be about 1/60 or 1/50 of a second, and the “original” definition of a jiffy (as in, the first time someone tried to give it a formal definition, rather than just “a short amount of time”) was 3.33564e-11 seconds.

  19. Avatar
    Francis Torchio May 19, 2012 at 2:49 am #

    Two additional palindromes are radar and madam.

  20. Avatar
    tar May 19, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

    One more palindrome: detartrated.

    • Avatar
      Budly May 24, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

      That’s longer than the single word palindrome that I previously believed was the longest, “redivider.”

  21. Avatar
    J May 21, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    1. The duration of one tick of the computer’s system clock. Often one AC cycle time (1/60 second in the US and Canada, 1/50 most other places), but more recently 1/100 sec has become common.

    Author and critic are correct.

  22. Avatar
    JZ May 21, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    Great trivia! Strange can rhyme with Orange.

  23. Avatar
    Aidy May 21, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    That’s pretty neat!

  24. Avatar
    PJ May 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    “Bookkeeper” is the only word that contains three sets of double letters in a row.

    • Avatar
      Em May 26, 2012 at 9:38 am #

      …and bookkeeping 🙂

  25. Avatar
    Mariana May 21, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    Silver and river

  26. Avatar
    Kim May 22, 2012 at 2:36 am #

    “taxiing” and “skiing” are the only 2 words in the English language with a double i
    (as far as I know)
    excellent post, I loved it

    • Avatar
      Budly May 24, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

      What about Hawaii?

      Are “vacuum” and its derivatives the only words with a double u?

      • Avatar
        Stuart September 7, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

        There are a number of words valid in North American English Scrabble that contain the pair “uu” and are not one of the derivative words of vacuum. The number increases in World English Scrabble. Four of these other words are muumuu, duumvir, continuum, and menstruum.

    • Avatar
      Stuart September 7, 2015 at 6:04 pm #

      There are over 50 such words that have a double-i [ii] in the word and are recognized in American English. In International English that total is near double. Some of the more common words (other than taxiing, skiing, and derivatives) are radii, alibiing, and shanghaiing.

  27. Avatar
    Edmund A Buley May 22, 2012 at 2:59 am #

    After reading the
    the sentence, you are
    now aware that the
    the human brain
    often does not
    inform you that the
    the word “the”
    has been repeated twice
    every time

  28. Avatar
    Edmund A Buley May 22, 2012 at 3:11 am #

    SHORT CUTS: I is the shortest word in the English language and that is because it is used the most. “I” is also the meaning of life because life has no meaning, without you in it. The sentence; “I is the meaning of life” translates into “I am the meaning of life”. Life doesn’t come with a meaning, I will have to add that to it myself.

  29. Avatar
    Ali May 22, 2012 at 4:12 am #

    Fun post! I love trivia like this, makes you think!

  30. Avatar
    Liz Brooks JD IBCLC FILCA May 22, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    In my line of work it is an oft-used word … and it is twelve letters typed only with the left hand: breastfeeder

  31. Avatar
    Journey of Life May 22, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

    Love this. Now I know …

  32. Avatar
    oryx May 24, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    wondrous is in the oxford dictionary..

  33. Avatar
    Giggles May 25, 2012 at 12:55 am #

    River does not rhyme perfectly with Silver. It’s a pararhyme, or half rhyme. Same with Strange and Orange. It’s to do with vowels and syllables and the way they sound.

  34. Avatar
    Mantri May 25, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    I think treating the word ‘reverberated’ as left-handed word is 100% correct. In general bottom line left handed are ZXCV only and B as right handed on qwerty key board. A great TRIVIA!

  35. Avatar
    Izolda May 25, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    Actually, Oia, (on the island of Santorini in Greece) can also be spelled only in vowels.

  36. Avatar
    Will May 25, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    “Granth,” as in Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy text, is pronounced to rhyme with month, but some fun little facts

    • Avatar
      Stuart September 7, 2015 at 5:41 pm #

      The name Granth is a near rhyme, but not a perfect rhyme for month. The pronunciation of “Granth” ends in the aspirated voiceless alveolar stop /tʰ/, and “month” ends in the voiceless dental non-sibilant fricative /θ/.

  37. Avatar
    Louis May 27, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    “A man, a plan, a canal, panama!” is the longest palindrome I know.

    • Avatar
      Joe March 29, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

      Then you need to read “This Is A Book” by Demetri Martin. He has a short story palindrome.

  38. Avatar
    amylola May 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

    In LA, the street Figueroa has all the vowels, although not in order. and it’s damn hard to spell!

  39. Avatar
    Budly May 24, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    Cleave is its own antonym. Are there any others?

  40. Avatar
    Nim April 28, 2014 at 11:50 am #

    This was really fun to read through. Is unkempt an English word or derived from another language?

    • Avatar
      Stuart September 7, 2015 at 5:23 pm #

      unkempt is formed from combining the negative prefix un- with kempt. Kempt is the past participle of the now obsolete word kemb, a verb that meant ‘to comb’. The word is from Middle English kemben, from Old (Anglo-Saxon) English cemban “comb”.

