Printer Friendly

Now My Fifty++ Great New Isograms.


Over the years, Word Ways has identified many of the longest isograms, words and names which use no repeated letters. Two of the longest dictionary-listed isograms, for example, are the 15-letter DERMATOGLYPHICS (listed in both The Oxford English Dictionary and Webster's Third New International) and UNCOPYRIGHTABLE (in The Oxford English Dictionary). And the 16-letter plural form UNCOPYRIGHTABLES can be found in online sources such as Wiktionary and Wordnik.

Also, Word Ways has often featured words and names which have precisely two instances of each different letter. Prime examples are the 14-letter SCINTILLESCENT (listed in both The Oxford English Dictionary and Webster's Second Edition) and the 14-letter TAENIODONTIDAE (from Webster's Second Edition).

1-isograms and 2-isograms

The term 1-isogram has been used for a word which has no repeated letters. Or, to put it another way, has only one instance of each different letter. And by extension, the term 2-isogram has been used for a word which has two instances of each different letter.

New Isograms

A few previously unnoticed 1-and 2-isograms can be found in printed dictionaries. But many other new isograms are only locatable online. Whether any of these Internet-listed specimens gains enough currency to become included in a 'proper' dictionary, only time will tell.


The following lists give a number of 1-isograms of 16, 15 and 14 letters length which appear not to have been identified previously. Several of these are hyphenated terms which can only be found in online sources.


This 16-letter example can't be found on the Internet. But it can be inferred from a single quote for the infinitive form of the verb. The only Internet example findable relates to computer programming: "to hyperobfuscate code".


A unique 15-letter specimen, findable just once on the Internet, although there are several hyphenated occurrences. Here's the online quotation I found: "It gave me an extrashockingly large number of things to work with."


This is the 15-letter plural of the noun HYPERABDUCTION, more of which later in this article.


A 15-letter example which has many Internet hits. Here's a quote which uses it as a verb: "ABS is different, all it does is try to prevent a wheel from locking up and preventing you from losing the ability to steer by hypermodulating the brakes." If only we could find an example which uses hypermodulating as a noun, then we'd be able to infer a 16-letter plural hypermodulatings.


This 15-letter example is in the online dictionary Wiktionary, where it is defined as the present participle of the verb hyperosculate. Wiktionary also provides this illustrative quotation: "A hyperosculating point is one where the tangent space meets with order higher than normal." Here's another online mathematical example where hyperosculating appears twice in the same sentence: "On a general curve in [n] where, in contrast to F, there is no confluence of the points of hyperosculation, the hyperosculating primes have precisely (<< + l)-point contact; while at the points of hyperosculation the osculating [5] for s ^ n--2 are not hyperosculating." Suffice to say, I don't understand any of that!


This vulgar 15-letter specimen can be found in several online dictionaries. The Wiktionary website simply defines this as "extremely". And the Urban Dictionary website defines it as "Adverb that describes a verb done with utmost urgence."


A lovely 15-letter specimen, this can be found online. While most online examples are hyphenated, here are two occasions where the word is spelled solidly: "That's what you call the mitigating circumstances of our psychomarketing isolation!" and "You don't need a Ph.D. to put the more mundane aspects of psychomarketing to work"


Many years ago, Dmitri Borgmann suggested the ridiculous coinage VODKA-THUMBSCREWINGLY, a 20-letter 1-isogram. Jeff Grant has recently pointed out that the last part of the latter term, THUMBSCREWINGLY, a 15-letter 1-isogram, can now be found in a book: "The situation was thumbscrewingly tortuous, and so his abilities gradually diminished, in spite of his tenacious hold on them." This sentence appears in The Merovingians, by H. von Doderer, 1996, page 21--the book is still available on Amazon!


This hyphenated 15-letter term can be found in various online sources. Here's one online quote I found: "Mike Bostock uses the following snippet to generate uniformly-spaced bins for a histogram". The term can be found in its two-word unhyphenated form (uniformly spaced) in an 1873 quotation at the main entry for spaced in The Oxford English Dictionary--thus, "Uniformly spaced central holes serve to move the paper on at a constant speed".


