AA (a type of lava), in addition to being the second word which appears in W3, consists entirely of vowels. Some other words consisting only of vowels are IAO, OII, EUOUAE, OO, I, O, and if proper nouns are allowed, IO. The Oxford English Dictionary has the interjection AIEEE. If Y is allowed: AYE, AYU, EYE, IYO, EYEY, YAYA (although I am not sure which of these Y's are vowels!).
ADCOMSUBORDCOMPHIBSPAC is the longest acronym in the 1965 edition of the Acronyms, Initialisms, and Abbreviations Dictionary. It is a Navy term standing for Administrative Command, Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet Subordinate Command. [Dickson]
AEGILOPS is apparently the longest word in W2 whose letters are in alphabetical order. The word is an alternate spelling for EGILOPS (an ulcer in a part of the eye); both spellings are in W2 but neither is in W3. CHILLLOSS (the opposite of a heatloss) has its letters in alphabetical order, although this word may not be in any dictionary. [Word Ways] (CHILLLOSS would also have a triple letter; see GODDESSSHIP below.) Ted Clarke reports there was a film EFIK MOVY, the title of which was written abcdEFghIjKlMnOpqrstuVwxYz to show the alphabetical-order property.
AFTERCATARACTS (a condition that sometimes follows cataract surgery) and TESSERADECADES are the longest words which can be typed exclusively with the fingers of the left hand. The first word appears in a Merriam-Webster medical dictionary; the second is in W2. The longest word in common use which can be typed with the fingers of the left hand is STEWARDESSES.
AMBIDEXTROUSLY is the longest word in common use with no letter appearing more than once. SUBDERMATOGLYPHIC is the longest word with no letter appearing more than once; it is not found in any dictionary, but does occur in a published medical article in Annals of Dermatology. Others are: UNCOPYRIGHTABLE, which is found in printed publications from the Library of Congress Copyright Office, DERMATOGLYPHICS, SCHIZOTRYPANUM, and VESICULOGRAPHY, all three of which are found in Stedman's electronic medical dictionary.
ANHUNGRY is one answer to the question, "What's the other word besides 'angry' and 'hungry' that ends in 'gry'?" For some reason, this is the most frequently asked question of the editors of Merriam-Webster. Actually, "angry" and "hungry" are the only two words in common use ending in -gry, but quite a few obsolete or obscure words can be found in unabridged dictionaries. Among them are ANHUNGRY, used by Shakespeare, and AGGRY BEAD, both of which are in W3. The only -GRY words in RHUD2 are ANGRY, HUNGRY, HALF-ANGRY, OVERANGRY, and UNANGRY.
ASPHODEL is one of the words in Wilfred Funk's list of the most beautiful words in English. (Apparently, the order of the words is not significant.) The complete list: ASPHODEL, FAWN, DAWN, CHALICE, ANEMONE, TRANQUIL, HUSH, GOLDEN, HALCYON, CAMELLIA, BOBOLINK, THRUSH, CHIMES, MURMURING, LULLABY, LUMINOUS, DAMASK, CERULEAN, MELODY, MARIGOLD, JONQUIL, ORIOLE, TENDRIL, MYRRH, MIGNONETTE, GOSSAMER, ALYSSEUM, MIST, OLEANDER, AMARYLLIS, ROSEMARY. The ten worst-sounding words in English, according to a poll by the National Association of Teachers of Speech in August, 1946: CACOPHONY, CRUNCH, FLATULENT, GRIPE, JAZZ, PHLEGMATIC, PLUMP, PLUTOCRAT, SAP, and TREACHERY.
ATOLL is the only widely-known word in MWCD10 of Divehi origin. The other two words of Divehi origin are RUFIYAA and LAARI. Divehi is spoken on the Maldive Islands.
AVIJJA has the very rare double J. Other such words: ZU'L-HIJJAH or DHU'L-HIJJAH (the twelfth month of the Muslim calendar), HAJJ (the Muslim pilgrimage), HAJJI, and UJJAIN (one of the holy cities of India).
