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Language
Words: Other

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Times
Opposites, Singulars and Plurals
Types of Words
Spelling
Commonest Words
Word Origins

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Words: Other

This page is basically for questions about words that aren't covered anywhere else.

For other questions about words, please refer to the Language Index.

Times

Quarantine (originally) Click to show or hide the answer
Quinquagesima Click to show or hide the answer
Lustrum Click to show or hide the answer
Quinquennium Click to show or hide the answer
Decennium Click to show or hide the answer
Quindecennium Click to show or hide the answer
Vicennium Click to show or hide the answer
Sesquicentenary Click to show or hide the answer
Tercentenary Click to show or hide the answer

Chiliad (kill–iad) Click to show or hide the answer

Opposites, Singulars and Plurals

Opposite of zenith Click to show or hide the answer
Opposite of nocturnal Click to show or hide the answer
Opposite of Utopia Click to show or hide the answer
Feminine of gaffer (i.e. an old countrywoman) Click to show or hide the answer
Plural of genus (meaning a class or group, particularly of species in taxonomy) Click to show or hide the answer
Singular of graffiti Click to show or hide the answer
Plural of mongoose Click to show or hide the answer
Opposite of Oriental Click to show or hide the answer
Plural of opus Click to show or hide the answer

Means both to adhere or cling to, and to split or separate Click to show or hide the answer

Types of Words (etc.)

A, an, the Click to show or hide the answer
The definite article Click to show or hide the answer
The indefinite article Click to show or hide the answer
And, or, but, because Click to show or hide the answer
Of, at, to, by, with, from, in, out, up, down (etc.) Click to show or hide the answer
A word made up of the initial letters of several other words (e.g. SCUBA, RADAR) Click to show or hide the answer
A work of literature that omits a certain letter or letters (most often E, because it's the most common) Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
A word, phrase or sentence that's spelled the same backwards as forward (from Greek, meaning "running again") Click to show or hide the answer
A sentence or verse that uses every letter of the alphabet Click to show or hide the answer

Spelling

This section is about words whose spellings have some unique characteristic. For some difficult–to–spell words, please refer to the separate page, also entitled Spelling.

All five vowels once each, in alphabetical order Click to show or hide the answer
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All five vowels once each, in reverse order Click to show or hide the answer
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All five vowels and only two consonants Click to show or hide the answer
Five consecutive vowels Click to show or hide the answer
Shortest word that includes each of the letters A to F Click to show or hide the answer
Creative respelling of the word 'fish', used to illustrate irregularities in English spelling and pronunciation – first suggested by the English publisher and author Charles Ollier, but often attributed to George Bernard Shaw Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Two words that start and end in UND Click to show or hide the answer
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Starts and ends in HE (common 8–letter word) Click to show or hide the answer
The only two words that end in GRY Click to show or hide the answer
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The only four words that end in DOUS Click to show or hide the answer
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The only word that ends in AMT Click to show or hide the answer
The only word that ends SEDE Click to show or hide the answer
Two ten–letter words that start and end with TH Click to show or hide the answer
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The three longest single–word palindromes in English (each has 9 letters) Click to show or hide the answer
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The two longest words that can be typed using only the top row, on a standard keyboard (each has 10 letters) Click to show or hide the answer
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The two longest words that don't repeat any letters (each has 15 letters) Click to show or hide the answer
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Two (closely–related) words with three consecutive pairs of double letters Click to show or hide the answer
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The smallest whole number (only number?) that, when written as a word, has all its letters in alphabetical order Click to show or hide the answer
The only number that tells you the number of letters in its name Click to show or hide the answer

Commonest Words

Most common word in spoken English Click to show or hide the answer
Most common word in written English Click to show or hide the answer
Second most common word in written English Click to show or hide the answer

Word Origins

Champion Norse warriors who fought with trance–like fury Click to show or hide the answer
Believed to have its origins in the Celtic festival of Samhain (SOW–in – sow rhymes with cow), marking the end of summer, when animal bones were burnt to ward off evil spirits Click to show or hide the answer
Words on a Ouija board: yes, no and Click to show or hide the answer
Originally meant ten thousand (from the Greek); has come to mean any indefinitely large number Click to show or hide the answer
Comes from a Greek word (ostrakon) for a piece of broken pottery – used for voting in ancient Greece Click to show or hide the answer
Word coined by Milton to designate the capital of Hell in Paradise Lost; has come to mean a state of wild confusion or uproar Click to show or hide the answer
Word for a furniture removal van: comes from the name of a London furniture warehouse that had previously been used as a bazaar Click to show or hide the answer
Coined by John Herschel, 1839 – although, unknown to Herschel, the equivalent word (photographie) had been used in French in 1834 by Hercules Florence, a French artist working in Brazil Click to show or hide the answer
Introduced in 1780 by a Dublin theatre manager called Daly, for a bet Click to show or hide the answer
Coined by Horace Walpole, 1754, in a letter to a friend; from the old name for Sri Lanka, after a fairy tale that Walpole had heard; he defined it as “accidental sagacity” Click to show or hide the answer
First used by the French Jesuit priest and mathematician Jean Leurechon, in Récréations Mathématiques (1624 – written under the pseudonym Hendrik van Etten) Click to show or hide the answer
Originally used for professional assassins and robbers in India Click to show or hide the answer
Name used in India for a hot meal or snack (at any time of day) – originating in the early 19th century during British colonial rule Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017