Fun with words
The English language has an estimated 750,000 words! Wow! That’s a lot of words! Some of them we use quite regularly, others we may never ever use in our lifetime.
Did you know that the word for the killing of a cat is felicide while the fear of cats is ailurophobia? The killing of a dog is canicide and the fear of dogs is cynophobia.
Did you also know that “Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt”. The symbol on the “pound” key (#) is called an octothorpe and the dot over the letter ‘i’ is called a tittle.
The word “set” has more definitions than any other word in the English language. “Underground” is the only word in the English language that begins and ends with the letters “und.”
There are only four words in the English language which end in “-dous” — tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.
According to Oxford English Dictionary, the longest word in the world has 45 letters! It is, wait for it…Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. It is alleged to mean ‘a lung disease caused by the inhalation of very fine silica dust, causing inflammation in the lungs’. Merely attempting to say the word is enough to cause an inflammation of the lungs!
Here are some other fun facts about words and letters courtesy of Brain Candy.
- “Stewardesses” and “reverberated” are the longest words that can be typed using only the left hand.
- “Lollipop” is the longest word that can be typed using only the right hand.
- “Skepticisms” is the longest word that can be typed using alternate hands.
- “Rhythm” and “syzygy” (look it up and learn a new word today!) are the longest words without vowels.
- The letters H, I, O, and X are the only letters that look the same if you flip them upside down or view them from behind.
- “Queueing” is the only word with five consecutive vowels.
- The only city in the United States whose name is spelled using only vowels is Aiea, Hawaii.
- The longest one-syllable words are “screeched” and “strengths”.
- The word with the most consonants in a row is “latchstring”.
- “W” is the only letter in the alphabet that does not have one syllable. It has three!
- “Therein” contains ten words without rearranging any of the letters: there, in, the, he, her, here, ere, therein, herein, rein.
- A, H, I, M, O, T, U, V, W, X, and Y are the symmetric capital letters.
- The symmetric lowercase letters are i, l, o, t, u, v, w, x.
- The letter combination “ough” can be pronounced in nine different ways, which can be heard in this sentence: A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.
- “Deeded” is the only word that is made using only two different letters, each used three times.
- There aren’t any words that rhyme with orange, purple, silver, or month.
- Maine is the only state with one syllable.
- The only words with three consecutive double letters are “bookkeeping” and “bookkeeper”.
- “Underground” is the only word that begins and ends with “und”.
- “Polish” changes from a noun or a verb to a nationality when it is capitalized.
- If you spell out every number from 0 to 999, you will find every vowel except for “a”. You have to count to one thousand to find an “a”!
- “Q” is the only letter that is not used in the name of any of the United States.
- The only words with “uu” are “vacuum”, “muumuu”, “residuum”, and “continuum”.
- The highest scoring word in the game Scrabble is “quartzy”.
- “Subcontinental” is the only word that uses each vowel only once and in reverse alphabetical order.
Do you know any fun word facts? Please share.
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