Go to the previous Fun Facts About English.
OK, word nerds, this post is for you!
An isogram, also known as a nonpattern word, is a word with no repeating letters or, more broadly, a word in which the letters occur an equal number of times. This category of words can be further subdivided into first, second and third orders, words with repeating pairs, words that can be transposed, words equally divided between the first and second half of the alphabet and… well, you get the picture.
In addition to being an isogram, the meaning of uncopyrightable is ambiguous. It could mean “able of being un-copyrighted” or “unable of being copyrighted.”
Because of the paucity of 15-letter non-pattern words, attempts have been made to add to their numbers by “coining” more of them. They include misconjugatedly, hydroneumatics, and prediscountably. Possible 16-letter words are uncopyrightables and subendolymphatic.
First-order isograms, like uncopyrightable, are words where each letter appears only once. 14-letter isograms include ambidextrously, troublemaking, and demographics.
Second-order isograms, where each letter appears twice, are Vivienne, Caucasus, couscous, intestines, and deed.
Third-order isograms, where every letter appears three times, are deeded, sestettes (a spelling variant of sextets), and geggee (a victim of a hoax).
The longest first-order isogrammatic place name, at 14 letters, is Bricklehampton, a small village in Worcestershire, England.
If you’re interested in more word oddities and trivia, get your favorite beverage and check out this site by Jeff Miller (who also has a pretty mean collection of dictionaries!) Peruse this compendium of online resources for wordplay, puzzlers, making word clouds, and saving endangered words.
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