Language

9-letter words with no repeated letters

Can you think of 9-letter word with no repeated letters? I’ll give you a minute or two.

If you never play with words (anagrams, crosswords, Codewords, games of Scrabble) it might take a while to come up with the first one, but once you do the next one might come much sooner, and if you give it ten minutes you might find that you’ve thought of 15, 20 or more. Or, if you never play with words, you might take a few minutes and then give up, or not bother yourself trying to think of any in the first place. What’s the point? For me, the point is to make your brain do something different for a while. If you try an exercise like this you might stop thinking of other things for a few minutes, and then you can come back to those other things with a different focus.

I started making note of these words a couple of years ago, after looking at a daily puzzle (“Mini Codeword”) in the Standard, London’s free evening newspaper. Apart from the Books page on a Thursday, and the Sport pages (which I flick through briefly), this puzzle is the only reason I pick up my free copy of the paper. The puzzle gives three clues to the 9-letter word that you’re looking for, in the form 123456789. Here’s an example:

15437 gives bards (i.e., and I don’t want to insult your intelligence here, it’s a word meaning “bards”)

739867 gives an old writing tool

391273 gives a keyboard user

In this case, the first and third clues look easier then the second.

The third clue has the same letter at the start and end, so it’s probably TYPIST. And the first clue looks like POETS, and they both share the letters T, P and S in the right places. This gives you the letters 12345_7_9, as follows: PITEO_S_Y

You can probably work out that the missing letters are U and L, to give the word PITEOUSLY, and as a double check that would make the answer to the second clue STYLUS, “an old writing tool”, so that looks right.

This puzzle appears 5 days a week, most weeks of the year, so in the two years that I have been looking at it there have been up to 500 different words. I have noticed some duplicate answers. There must be a limited number of 9-letter words, with no duplicate letters, in common usage.

There’s a list at the end of this piece. My aim was at least one word for every letter of the alphabet but as often happens with language and word puzzles I’ve got a bit carried away. There are 188 words, arranged into mostly meaningless 4-word phrases. Before I get there here’s the longest word in the English language with no repeated letters, 15 of them: UNCOPYRIGHTABLE. Yes, it’s a word, built out of COPYRIGHT (9 letters, no repeats), a prefix and a suffix.

And here’s that list, and every word features in either the Scrabble Official Dictionary or the Oxford English Dictionary:

Almsgiver Anchoring Angelfish Anxiously

Anchovies Abolished Awestruck Ablutions

Absolving Algorithm Authoring Amplitude

Blockhead Betraying Bleaching Benchmark

Bohemians Breathing Burnished Binocular

Birdcages Breaching Bifurcate Brimstone

Blackouts Broaching Brightens Breakdown

Campfires Capturing Curtained Carousel

Countries Contrived Captioned Cylinders

Costumier Companies Cremating Copyright

Compliant Compilers Chemistry Clampdown

Chandlers Cavorting Carousing Chortling

Dystopian Diplomats Deploying Dishwater

Decathlon Deviators Ducklings Discovery

Duplicate Driveways Declaring Durations

Earthling Employing Eucharist Exclusion

Falconers Fathering Fractious Fragments

Favourite Flagstone Furnished Farmhouse

Facetious Flounders Flavoured Farthings

Groundsel Garnished Grumpiest Greyhound

Gourmands Galumphed Gumshield Guardsmen

Hypocrite Hampering Hungriest Hamstring

Herbalist Hectoring Hypocaust Hangovers

Incurable Ignoramus Integrals Intervals

Jangliest Jokesmith Jockeying Jocundity

Kyboshing Keyboards Kvetching Knitwears

Liveryman Lecturing Locksmith Lunchtime

Masterful Makeshift Megaliths Manifesto

Merchants Marigolds Machinery Mavericks

Meltdowns Mothering Menstrual Megabucks

Nefarious Nostalgic Nightwear Normality

Overnight Orientals Ownership Oversight

Painterly Parchment Plentiful Posturing

Pinafores Producing Proactive Ponytails

Playwright Preaching Porcelain Pectorals

Quavering Quelching Quatching Quackling

Randomize Revolting Rhapsodic Reactions

Regionals Recouping Relations Revulsion

Sprightly Subaltern Searching Scrubland

Swordfish Sparingly Sketching Supernova

Screaming Sparkling Snowdrift Something

Tenacious Tapeworms Trampling Triangles

Terminals Tarnished Trapezium Tramlines

Unearthly Uploading Universal Undershot

Vexatious Verbalist Vocalized Vainglory

Weakling Welcoming Westbound Workbench

Xylograph Yearlings Youngster Zealotism

 

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