This 14-letter term appears in an illustrative quotation at the entry fascist salute in The Oxford English Dictionary--thus: "Certain works .. have flirted unpleasantly with Neo-Nazi imagery--fascist salutes, black-uniformed power--offered uncritically as signals of glamorous chic."


Another 14-letter specimen which can be found online in phrases such as:
    "a counterdisplay
 of hostility"
   "a counterdisplay
 of technological military power"
   "his counterdisplay
 of affection"
   "a counterdisplay
 of communal solidarity"
   "a counterdisplay
 of masculine hardness". 

And so on.


Another 14-letter specimen, referring to a method of voice and instrumental recording, occurs online. Here's an example: "Killer Guitar Tracks: Double-Tracking and Finding Your Own Tone"


14 letters, often hyphenated, but quite a few unhyphenated examples can be found online. Here's one example: "Their extrasymphonic titles comport with the extramarital events that surrounded them."


Another 14-letter specimen which exists online. An example is: "No driver shall use or permit the use of any flame-producing emergency signal for protecting any commercial motor vehicle transporting ..."


There are a few instances of this online. For example: "housewarmingly nice welcome" and "a housewarmingly good time".


A 14-letter main entry in Webster's Third, where it is defined by the much longer (but non-isogrammatic) "magnetohydrodynamics". While this doesn't appear in my 1961 printing of Webster's Third, it does appear in the separately-issued 1966 addenda section, as well as in The Oxford English Dictionary. As far as I can tell, this word has never appeared in Word Ways.


This 14-letter solidly spelled word is a boldface entry listed under hyper- in The Oxford English Dictionary. This word has previously appeared in Word Ways (August 2000), but only as an example of a word with the vowels in the order YEAUIO.


A 14-letter mathematical term, with many Internet occurrences. Here's a couple: "Vector fields on smooth hypermanifolds in Hilbert space" and "It is assumed these hypermanifolds possess no singularities and that at all points of intersection their gradients form a linearly independent system." Just so!


14 letters with many Internet hits. Here's a poem which is called Hypernostalgic: "I can never pinpoint the exact reason, and I sort of hope I never do; I enjoy these hypernostalgic trips, even if a certain amount of sadness and longing is the price of admission." Here's a prose example: "... the hypernostalgic longing for a return to Palestine increased after the losses of 1948 and 1967 ...".


A 14-letter specimen, hyphenated, unfortunately. This can be found in a variety of online phrases such as: "tracking of leftward-moving targets", "the leftward-moving antikaon", "a leftward-moving shear flow" and "the leftward-moving flux".


There are lots of hits for this word, but mainly as an adjective. For example, this can be found in a tome about aviation maintenance: "the single breakdown characteristic analysis, the multibreakdown characteristic analysis, and the test parametric analysis". And here's another example, this time in a work about ion beams: "The high-voltage modulator of the power supply system can be operated in multibreakdown mode".

There are some Internet hits where MULTIBREAKDOWN is being used a noun. Here's one example: "Increase of the voltage amplitude might cause a multibreakdown in the system and produce a multipeak current profile". Here's another: "When a split-thickness skin-graft takes, it usually provides an unstable scar that is adherent to bone and bone multibreakdown when exposed to direct trauma." Given these noun uses, it's possible to infera 15-letter 1-isogram MULTIBREAKDOWNS.


Findable online. Here's an example: "Classes cover postural assessment, anatomy and physiology, neurolymphatic reflexes, isometric exercises, joint mobilization, and working with the energetic field."


The online YourDictionary defines this 14-letter word thus: "Adverb: (comparative more outspreadingly, superlative most outspreadingly) In a way that outspreads."


There's just one Internet hit for this 14-letter item, in a site dedicated to Tom Swifties: "I remember one time in Science class, I wanted to find out if they really did contain methane, so I pulled down my pants, squatted down and let 'er rip!" Tom said, overmatchingly."


There are plenty of online examples of this 14-letter item spelled with a hyphen (pseudo-chivalry), but it can also be found spelled solidly. A good example is: "Historical accounts prate about 'fair game' and pseudochivalry where the animal may theoretically escape."


