Facts about English Words

There are some pretty interesting facts about common (and a few that are not so common) words in English. Here are some you might not have noticed/known:

  • 1 out of every 8 letters written is an e.
  • "Deeded" is the only word that is made using only two different letters, each used three times.
  • "Dreamt" is the only word that ends in "mt".
  • "Lollipop" is the longest word that can be typed using only the right hand.
  • "Polish" changes from a noun or a verb to a nationality when it is capitalized.
  • "Q" is the only letter that is not used in the name of any of the States.
  • "Queueing" is the only word with five consecutive vowels.
  • "Rhythm" and "syzygy" are the longest words without vowels.
  • "Skepticisms" is the longest word that can be typed using alternate hands.
  • "Stewardesses" and "reverberated" are the longest words that can be typed using only the left hand.
  • "Subcontinental" is the only word that uses each vowel only once and in reverse alphabetical order.
  • "Therein" contains ten words without rearranging any of the letters: there, in, the, he, her, here, ere, therein, herein, rein.
  • "Underground" is the only word that begins and ends with "und".
  • "W" is the only letter in the alphabet that does not have one syllable.
  • 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"!
  • If you try to say the alphabet without moving your lips or tongue every letter will sound the same.
  • Maine is the only state with one syllable.
  • Some words exist only in plural form, for example: glasses (spectacles), binoculars, scissors, shears, tongs, gallows, trousers, jeans, pants, pyjamas (but note that clothing words often become singular when we use them as modifiers, as in "trouser pocket").
  • The first English dictionary was written in 1755.
  • The first letters of the months July through to November spell JASON.
  • The highest scoring word in the game Scrabble is "quartzy".
  • The least used letter in the alphabet is Q.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The longest one-syllable words are "screeched" and "strengths".
  • The most commonly used letter in the alphabet is E.
  • The most commonly used word in English conversation is "I".
  • The names of all continents both start and end with the same letter.
  • The oldest word in the English language is "town".
  • The only city in the United States whose name is spelled using only vowels is Aiea, Hawaii.
  • The only words with "uu" are "vacuum", "muumuu", "residuum", and "continuum".
  • The only words with three consecutive double letters are "bookkeeping" and "bookkeeper".
  • The past tense for the English word "dare" is "durst".
  • The sentence "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter in the English alphabet.
  • The shortest complete sentence in English is the following. "I am."
  • The word "almost" is the longest in the English language with all the letters in alphabetical order.
  • The word "Checkmate" in chess comes from the Persian phrase "Shah Mat" meaning "the king is helpless".
  • The word with the most consonants in a row is "latchstring".
  • There are only 4 words in the English language which end in "dous". "hazardous", "horrendous", "stupendous" and "tremendous".
  • There aren't any words that rhyme with orange, purple, silver, or month.