top of page
  • peterluykx

alphabetical-order words

Some English words have three adjacent letters in the same order as they occur in the alphabet; e.g., a word containing a-b-c in that order, or a word containing f-g-h in that order.

There are 24 different possible three-letter sequences, starting with abc and ending with xyz. If the alphabet is imagined in circular form, with a following z, then there are 26 possible three-letter sequences including yza and zab. A list of such words might start with dabchick and end with zabaglione.

(Words containing four letters in alphabetical order are rare. “Understudy” is one of them.)

Here is a list of words exemplifying 12 of the 26 theoretically possible three-letter alphabetical combinations. Readers are invited to find other examples, and also to try to find words illustrating any of the missing 14 three-letter sequences.

abcess (bcd) ecderon indefinite (efg) afghan sighing hijack (ijk, jkl, klm) calmness omnopon monopoly (opq, pqr, qrs) first astute (tuv, uvw, vwx, wxy, xyz, yza) zabaglione (a desert)

A dabchick is a kind of small water-bird. Ecderon is a word referring to the outer layer of the skin and its associated structures (hairs, nails, etc.). Omnopon is a medication consisting of a mixture of opium hydrochlorides. A zabaglione is an Italian dessert consisting of egg yolk, sugar, and wine, whipped to a froth, and served hot or cold.

23 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

different - writing - same - sounds “I’m in a good mood today,’ he said. “This morning on the second tea I got a whole in won!” “That’s nice to here,” she said, “but have I got a tail to tell yo

Examples of how to eliminate nicknames and restore words to their proper form: Just don’t call me by my nicholas-name; I hate it! From our jungle camp-site we could hear the distant beating of a thoma

Many modern words have had their original meanings and forms modified or even lost over the centuries. Here are eleven additions to my earlier list. ELECTRIC . . . “Electric lights in the form of inca

bottom of page