BARBECUE is my candidate for the most commonly misspelled word, with honorable mention to UKULELE and MINUSCULE, although some dictionaries also give "UKELELE" and "MINISCULE." ITS and IT'S are mixed up very frequently of course, but this may not be actually a spelling error.
BEIJING has three dotted letters in a row (in lower case). Some other such common words are FIJI and HIJINKS. W2 has these longer examples: REMIJIA, BOGIJIAB, PIRIJIRI, KHARIJITE. JINJILI has 5 out of 7 letters dotted.
BOYCOTT is an example of a word named for a person (in this case Charles C. Boycott). Some others: BURKE for William Burke, BOWDLERIZE for Thomas Bowdler, GALVANIZE for Luigi Galvani, BLOOMER for Amanda Bloomer, BRAILLE for Louis Braille, CHAUVINISM for Nicolas Chauvin, DIESEL for Rudolf Diesel, DUNCE for John Duns Scotus (who was actually very smart), GUILLOTINE for Joseph I. Guillotin, LYNCH for William Lynch, NICOTINE for Jean Nicot, QUISLING for Maj. Vidkun Quisling, MASOCHISM for Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, SADISM for Marquis de Sade, SAXOPHONE for Antoine Joseph Sax, SILHOUETTE for Etienne de Silhouette, POINSETTIA for Joel R. Poinsett, GERRYMANDER for Elbridge Gerry, HECTOR from Homer's Illiad, MACADAMIZE for John Macadam, MESMERIZE for Friedrich Anton Mesmer, PASTEURIZE for Louis Pasteur, SANDWICH for John Montagu, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, VULCANIZE for the Roman god of fire and metalworking. (Elbridge Gerry, by the way, pronounced the "g" as in "gray.")
CARES is an example of a plural word that becomes a singular word (CARESS) with another added S. Ted Clarke suggests MULTIMILLIONAIRES(S) might be the longest word that can be changed from a plural to a singular in this way.
CATERCORNER has eight spellings in W3: CATERCORNER, CATER-CORNERED, CATACORNER, CATA-CORNERED, CATTY-CORNER, CATTY-CORNERED, KITTY-CORNER, and KITTY-CORNERED. Another dictionary has CATER-CORNER.
COACH is derived from the village of Kocs, Hungary, where coaches were invented and first used.
CONSERVATIONALISTS and CONVERSATIONALISTS are the longest pair of non-scientific English words which are anagrams of each other, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
CWM (a glacial hollow on a hillside) has the rare W as a vowel. Another such word is CRWTH (the crowd or a stringed instrument), TWP (stupid), and AWDL (an ode written in the strict alliterative meters).
DEEDED can be typed using one finger. Some other such words: HUMHUM, HUMMUM, MUHUHU, and MUUMUU. DISMANTLEMENT is typed by alternating the use of both hands. Another such word is LEUCOCYTOZOANS.
DORD (density) was entered into W2 by mistake. Somebody had written "d or D" as the two abbreviations for density, and somebody else thought he saw the word "dord." The word was removed from later printings of this dictionary.
DREAMT seems to be the only common word in English ending in -MT. Others are the obscure ADREAMT, UNDREAMT, or DAYDREAMT.
ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHICALLY appears to be the longest closed compound (i.e., single word without spaces or hyphens) found in MWCD10.
erroneousnesses and verrucosenesses are the longest words consisting of only short letters; lighttight and lillypilly are the longest consisting of only long letters.
ESCALATOR is one of many words that were originally trademarks but have become ordinary words found in dictionaries. Some other words which were originally trademarks are ESCALATOR, CUBE STEAK, CORNFLAKES, KEROSENE, YO-YO, MIMEOGRAPH, LANOLIN, NYLON, TRAMPOLINE, THERMOS, CELLOPHANE.
ETAOIN SHRDLU is defined in W3 as "a combination of letters set by running a finger down the first and then the second left-hand vertical banks of six keys of a Linotype machine to produce a temporary marking slug not intended to appear in the final printing." The word comes from the layout of the keys on a Linotype machine. The letters also correspond exactly to the sequence of most frequently used letters found in English writing. That is, "e" is the most frequently occurring letter, followed by "t," etc., according to one study.