  41. Avatar
    Carlos R. January 1, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

    The longest word in english that can be written using only consonants is:

    Rythms

    6 consonants

    • Avatar
      Stuart September 7, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

      The longest word I know written with all consonant letters is the 7-letter interjection tsktsks. And, the y in rhythms is a vowel.

      It had been taught to school children that the vowels were A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y (and sometimes W). With the rarity of words with W as a vowel (such as in the loanwords cwm and crwth), and primarily due to spelling reform, W has been generally ignored as a sometimes vowel letter. Y, in contrast, is used extensively as both a vowel and consonant. It is a consonantal letter, but not always.

  42. Avatar
    Gio June 3, 2015 at 7:55 am #

    About towns with vowels only, how about Oia on the lovely (and famous) greek island of Santorini?

  43. Avatar
    Stuart September 7, 2015 at 4:36 pm #

    “Stewardesses” and “reverberated” are not the two longest words of the English-language that can be typed with only the left hand. “Sweaterdresses”, as a 14-letter word, is two letters longer.

    The word “hypolimnion” (the lower layer of water in a stratified lake) may not be a common word, but it is a word of the English language, and it is three letters longer than “lollipop”.

    The claim that “uncopyrightable” as the only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is false. The word “dermatoglyphics” (the study of the lines and ridges of skin markings, such as in fingerprints) is another 15 letter word that has no letter repeated. In English, adjectives are often used as nouns. In such use the adjective can be pluralized. At 16 letters, the word “uncopyrightables” has been noted in a few law review documents.

    There does not appear to be a perfect rhyme in the English language for month, but orange, silver, and purple each have at least one perfect rhyme. For orange there is the botanical term sporange (a variant of sporangium – a spore sac). Silver has chilver, a dialectal word for a one-year old female lamb, or its mutton. And, also dialectal, but from Scottish-English, are curple (a horse’s rump) and hirple (to cease walking or to walk as if lame) for purple.

    It is incorrect to say “only” without further qualifications. “Dreamt” is not the only English word ending in the letters “mt”. There are also the derivatives redreamt, undreamt, daydreamt, and outdreamt. For words ending in “dous”, besides the given four, there are amadous, amphipodous, apodous, arthropodous, biohazardous, cephalopodous, chilopodous, cynopodous, decapodous, frondous, gasteropodous, gastropodous, hybridous, iodous, isopodous, jeopardous, ligniperdous, molybdous, multifidous, myriapodous, nefandous, nodous, nonhazardous, octopodous, ostracodous, palladous, paludous, polypodous, pudendous, rhizopodous, rhodous, sauropodous, schizopodous, solipedous, splendidous, steganopodous, tetrapodous, ultrahazardous, unhazardous, untremendous, uropodous, vanadous, vodous, and voudous.

    Besides “abstemious” and “facetious” being words where each of the five standard vowels are used once each in the word, there are more than the two given. “Abstentious”, “arsenious”, “caesious”, “parecious”, “halfseriously” (for which there is also the hyphenated “half-serious”), and the word derivatives “abstemiously” and “facetiously” also fit the criteria noted.

    Longer than the 10-letter word “typewriter”, the 11-letter “rupturewort” (a common old world herb) can also be formed from only letters on one row of a qwerty-keyboard.

    The name of Hawaiian city, ʻAiea, actually begins with the Hawaiian consonantal letter, the okina. Still, the suburban community’s name is spelled with only vowels in its Anglicized-spelling. But the claim that Aiea, Hawaii is the only city which is spelled completely with vowels is not accurate. Aue in Germany near the outlet of the river Schwarzwasser is also written with vowel letters.
    Not all cities are assigned Anglicized names, and are written in their native alphabet with only vowel letters. Using Google Maps, one can locate the town Å in Tranøy, Norway, another town Å in Lofoten, Norway, the town Ea in the Basque area of Spain, and the municipality Ii in the Northern Ostrobothnia region Finland.

    “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” may be the best known known pangram (a word, phrase or sentence which uses every letter of the alphabet at least once), but other pangrams do exist (perhaps the reason the word pangram exists). “Veldt jynx grimps waqf zho buck.” is a pangram that uses each letter but once. The uncommon words can be paraphrased as “A grass-plains wryneck climbs upon a male yak-cattle hybrid that had been donated under Islamic law.”

    • Avatar
      Stuart September 2, 2018 at 8:45 am #

      A little more research reveals that dreamt and its derivatives are not the only English words that ends in -mt. The qualification that may be required to make the trivial claim for dreamt, other than excluding derivatives, is “words of contemporary Modern English”.
      Both appromt and promt can also be found some English dictionaries as being older spellings. Appromt, a variant of apprompt, can be found in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) and promt can be found as an Early Modern English spelling for prompt in the 1933 edition of the The Oxford English Dictionary.

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