Fun facts about the English language

Adam   Tue Jul 05, 2005 5:55 pm GMT
No word in the English language rhymes with month.

"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".

The word "set" has more definitions than any other word in the English language.

"Underground" is the only word in the English language that begins and ends with the letters "und."

The longest one-syllable word in the English language is "screeched."

There are only four words in the English language which end in"-dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

The longest word in the English language, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.

The only other word with the same amount of letters is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconioses, its plural.

There is a seven letter word in the English language that contains ten words without rearranging any of its letters, "therein": the, there, he, in, rein, her, here, here, ere, therein, herein.

No words in the English language rhyme with orange, silver or purple.

'Stewardesses' is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand.

To "testify" was based on men in the Roman court swearing to a statement made by swearing on their testicles.

The combination "ough" can be pronounced in nine different ways. The following sentence contains them all: "A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."

The verb "cleave" is the only English word with two synonyms which are antonyms of each other: adhere and separate.

The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is "uncopyrightable."
Damian in Live 8 Edinburg   Tue Jul 05, 2005 7:14 pm GMT
There is a town in Devon, England, the name of which contains exactly half the letters of the standard English alphabet (13)...and of these not one is repeated:

BUCKFASTLEIGH
Damian in Live 8 Edinburg   Tue Jul 05, 2005 7:17 pm GMT
.....and I've got tickets for tomorrow night! :-)
Jo   Tue Jul 05, 2005 7:41 pm GMT
źNo words in the English language rhyme with orange, silver or purple.╗
Adam,
What about pilfer with silver?
Frances   Tue Jul 05, 2005 10:52 pm GMT
"źNo words in the English language rhyme with orange, silver or purple.╗
Adam,
What about pilfer with silver?"

They don't rhyme for me
Kazoo   Fri Jul 08, 2005 8:19 pm GMT
Did you know that the Old English word for 'fart' was 'verteth'. I wonder how and why it ever changed to 'fart', it shows no resemblance to the old word.
Milanya   Fri Jul 08, 2005 8:46 pm GMT
The verb "cleave" is the only English word with two synonyms which are antonyms of each other: adhere and separate.

What about the word "clip"?
1. To fasten with or as if with a clip; hold tightly
2. To cut, cut off, or cut out
Kazoo   Sat Jul 09, 2005 10:05 pm GMT
On second thought, 'vert'(eth) and 'fart' do sound vaguely similar. Maybe I've just answered my own question.
Mouse   Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:47 am GMT
Patronize is the same as clip and cleave.

If you patronize someone, you are either supporting him or berating him.
Robert   Tue Jul 26, 2005 7:26 pm GMT
>The verb "cleave" is the only English word with two synonyms
>which are antonyms of each other: adhere and separate.

Also "to sanction" in the senses of "to allow" and "to prohibit".

An additional fun fact...
George Bernard Shaw used to mention that "ghoti" can be pronounced "fish". The "gh" from "tough", the "o" from "women", and the "ti" from "nation".
Rick Johnson   Tue Jul 26, 2005 8:07 pm GMT
"On second thought, 'vert'(eth) and 'fart' do sound vaguely similar. Maybe I've just answered my own question."

Must have changed pretty early on because "fart" appears in The Canterbury Tales in the late 14th Century. Maybe the "v" sound was close to the German "v" sound.
Ved   Wed Jul 27, 2005 2:59 am GMT
For me, "orange" rhymes with "syringe".
Ved   Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:02 am GMT
That is, of course, if identical ultimate syllables and identical stress patterns count as rhyming.
D   Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:04 am GMT
> Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".

What about unkempt?
D   Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:05 am GMT
What about unkempt?

That is, are there other words that end in 'mpt'?