Another 14-letter example which crops up in various places online. Here are two examples: "both the matching and pseudomatching tasks" and "the results of a pseudomatching experiment".


Yet another PSEUDO-example of 14 letters. An online example is: "an error in a pseudotracking test".


And another 14-letter example beginning PSEUDO-. This long quote can be found online: "Listen. Googlewhacking is stupid. Dumb non-phrases that occur only once precisely because they're useless in speech. Come on guys! Now this is more like it--a proper three-word phrase-used in a real sentence that actually means something--that occurs only once on the whole web. I'm going to call it pseudowhacking (if nobody minds, of course)."


I couldn't find this 14-letter specimen spelled solidly online, but I liked it hyphenated, anyway. Here's a couple of online examples: "Get into it, get among the fashion-forward locals, soak up the Polynesian vibes, sip vino with the pseudo-yachting set, check out One Tree Hill, Waiheke Island and the Viaduct." and "He wore an old dirty cap of a pseudo-yachting type, such as can be bought in ten-cent stores".


I couldn't find this 14-letter specimen spelled solidly, but decided to include its hyphenated form in this article because it contains the difficult letter Q. Here's an online example: "This is his quasi-workbench In the basement, consisting of a few sawhorses with a sheet of plywood on top."


A solidly spelled 14-letter example, this can be found in various online quotations. Here's one taken from Lynda LaPlante's novel Silent Scream: An Anna Travis Mystery: "There are many cases that I have used as semibackground for the building of the character Amanda Delany."


Another 14-letter solidly spelled word. There are lots of occurrences of this online. Here's just one example: "Hence, the chronic state of semibankruptcy in the academic discipline of international politics!"


14 letters and solidly spelled, this is a technical computing term which exists at various sites online. Here's one example: "Documents fail to fully print because of stackunderflow."


Lots of hyphenated occurrences of this 14-letter specimen can be found on the Internet, but here's an example which spells the word solidly: "Shall we recall to mind on this subject that the aesthetic taste of Marcel Dupre, expressed clearly and on many an occasion, was inclined toward the ultrasymphonic organ and consequently, it is not a betrayal of his intentions, if we confirm that the Symphonie-Passion is more properly an orchestral work conceived to be played on the organ than a specific composition for organ?"


This word has appeared in four separate Word Ways articles (November 1969, May 1979, August 2000 and November 2000), but always as an example of a word with one of each of the vowels. It has never been referred to as a 14-letter isogram. The word is listed in Webster's Second Edition.


A technical term from the world of biology and medicine, here's an online example: "Unphagocytized organisms incubated for similar periods and fixed in the same manner did not lose viability nor have any degenerative changes."


Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary (28th edition) has this 14-letter word, and defines it as "radiography of the seminal vesicles". Interestingly, this word appeared in Word Ways in August 2000 as an example of a word containing the six vowels EIUOAY.


The following lists gives several hitherto unreported 2-isograms of 14,12 and 10 letters--words and terms with precisely two occurrences of each different letter.


A 14-letter example with several instances online. Here's an example: "How will the Democrats win economic-minded voters in 2016?"


A new 12-letter example. According to Wikipedia, "Synonyms to the word metasomatism are metasomatose and metasomatic process. The word metasomatose can also be used as a name for specific varieties of metasomatism (for example Mg-metasomatose and Na- metasomatose)."


This is the plural of the two-word term meteor storm, which is listed in The Oxford English Dictionary. Quite simply, meteor storms are particularly intense meteor showers.


This is the plural of the noun palaeoslope, a geological term indicating the directionality of dip of a former surface. Palaeoslope is in The Oxford English Dictionary.


This word appears at least twice in Dan Jenkins' book Dogged Victims of Inexorable Fate. Here's one of the occurrences: "There are only four superputters out here. Arnold Palmer, Bill Casper, Jerry Barber and Dow Finsterwald. Now, those guys can really putt."


This 12-letter item appears in various names which can be found online. Examples include Texas TransEastern, Transeastern Power Trust, Transeastern Freight, Transeastern Homes, and Transeastern Associates.


