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Permed ends.

The readers of Word Ways will be familiar with words whose first few letters are repeated, in the same order, at the end of the word. John Ferguson of Maryland called these Heads `n Tails (Feb 1970, p 48). Examples of the genre include ICELANDIC, TORMENTOR, OUTSHOUTS and UNDERGROUNDER. By way of contrast, the first few letters might be repeated at the end of the word in reverse order, as in DETONATED and SELAGINELLALES (dfpf). The current investigation explores a third way in which the letters at the beginning of a word are repeated at the end of the word, namely in any permutation other than the same, or reverse, order. SIKORSKI and AESTIVATES are examples.

Permutations

Listed below are examples of words whose first 3, 4 and 5 letters are repeated as the last 3, 4 and 5 letters of the words. If these letters are represented by numbers, then an initial 3-letter group 123 offers the 4 permutations 132, 213, 231 and 312 as possible endings (= 6 permutations less 123 and 321). Similarly, an initial 4-letter group 1234 offers 22 possible endings (24 less 1234 and 4321), whilst a 5-letter group 12345 offers 118 possible endings (120 less 12345 and 54321). For each permutation, one example is given for as many different letter groups as possible, irrespective of word length. So how many different letter groups are there in total? Consider a 3-letter group beginning with the letter A. The second letter can be any one of 25 and the third letter any one of 24. Thus there are 25 x 24 = 600 different 3-letter groups beginning with A, excluding those with repeated letters which I do not include. Implicitly, there must be 600 x 26 (letters of the alphabet) = 15,600 such 3-letter groups in total. Split-word transposals, such as HORSESHOER (cham), in which the letters of the first half of the word are repeated in the second half, are not allowed; there must be at least one letter separating the two groups of letters. Thus HORSESHOERS is allowed. Tautonyms, such as HUSH-HUSH, are not included. All the examples are solid or hyphenated words; phrases are not included. The words are listed in alphabetical order. Unreferenced words can be found in the OED Second Edition as head words, variant forms and text words including citations. Non-OED references are listed at the end.

Three-letter Permutations 123-132

ACROSARC (web2), ASHERAHS, BARABRA, BELIEVABLE, BRAKEBAR, CATALECTA (web2), CLASSICAL, CLORAMFENICOL (sted), CREANCER, DREADER, GAMMANUSIGMA (ww90175), HUTUKHTU (web2), HJORTSHOJ (tig), IANTHINA, IDENTIFIED, IGNORING, INOCULATION, KHANKAH (web2), KNIPPERKIN, KNOCK-ON, KREEKER, LEILLELLIE, LEVER-VALVE, NECROMANCE, NYCROMANCY (biw), OLIVE-OIL, PREPPER, PSEUDOSCOPES, REBARBE, REGORGE, RESURSE, SIKORSKI, STERN-SET, TEISTIE, TREATER, TROUMPETOR, TRUDITUR, TYRANTRY, UERDURE

123--213

ADELEIDAE (web2), ATLANTAL, BIAJAIBA (pul), CATARACT, CIATICA, CYATYCA, DIAPSIDA, DIETHYLTOLUAMIDE (sted), DISCOIDS, DYSCOMFYDS, ENDEIGNED, ENSHRINES, FATHERCRAFT (web2), FIELD-WIFE, GAS-BAGS, GREEN-CHARGE, INCUDO-TYMPANIC, INSIGNIS, INTERKNIT, MASTOGRAMS (dor), MESEEMS, MISAIMS, MUSEUMS, NASORAEANS (cham), NATURANT, NIGGLING, NUSAUNS, PIEWIPE, PISTOL-WHIPS, PUSH-UPS, RAIYATWARI (cham), RESCUERS, RETROVERT, ROMANIFORM (web2), RUSH-HOURS, SETTEST, SIMPLISM, SITARIST, STANITSA, TAENIATE, TIEMANNITE, TOSSPOTS, TRIMURTI, WOLF-GROWL

123--231

AEROCAMERA (web2), AMINOACIDEMIA (web2), CARBON-ARC, CHIROGRAPHOSOPHIC, DAIRYMAID, DANCE-BAND, DARTBOARD, DEADHEAD, DELAFIELD, DIABOLIAD, DIRT-BIRD, DRAVOGRAD (tig), DREAD-DESIRED, EAGLE-PLUMAGE, EARTHENWARE, ECHELICHE, ENCUMBRANCE, ENGRANGE, ENSCONSE, ENTENTE, ENZENZE (bt), EQUIVOQUE, FEATHERLEAF (web2), GANTANG (web2), GENSENG (web2), GINGERING, GUNNUNG (web2), HACKNEY-COACH, HATHATH (web2), HIGHLEIGH (Devon), HOCHPOCH, HYPOGRYPH, KUCKUCK (chain), LEAF-MEAL, MESODESM, MISANTHROPISM, MORIFORM, NIAGARIAN, NOUMERACIOUN, PARACARP, PHILOSOPHYSHIP, PLATE-LAP, PRAISE-TRAP, PRE-PREP, RAIL-CHAIR, READY-TO-WEAR, SACROILIACS (web2), SAGBAGS, SAMSAMS, SAHIBAHS, SALICIONALS, SCHOLARCHS, SEMSEMS, SENTENS, SERVERS, SHANACHAS (web2), SHEATHES, SILKTAILS, SIMSIMS (web2), SINIGRINS (web2), SKATIKAS (web2), SLEPLES, SONATIONS (web2), SOUKOUS (cham), SOWLOWS (daw), SPECTROSCOPES, SPHYGMOGRAPHS (web2), STELLATES, STICTIS, STOMATOS (cham), STULTUS (cham), SUBSHRUBS, SUPERGROUPS, TANTNEQUANT, TENEMENT, TESTIEST (web2), THOROUGH-SHOT, TORCHWORT, TRADE-RAT, VLADISLAV (tig), WLADYSLAW (Gomulka)

123--312

ANIDIAN (web2), ALCHEMICAL, ALTAR-FRONTAL, ASITIAS (web2), CENTENCE, CHOLEDOCH, DEICIDE, DERWARDE, EAST-SEA, EDIFIED, ELIMIEL (cad), ENTERPARTEN, ESTIMATES, HERBURHE, HYPERTROPHY, ICHTHIC.(cham), ICOSANOIC (sted), INSEISIN, INTESTIN, ISTHMITIS, KASALIYSKA (tig), KAZATZKA (cham), KOSCIUSKO (tig), LEAF-SCALE, LEDGE-HANDLE, LYSIGENOUSLY, MYOTOMY, OSTINATOS, OUGADOUGOU (web3), OWL-SWALLOW, PEARSHAPE, PERLETHORPE (Nottinghamshire), PHARMACOGRAPH (sted), PHOTOTROPH, REAWARE (web2), REINSPIRE, REOPHORE, REULURE, SCILFISC, SCYTTYSC, SENTENSE, SHABASH, SHESHBESH, SHIPPISH, SMITHISM, STANDFAST, STERNEST, STIGMATIST, STOCK-FROST, TEAMMATE, TEINEITE, TENENTE, TERRE-VERTE, THERTTIETH, THORN-MOTH, THREEPENNYWORTH, THULUTH (web2)

Four-letter Permutations

Examples were found for each of the 22 possible permutations.

1234--1243

DISEMBODIES, INDETERMINED, NIETZSCHEANITE, SIGNALISING, STREP-TASTER

1234--1324

BRIDEWELL-BIRD, INOSCULATIONS, NECROMANCER, SENSLESNES

1234--1342

ANTI-LATIN (web2), DREAD-DEAR, RECHERCHE

1234--1423

AESTIVATES, INSORPTIONS (sted), INTERSILIENT, NESCIENCES (web2), PAN-EUROPEAN, PREINSPIRE (web2), RESIDENTIARIES, TONIFICATION

1234--1432

ASELLARIALES (opc), GYNOMEROGONY (sted), MENISPERMINE, METASTIGMATE (web2)

1234--2134

ANTENNATE (web2), AURE-QUARE, AWRTHWART, CATERACTE, INSTITUTIONIST, NIERSTEINER

1234--2143

MENAGE-MAN, NOSE-BONES, PRELATE-PURPLE, RUDE-FEATURED

1234--2314

ENTRECOUNTER, GIN-SLINGS, MARSHAL-AT-ARMS

1234--2341

CUBI-CUBIC, EPISCOPISE, ERITHRITE, HEAT-DEATH, HINCH-PINCH, HOTCHPOTCH, KANIKANIK, RIVER-DRIVER, SANDILANDS (Lincolnshire), SENTIMENTS, SINGLINGS, SLAP-SLAPS (web2), STEREOMETERS, TRANSMIGRANT

1234--2413

ENSCONCES, INSTANTIS (chain), RHEOPHORE

1234--2431

DIESELISED, SIGNET-RINGS, STREETERS

1234--3124

ICOSANOICS (sted), INTESTINE, PERSTIRPES, PORTER-POT, READY-PREPARED, TEAR-WATER, TENDER-SLANTED

1234--3142

ENDASPIDEAN, IDLE-BELLIED, INCOURCION, INTONATION

1234--3214

NORETHINDRONE, RED-SANDERS, VITELLIRUPTIVE (sted)