EXXON, FOXX, and LEXXEL (a new prescription drug) are examples of words with a double X, but all such words are proper names; there are no words in dictionaries containing XX. In fact, only one word in the RHUD2 has two X's separated by one letter, MAXIXE (a Brazilian dance). XX is the only double letter combination not found in English. According to an article in Time in 1970, the name Exxon was chosen partly because it meant nothing in any language and the article reported researchers concluded that XX occurs in no language. However, Bruce D. Wilner informs me that the sign on the Maltese embassy in Washington, D. C., reads AMBAXXATA DA MALTA, so apparently Maltese has a double X. According to Languages of the World by Kenneth Katzner, X in Maltese is pronounced like "sh."
FLOCCINAUCINIHILIPILIFICATION (an estimation of something as worthless) is the longest word in the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. The word has been by Sir Walter Scott, Senators Robert Byrd and Daniel Patrick Moynihan. It also appeared on March 14, 1996, in "Zippy," a comic strip distributed by King Features Syndicate: "Do you think I may be too quick to find fault with things and people, Zippy?" // "Yeh." // "Th' 'floccinaucinihilipilification' process." // "Th' what?" // "Floccinaucinihilipilification!! It means 'the estimation of something as valueless'!" // "You've been randomly reading th' dictionary, haven't you?" // "Yes. That and my natural tendency toward antifloccinaucinihilipilification!!" FLOCCINAUCINIHILIPILIFICATION was also used by Press Secretary Mike McCurry in his December 6, 1995, White House Press Briefing in discussing Congressional Budget Office estimates and assumptions: "But if you -- as a practical matter of estimating the economy, the difference is not great. There's a little bit of floccinaucinihilipilification going on here."
GLOWWORM may be the best-known word with the relatively rare double W. Some others: ARROWWEED, BOWWOMAN, BOWWOOD, BOWWOW, COWWEED, COWWHEAT, DEWWORM, GLOWWORM, LOWWOOD, MALLOWWORT, MEADOWWORT, PILLOWWORK, PLOWWISE, PLOWWOMAN, PLOWWRIGHT, POWWOW, POWWOWER, POWWOWISM, RAINBOWWEED, SAWWAY, SAWWORKER, SAWWORT, SCREWWISE, SHAWWAL, SHOWWORM, SHOWWORTHY, SKEWWHIFF, SKEWWISE, SLOWWORM, SPARROWWORT, SQUAWWEED, STRAWWALKER, STRAWWORM, SWALLOWWORT, TALLOWWEED, THROWWORT, VIEWWORTHY, WHITLOWWORT, WILLOWWARE, WILLOWWEED, WILLOWWORM, WILLOWWORT, WINDOWWARD, WINDOWWARDS, WINDOWWISE, YAWWEED, YELLOWWARE, YELLOWWEED, YELLOWWOOD, YELLOWWORT.
GODDESSSHIP is the only word in RHUD2 with a triple letter. This does not include some abbreviations, and words with letters separated by punctuation, such as WALL-LIKE, WALL-LESS, BELL-LESS, and GAUSS'S LAW.
GOOGOL is a 1 followed by 100 zeros. Mathematician Edward Kasner supposedly asked his nephew Milton Sirotta to suggest a name for the number, and he came up with this word, which is now found in many dictionaries. The million, billion, trillion, quadrillion system skips over this number. A GOOGOLPLEX is 1 followed by a googol of zeros.
HEPATICOCHOLANGIOCHOLECYSTENTEROSTOMIES is the longest word in Gould's Medical Dictionary.
HONORIFICABILITUDINTATIBUS (honorableness) is the longest word used by Shakespeare. W2 says it is a "pedantic nonsense word," although it had been used earlier by other writers. The word does not appear in W3.
HUMUHUMUNUKUNUKUAPUAAS, PHONOCARDIOGRAPHICALLY, PRORHIPIDOGLOSSOMORPHA, SUPRADIAPHRAGMATICALLY, and MACRACANTHORHYNCHIASIS are the longest words not containing an E. E is the most frequently occurring letter in English.
HYDROXYZINE (a prescription drug) is the only word in RHUD2 containing XYZ; DABCHICK (a small bird) and CRABCAKE contain ABC.
I is the most commonly spoken word in English, followed by YOU, THE, and A. The most commonly used words in written English, according to the 1971 American Heritage Word Frequency Book are: THE, OF, AND, A, TO, IN, IS, YOU, THAT, IT, HE, FOR.
IFF is a word invented by mathematicians to mean "if and only if." According to MWCD10, it can be pronounced three ways: "if and only if," like "if," and like "if" but with a prolonged "F." There are 118 conjunctions in MWCD10; IFF is the only "new" conjunction, first seen in print in 1955.
IMPETICOS is an example of a nonce word (a word which has been found to have been used only once). The word is spoken by the clown in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. W2 says perhaps it means "impocket."
INDIVISIBILITY is the shortest word in RHUD2 with 6 I's. (The only words with more than 6 I's in RHUD2 are PNEUMONOULTRAMICROSCOPICSILICOVOLCANOCONIOSIS and SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS.)
INTESTINES has each of its letters occurring twice.
IO, one of the moons of Jupiter, is apparently the shortest two-syllable word (there could be others consisting of two letters, but none shorter it would seem!).
IRAQ is one of the very few words ending in Q. Obscure words ending in Q are: SHOQ, PONTACQ, INUPIAQ (an Eskimo people), SUQ, ZAQAZIQ (or ZAGAZIG, a city in Egypt), ZIA-UL-HAQ (a proper name), and NOASTALIQ. In addition, The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary has TRANQ and UMIAQ, although these words are not in W2 or W3. (I presume UMIAQ is another spelling for UMIAK, an Eskimo boat, which is in W2 and W3.)
JAAAARNE is an Estonian word meaning "the edge of the ice." It has four A's in a row. (There is an umlaut above each A.) [Guinness Book of World Records]
JAI ALAI is one of only two words of Basque origin in MWCD10; the other is CHAPARRAL. (Some other dictionaries have BIZARRE and ANCHOVY of Basque origin.)
JOHNNY-JUMP-UP (a fast-growing flower or a brand name for a type of toy) is the longest word found in abridged dictionaries that can be typed using exclusively the fingers of the right hand. However, in W2 are PHYLLOPHYLLIN, MIMINYPIMINY, HYPOPHYLLIUM and other suggestions are HYPOLIMNION and IKINNIKINNIK.
KINE is a plural of COW (although it is archaic). KINE qualifies as a plural that shares no letters in common with its singular.
KYRKY is the Chukchi word for "walrus." The word is pronounced "KYRKY" by men but "TSYTSTSY" by women because of a curious feature of the Chukchi language: K is pronounced "K" by men but "TS" by women; "RK" is pronounced "RK" by men but "TSTS" by women. [Languages of the World, by Kenneth Katzner.]
LATCHSTRING has 6 consonants in a row. The Dutch word ANGSTSCHREEUW (a scream of anguish), and the German word ANGSTSCHWEISS both have 8 consecutive consonants.
LIKE has uses involving eight parts of speech.
LLANFAIRPWLLGWYNGYLLGOGERYCHWYRNDROBWLLLLANTYSILIOGOGOGOCH is according to one source the longest placename in the world, with 58 letters. It is a town in North Wales meaning "St. Mary's Church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool of Llantysilio of the red cave" or "St. Mary's (Church) by the white aspen over the whirlpool, and St. Tysilio's (Church) by the red cave" in Welsh. A Maori name for a hill in New Zealand was in general use. Its abbreviated version is TAUMATAWHAKATANGIHANGAKOAUAUTAMATEAPOKAIWHENUAKITANATAHU, and means "When Tamatea's brother was killed in a battle near here, Tamatea climbed this ridge and played a lament on his flute." It often appears with another section in the middle explaining who Tamatea was, which means "the man with the big knee who slid." Williams says "the location is eight miles south of Porangahau in Hawke's Bay, and if we want to go there now (it's a country hill) we call it Taumata." There is also a 66-letter place name in Wales, GORSAFAWDDACHAIDRAIGODANHEDDOGLEDDOLONPENRHYNAREURDRAETHCEREDIGION, meaning "the Mawddach station and its dragon teeth at the Northern Penrhyn Road on the golden beach of Cardigan bay." According to The Book of Names by J. N. Hook, the longest place name in the U. S. may be NUNATHLOOGAGAMIUTBINGOI, the name of some dunes in Alaska, taken from Eskimo. However, in Massachusetts, there is Lake CHARGOGAGOGMANCHARGOGAGOGCHARBUNAGUNGAMOG, usually listed on maps as "Lake Webster." The shortest placenames in the U.S. may be L, a lake in Nebraska, and T, a gulch in Colorado, each named for its shape.
MAHER-SHALAL-HASH-BAZ, a name, is the longest word in the Bible (Isaiah 8:1).
MASSACRING is a word with more pronounced syllables than vowels (suggested by Wei-Hwa Huang). Others are EDINBURGH (suggested by Nick Wedd) and RHYTHM.
MHO is the unit of electrical conductance. Since conductance is the reciprocal of resistance, which is measured in ohms, MHO is OHM spelled backwards. The only other word in MWCD10 the origin of which is a backwards spelling is YOB, now more commonly spelled YOBBO, which is the backwards spelling of BOY. Chambers Dictionary also lists YRNEH, the reciprocal of HENRY, a measure of inductance.
MOMMY TRACK is one of the newest words in MWCD10, dated to 1989. The other newest words are: CODEPENDENCE, LETTERBOXED, and VIRTUAL REALITY (all 1989), FULLERENE and TROPICAL OIL (both 1988), CHANNELER, CODEPENDENCY, LOVASTATIN, POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION, and ZIDOVUDINE (all 1987).
OCEANIA crams five syllables into only seven letters.
OF is apparently the only word in which an F is pronounced like a V.
ONE THOUSAND contains the letter A, but none of the words from ONE to NINE HUNDRED NINETY-NINE has an A. FORTY is apparently the only number which has its letters in alphabetical order.
PIKES PEAK is spelled without an apostrophe by law. The Colorado legislature established the correct spelling in 1978. There are numerous other cases in which the spelling or pronunciation of a place name was changed or established by law. The voters of MULLENS, West Virginia, voted to retain the spelling, rather than switch to "MULLINS." I believe the pronunciation of BERLIN, New Hampshire, was changed during World War II (to differentiate it from Berlin, Germany) so that the first syllable is stressed. (Can someone confirm this?)
PNEUMONOULTRAMICROSCOPICSILICOVOLCANOCONIOSIS, with 45 letters, is the longest word in W3, and in fact the longest word in any English-language dictionary.
PSI and SAI make up a pair of homophones, both of which refer to pitchfork-shaped objects. The first is Greek and refers to a letter; the second is Japanese and refers to a ninja weapon. (In Greek, PSI is pronounced "psee," but in English-language dictionaries it is pronounced "sai.")
Q.T. (as in "on the q.t.") and DJ appear in the main part of MWCD10 and not in the abbreviation section. Therefore, the editors must consider these words rather than abbreviations. They are among the rare words having no vowel. Other words with no vowels include BRRRRR, ZZZZZZ, NTH, SSSHHHHH, HMMMM, PHT, TSKTSK, YHWH, JHVH, and pH (measure of acidity/alkalinity). Strc prst skrz krk (Czech for "Put your finger through your throat") appears to have no vowels, but R serves as a vowel in Czech.
QUARTUS is the only proper name in the Bible beginning with Q if the Apocrypha is excluded; the Apocrypha has QUINTUS MEMMIUS. XANTHICUS (an alternate name for the month Nisan) is the only proper name in the Bible beginning with X; it is in the Apocrypha. There are no proper names in the Bible beginning with W.