This is a genus of froghoppers. This name appears in the zoological names Aphrophora spumaris and Aphrophora interrupta, which can be found in various illustrative quotations at the entries cuckoo-spit, frog, froth and hop in The Oxford English Dictionary.


According to the online dictionary Wiktionary, this is a foreign word with a meaning in several languages. It exists in Latin, Italian, Galician and Portuguese, all with meanings related to the verb 'concede'. As a Latin word, it exists in the legal term de tallagio non concedendo. This is the name given to various statutes enacted under England's King Edward I which restricted the power of the king to grant talliage, an arbitrary tax levied by kings upon towns. There are many examples of this Latin term appearing in English texts online. Here is one such: "It was understood by Hume and his eighteenth-century contemporaries that with de tallagio non concedendo the English people became for the first time entirely emancipated from prerogative taxation."


According to Wikipedia, this is the name of a mountain of Peru located in the Ancash Region, Santa Province. It is the highest mountain in the Cordillera Negra at 5181 metres. Its geographical coordinates are 8[degrees]50'35"S 78[degrees]00'23"W.


Without a doodle! There are quite a few occurrences of this online--here's one: "Love your flower doodle. I finally finished my peacock doodle. It's on my header if you want to take a peek. Now I'm doodleless ...... is that a word?? LOL But there are ideas floating around in my head."


This is a variant spelling of Kharkhari, a city in India. One website notes that: "Kharkharee is located in the city of Dhanbad, Bokaro in Jharkhand. The pin code (ie zipcode or postcode) of Kharkharee is 828125. The area of Kharkharee lies in the taluka of Bokaro and has a Branch Post Office. Kharkharee officially lies in the postal division of Dhanbad, postal region of Ranchi and postal circle of Jharkhand."


Although this is a Tagalog word meaning 'flowering plant', it can be found online in English sentences such as this one: "What's the meaning of the Filipino word nagbubunga? Here's a list of words you may be looking for."


With a hyphen, NON-ORDERED, this is a main entry in The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged Edition, 1965). But online dictionaries such as Wikipedia, YourDictionary, and show the word spelled solidly, without a hyphen.


This word is in The Oxford English Dictionary where it is defined as a magnetic pole of the earth as it was situated at some time in the past.


Peddapalle is a village in Karimnagar district in the state of Telangana in India. A variant spelling is Peddapalli. Wikipedia is one or many online sites providing information about the village.


This is a variant spelling of polypyrrole, which can be found in The Oxford English Dictionary, where it is defined as "a polymer of pyrrole, especially one that is a solid material which conducts electricity when doped with protons or other charge carriers". The polypyrrol spelling can be found online-here's an example: "The semi-conducting properties of polypyrrol (PPy) are investigated by the photo-electrochemical technique."


Wikipedia carries an article entitled Protopriest, and explains that in the College of Cardinals, the protopriest is the first Cardinal-Priest in the order of precedence. It goes on to indicate that the Italian form of the word is protopresbitero, and, rarely, protoprete. However, the word appears elsewhere online without any obvious reference to its being Italian. Here's an example: "For example, Cardinal Joseph Fesch, created cardinal in 1803, became protoprete in 1822, although at that time, five Cardinal Priests created in 1801 were still alive."


An alternative spelling of CONOCRANCRA, listed above. This is notable for containing two Qs, and is probably the only 2-isogram with the letter Q appearing.


This is the name of a town in Italy, and is listed in The Times Index Gazetteer of the World (1965 edition).


Wikipedia and various other online websites inform us that Wellawatte is a neighbourhood of Colombo, Sri Lanka.

That new 1-isograms and 2-isograms are still being found suggests that others are still awaiting discovery. Word Ways readers are encouraged to seek out new ones.

Many thanks to Jeff Grant for reviewing an early version of this article and suggesting many additions.

Darryl Francis

Brampton, Cumbria, England
COPYRIGHT 2015 Jeremiah Farrell
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2015 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Francis, Darryl
Publication:Word Ways
Article Type:List
Date:Nov 1, 2015
Previous Article:Why Our Cat Jumped Straight Up Into the Christmas Tree.
Next Article:Sir Jeremy Morse (1928-2016).

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |