This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Nuts and Bolts: three times lucky.

I was delighted to come across the word screwworm the other day.

It's not that I'm a lover of worms, especially, it's the double w that's so satisfying. It made me wonder if I could make a list of double-letter words for the whole alphabet.

Well, can you?

But how about words with triple letters?

Yes, there are some, although many triple-letter words, like yayyy and buzzz, are cheating, rather, and triple-letter scientific names don't quite count, as far as I'm concerned, as completely English.

Laparohysterosalpingooophorectomy is an obvious example of one of these.

But there are some really gorgeous triple-letter words, like jibbboom, freeer, frillless, and goddessship.

As if these weren't luxuries enough, there are even a couple of quadruple-letter words, though sadly both are slightly dodgy. There's brrrr, for one, and there's also eeeeve, which the Oxford English Dictionary gives as an early spelling for what we now call the 'i'iwi:

An 'i'iwi is a Hawaiian honeycreeper.

It eats nectar. In Hawaii.

What a life...

Word To Use Today: one with a triple letter in it. Hostessship might be the easiest, as in I'm going to think about my hostessship of our next party very carefully.

Or, if you're male, how about: what on earth is a jibbboom, anyway?

The word triple comes from the Latin word triplus, which means threefold.



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