QUEUEING (which is seen frequently in the mathematics term "queueing theory") has five vowels in a row. Another word with five vowels in a row is MIAOUED (past tense of what a cat does), but this spelling is not generally found in dictionaries. EUOUAE, which is in W2 but not W3, has six vowels in a row; the W2 defines EUOUAE as "A word formed from the vowels of "seculorum amen,", ending the Gloria Patri." The Oxford English Dictionary has the interjection AIEEE. Allowing proper nouns, OUAOUIATON appears on a French map of the central part of North America printed in 1693 and it has seven vowels in a row. The word was later shortened to OUAOUIA, and was applied to the Indian tribe subsequently called Iowa. [The Book of Names, J. N. Hook.] IJOUAOUOUENE, a mountain in Morocco, has 8 consecutive vowels as rendered by the French. [Guinness Book of World Records] The Dutch word KOEIEUIER (the udder of a cow), has seven vowels in a row. Gert Florijn says this word is "a well-known example in Dutch recreational linguistics. However, we had a spelling-reform last, and I'm not sure this one survived. It should have, anyway." The newer spelling of the word is KOEIENUIER. HAAYOAIE is a Finnish word for "a plan for the wedding night"; it has 7 consecutive vowels, and 6 of the 8 vowel sounds that exist in Finnish (there is an umlaut above the first two A's and the O).
RAISE/RAZE are contronymic homophones. Others are RECKLESS/WRECKLESS, AURAL/ORAL, PETALLESS/PETALOUS.
RHYTHMS is the longest common word without an A, E, I, O, or U, but these longer words appear in W2: SYMPHYSY, NYMPHLY, GYPSYRY, GYPSYFY. (In all these words, Y is a vowel.)
SAUNA is the only common word in the English language borrowed directly from Finnish. Obscure words from Finnish include KANTELE, a type of zither, PULKA, a sled, ESSIVE, a linguistic term, and EDUSKUNTA, the Finnish parliament.
SAVVY and DIVVY are among the few common words with a double V. The complete list from the U. K. Advanced Cryptics Dictionary: CIVVY, DIVVY, NAVVY, SAVVY, BOVVER, CHIVVY, LUVVIE, REVVED, SKIVVY, SPIVVY, CHIVVED, CIVVIES, DIVVIED, DIVVIES, FLIVVER, LUVVIES, NAVVIED, NAVVIES, REVVING, SAVVIED, SAVVIES, SHIVVED, CHIVVIED, CHIVVIES, CHIVVING, DIVVYING, FLIVVERS, NAVVYING, SAVVYING, SHIVVING, SKIVVIES, BOVVER BOY, CHIVVYING, BOVVER BOYS, STEAM-NAVVY, BOVVER BOOTS, CIVVY STREET, IMPROVVISATORE.
SEQUOIA, EULOGIA, MIAOUED, ADOULIE, EUCOSIA, EUNOMIA, EUTOPIA, and MOINEAU are the shortest words containing the five vowels in any order. ACHEILOUS, ACHEIROUS, AEROBIOUS, ARSENIOUS, ARTERIOUS, AUTECIOUS, and FACETIOUS are the shortest words containing the five vowels in alphabetical order.
SET has the longest definition (or definitions) in W3, taking up more than one whole column.
SHAKALSHAS is the longest word which can be typed using only the middle row of letters on the keyboard. Another long word which can be typed using only the middle row is FLAGFALLS.
SNARLEYYOW (slang for "dog"; found in W2) has the truly rare double Y combination. Other words with YY are GAYYOU, AYYUBID, CUBBYYEW, SAYYID (a descendant of Muhammad through Hussein), OMAYYAD or UMAYYAD, AL-UBAYYID, IYYAR (an alternate spelling of Iyar, a month in the Jewish calendar), KHAYYAM, NABEREZHNYYE CHELNY (an alternate spelling for the name of a Russian port), PIYYUT (a liturgical poem in Judaism), YABLONOVYY (a Russian mountain range), and ZAKIYYA (an alternate spelling for a female given name.)
SPENDTHRIFT may be the longest word spelled exactly as it is pronounced.
STRENGTHS is the longest word with one vowel; STRENGTHLESSNESS and DEFENSELESSNESS are the longest word with one vowel if allowed to repeat.
SUBBOOKKEEPER is the only word with four pairs of double letters in a row. This word appears in the small type at the bottom of the page in W2 but the word did not survive into W3.
SUPEREXTRAORDINARISIMO is supposed to be the longest word in Spanish.
SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS from the movie Mary Poppins is not the longest word in English, although many people believe it is. The word is in the OED, which has the following as the first four citations: 1949 Parker & Young (unpublished song-title) Supercalafajalistickespialadojus. 1951 Parker & Young (song-title) Supercalafajalistickesp eealadojus; or, The super song. 1964 R. M. & R. B; Sherman (song-title) Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! 1967 Decisions U.S. Courts involving Copyright 1965-66 488 The complaint alleges copyright infringement of plaintiff's song `Supercalafajalistickespeealadojus' by defendants' song `Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious'. (All variants of this tongue twister will hereinafter be referred to collectively as `the word'.) (The definition says Disney won, "in view of earlier oral uses of the word sworn to in affidavits" and because they wrote the rest of the song themselves.)
SYZYGY, when written in cursive, has five letters in a row which descend below the line. It is also the shortest word with three Y's.
TARAMASALATA (a type of Greek salad) has an A for every other letter.
TATTARATTAT is the longest palindrome appearing in the Oxford English Dictionary; KINNIKINNIK is the longest in W3. REDIVIDER may be the longest palindrome in common use. The Finnish word SAIPPUAKIVIKAUPPIAS (a dealer in lye) is the longest known palindrome in any language according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
TAXI is spelled the same way in nine languages--English, French, German, Swedish, Spanish, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, and Portuguese.
THERBLIG is a word created by rearranging the letters of a person's name--that is, it is an anagram for F. B. Gilbreth, an American engineer. THERBLIG is not in MWCD10; the three words that are in MWCD10 that were created as anagrams are SPANDEX (for "expands"), SIDEBURNS (for "burnsides"), and ITACONIC ACID (for "aconitic acid," from "aconite.")
THEREIN is a seven-letter word that contains eleven words spelled with consecutive letters: THE, HE, HER, HERE, THERE, ERE, REIN, RE, IN, THEREIN, and HEREIN. SHADES contains HADES, SHADE; ADES, HADE, SHAD; DES, ADE, HAD, SHA; ES, DE, AD, HA, SH; S, E, D, A, H, all of which are in W3. ["Word Torture," by Ralph Beaman, Word Ways.]
TOUGH, THOUGH, THROUGH, THOROUGH are formed adding a letter every time between T and OUGH, but none of them rhymes with any other.
Two-letter words are particularly useful as hooks onto other words in the game of Scrabble. They vary between dictionaries, but none of the major Scrabble dictionaries has a two-letter word containing a V. (Chambers Official Scabble Words Third Edition has 109 two-letter words, including such delights as CH, PH, JO, ZO, SH, ST, QI, XI, XU, EE, and OE.) (thanks to Eq.)
TYPEWRITER is one of the longest words which can be typed using only the top row of keys on the keyboard. The following ten-letter words all appear in W2: PEPPERROOT, PEPPERWORT, PEWTERWORT, PIROUETTER, PREREQUIRE, PRETORTURE, PROPRIETOR, REPERTOIRE, REPETITORY, TETTERWORT and these words have also been suggested: PROPRIETORY, PROTEROTYPE, RUPTUREWORT, PITUITOTROPE, UROPYOURETER, PERPETUITY.
VACUUM is the most common word with the fairly rare double U. Some others are CONTINUUM, DUUMVIR, MENSTRUUM, MUUMUU, RESIDUUM, TRIDUUM, INTERMENSTRUUM, SEMICONTINUUM, SMECTYMNUUS, PRAECIPUUM, INDIVIDUUM, DUUMVIRATE, ZUURVELDT, SADALSUUD, DUUMVIRAL, LITUUS, OBLIQUUS, EQUULEUS, SQUUSH(Y), CARDUUS.
VERISIMILITUDE is a long word that has alternating vowels and consonants
VICTUALS (pronounced "viddles") is the ugliest word in the language according to Harry Golden.
VOODOO is the only word in MWCD10 of Ewe origin. (Ewe is spoken in Ghana and Togo.)
WITHHOLD is among the words with a double H. Some others: BATHHOUSE, BEACHHEAD, FISHHOOK, HIGHHANDED, HITCHHIKE, ROUGHHOUSE, WASHHOUSE, WATCHHOUSE, and SLEUTHHOUND.