1234--3241

DOLIOLOID, FIRE-BRIEF, KRASNOYARSK (tig), SCIATICAS, SNIGGERINGS

1234--3412

ANTICHRISTIAN, DEHYDRORETINALDEHYDE (sted), ESOPHAGOSCOPES (sted), INTERTEIN, PHRASEOGRAPH

1234--3421

DEINCLINED, DIPHOSPHID (pul), NORTHALLERTON (North Yorkshire), NOTIFICATION, REALITY-REVEALER, RENT-HUNTER, SERICTERIES, SKINNYMALINKS, STRATOCRATS

1234--4123

BLEACHABLE (web2), CALISTHENICAL, DESUETUDES (web2), FENOPROFEN (sted), ICE-PRECIPICE, MESOSOMES, MICROTHERMIC (web2), OVER-DROVE

1234--4132

DREAM-READER, GRENZGANGER (cham), TRANSPLANTAR, TREACLE-WATER

1234--4213

NIGHT-WATCHING

1234--4231

ANTEPAGMENTA, BRACKET-CRAB, ENCUMBRAUNCE, ENDOMOTORSONDE (sted), GLASS-SLAG, SANITARIANS, SHLEMIEHLS, SONIFICATIONS (sted), STEARATES

1234--4312

ANTI-PURITAN, HYPOTROPHY, ICHTHYORNITHIC, ICTEROGENETIC, MYOTENOTOMY (web2), PHARMACOGRAPH (sted), STIRPICULTURIST

Five-letter Permutations

12345--12453 MARKET-MAKER

12345--12534 HORSE-SHOERS

12345--12543 CHENILLE-MACHINE

12345--13542 EDRIOASTEROID (web2)

12345--15243 UNDERBURNED (web2)

12345--15342 ASCENDANCES

12345--15423 RHYPAROGRAPHY

12345--23145 INCESSANCIES (web2)

12345--23415 ISAT-CHLORISATIC, TRANSMIGRANTS

12345--23451 DUST-ENCRUSTED (sg), NATIONALISATION, RACKENSACKER (ws), SHEARING-SHEARS

12345--25341 LUNAR-DIURNAL, TRANSVERSANT

12345--31245 ETHICOAESTHETIC (web2)

12345--31452 ULTRASTRUCTURAL

12345--32415 GIRDER-BRIDGE

12345--34125 PHRASEOGRAPHS

12345--34512 AISTHANESTHAI (cham)

12345--34521 DENIZENIZED (web2)

12345--35124 INTERLACUSTRINE

12345--41235 PHILADELPHIA

12345--41325 TRANSPLANTARS (note that TRANSPLANTAR fills the pattern 1234--4132)

12345--43125 PHARYNGOGRAPHY

12345--45123 MASTOCYTOMAS (sted)

12345--45213 NIGHT-FIGHTING

12345--51243 THREAD-FEATHER

12345--51324 NEGRO-MONGER

I have not searched for permutations of 6 or more letters. By chance, however, I came across EDRIOASTEROIDEA (web2) with the pattern 123456--354216, and GLACIOLOGICAL with the pattern 123456--615432. Will anyone take up the reins from here?

A related exercise springs to mind. The words SCINTICISTERNOGRAPHICS (inferred from SCINTICISTERNOGRAPHY in Stedman) and PROTOCOPROPORPHYRIA (sted) contain 3 different permutations of the letters C, I, S, and O, P, R respectively, reverse orders being allowed. Readers are invited to discover more such words. The letter groups may occur anywhere in the word.

References for non-OED words

biw = Book of intriguing Words by Paul Hellweg, 1986

bt = Bloomsbury Thesaurus, 1993

cad = Cooper's Archaic Dictionary, 1876

cham = Chambers English Dictionary

daw = Dictionary of Archaic Words, J.O. Halliwell, 1989

dor = Dorland's Medical Dictionary

dfpf = A Dictionary of the Flowering Plants and Ferns by J.C. Willis, 7th Edition CUP 1966

opc= Outline of Plant Classification by Sandra Holmes

pul = The Complete Word Game Dictionary by Pulliam & Carruth, Facts on File 1984

sg = from word list with Supergram program for Acorn computers

sted= Stedman's Medical Dictionary

tig = The Times Index Gazetteer of the World, 1965

web2/3 = Webster's Second/Third Edition

ws = War Slang by Paul Dickson, 1994
SUSAN THORPE
Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England
(thorpeds@hotmail.com)
COPYRIGHT 2002 Jeremiah Farrell
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Thorpe, Susan
Publication:Word Ways
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2002
Words:1142
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