15 English Language Peculiarities


You don’t have to look very far to find some real quirks in the English language.

Here are fifteen of our favorites:

  1. Rhythms is the longest English word without containing the normal vowels, a, e, i, o, or u.
  2. Therein is a seven-letter word that contains thirteen words spelled using consecutive letters: the, he, her, er, here, I, there, ere, rein, re, in, therein, and herein.
  3. There is only one commonly used word in the English language that has five vowels in a row: queueing.
  4. Almost is the longest commonly used word in the English language with all the letters in alphabetical order. (Cool, huh?)
  5. One thousand contains the letter A, but none of the words from one to nine hundred ninety-nine has an A.
  6. Cwm (pronounced “koom,” defined as a steep-walled hollow on a hillside) is a rare case of a word used in English in which w is the nucleus vowel, as is crwth (pronounced “krooth,” a type of stringed instrument).
  7. Asthma and isthmi are the only six-letter words that begin and end with a vowel and have no other vowels between.
  8. Underground and underfund are the only words in the English language that begin and end with the letters “und.”
  9. Stewardesses is the longest word that can be typed with only the left hand. Try it!
  10. Dreamt is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt.”
  11. The insanely long word honorificabilitudinitatibus (27 letters) alternates consonants and vowels.
  12. The two longest words with only one of the six vowels (including y) are the 15-letter mega-words defenselessness and respectlessness.
  13. Forty is the only number which has its letters in alphabetical order. One is the only number with its letters in reverse alphabetical order.
  14. Bookkeeper is the only word that has three consecutive doubled letters.
  15. Ough can be pronounced in eight different ways. The following sentence contains them all: “A rough-coated, dough-faced ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough, coughing and hiccoughing thoughtfully.”

Source: ListVerse

Leave a Reply