ZAQQUM has the truly rare double Q, as does SAQQARA (a village in Egypt).
ZYXOMMA has been suggested as the word yielding the highest score in Scrabble, although the word is not in The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary. Other words which have high point value are QUIXOTIC, SQUEEZE, POPQUIZ.
ADIOS, AH, AHA, AHEM, AHOY, ALACK, ALAS, ALL HAIL, ALLELUIA, ALOHA, AMEN, ATTABOY, AUF WIEDERSEHEN, AW, AY, BAH, BEGORRA, BEJESUS also BEJEEZUS, BINGO, BLEEP, BOO, BY or BYE, BYE-BYE or BY-BY, CHEERIO, CHEERS, CIAO, CRIKEY or CRICKEY, CRIPES, DEAR, EGAD or EGADS, EH, EUREKA, FAUGH, FIE, FORE, GAD, GADZOOKS, GAR, GARDYLOO, GEE, GEE WHIZ, GESUNDHEIT, GLORY or GLORY BE, GOLLY, GOSH, GRAMERCY, HA, HA-HA, HAIL, HALLELUJAH, HAW, HEADS UP, HEIGH-HO, HEM, HEP, HEY, HEY PRESTO, HEYDAY, HI, HIP, HIST, HO, HO HUM, HOLLO also HOLLOA or HOLLA, HOOT or HOOTS, HOSANNA also HOSANNAH, HOT DOG, HOWDY, HOY, HUH, HUMPH, HUP, HURRAH also HURRAY, HUT, JEEPERS also JEEPERS CREEPERS, JEEZ, JINGO, LA, LACKADAY, LO, LO AND BEHOLD, LORDY, MARRY, MY WORD, OD or ODD, OH, OOH, OOPS, OUCH, OW, PARDIE or PARDI or PARDY, PHEW, PHOOEY, PIP-PIP, PISH, POOF, POOH, PRITHEE, PROSIT or PROST, PSHAW, QUOTHA, RAH, RATS, RIGHTO, ROGER, SELAH, SH, SHALOM, SHALOM ALEICHEM, SHOO, SHOOT, SO LONG, TOUCHE, TUSH, TUT, TUT-TUT, UGH, UH-HUH, UH-OH, UH-UH, VIEW HALLOO, VIVA, VOILA, WAESUCKS, WAHOO, WELCOME, WELL, WELLAWAY, WHEE, WHOOPEE, WHY, WILCO, WIRRA, WISHA, WOE, WOW, YECH or YECCH, YIKES, YIPPEE, YO, YOICKS, YOO-HOO, YUCK also YUK, YUM-YUM, ZAP, ZOOKS, ZOUNDS, ZOWIE.
ZYMURGY, the study of fermentation, older MW Collegiate Dictionaries (it has been dropped from MWCD10)
ZYZOMYS, a genus of rodents, Funk & Wagnalls encyclopedia (entire text)
ZYZZLE, variant of zizzle, sizzle, Funk & Wagnalls Practical Standard Dictionary (1935)
ZYZZYVA, a South American weevil, American Heritage Dictionary
ZYZZOGETON, a South American leaf hopper, Webster's Third New International Dictionary and Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition
ZYRIAN, a Uralic language
ZYTHUM, ancient Egyptian malt beer, Winston Dictionary (1942) and An American Dictionary of the English Language (1902)
ZYMOSAN, an insoluble polysaccharide fraction of yeast cell walls, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition
ZYMOTIC, fermentative or infectious, Worcester's School Dictionary (1883)
ZYGOMATIC, pertaining to a cavity in a bone of the temples like a yoke, A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language (1806)
ZYXT, obsolete Kentish 2nd sing. ind. pres. of see, Oxford English Dictionary, first edition
ZYWIEC, city in Poland, Rand McNally International Atlas
ZYZYN, variant of Cieszyn, The New Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia (1951)
ZYWNY, Polish violinist, Encyclopaedia Britannica (1977)
ZZZ, used to represent the sound of snoring, The Random House College Dictionary
ZYLKS, town in Louisiana, Street Atlas USA
ZUZIM, a people, is alphabetically the last proper name in the Bible