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Consecutive Letters

Here is a selection of words interesting because of their letter sequences: consonant strings, rows of dots, alphabetic sequences, double letters, triple letters, and quadruple letter sequences. See also these sections: longest word, vowel records, amazing words, Scrabble game records, and Angry, Hungry, and GRY words.

Consonant Strings

Some common words with an uninterrupted string of five consonants are BACKSPLASH, BACKSTRETCH, BACKSTROKE, BIRTHPLACE, BREASTSTROKE, DOWNSTREAM, DOWNTHRUST, DUMBSTRUCK, EIGHTHS, ERSTWHILE, HEARTTHROB, LENGTHS, LIGHTPROOF, MATCHSTICK, NIGHTCLOTHES, NIGHTCLUB, NIGHTDRESS, POSTSCRIPT, STRENGTHS, THOUSANDTHS, THUMBSCREW, TWELFTHS, WARMTHS, and WITCHCRAFT. ANGSTS is the shortest word with five consonants in a row.

These words have six consecutive consonants: ARCHCHRONICLER, CATCHPHRASE, ESCHSCHOLTZIA, HANTZSCHIA, KNIGHTSBRIDGE, LATCHSTRING, POSTPHTHISIC, and WELTSCHMERZ. A popular staple food in Ukraine is a beetroot soup called borsch, which occurs in English dictionaries with a variety of spellings including borshch and borscht, giving rise to plurals containing a string of six consonants: BORSHCHS and BORSCHTS.

HIRSCHSPRUNG'S (DISEASE) has seven consecutive consonants, as does SCHTSCHUROWSKIA. The shortest such word is TSKTSKS. All of these words can be found in major English dictionaries.

Going Dotty

Beijing and Fiji have three dotted letters in a row. Other such words are remijia, bogijiab, pirijiri, kharijite, gaijin, Hajji, and hijinks. Ujiji has a string of four dots.

A property development company in the Canadian territory of Nunavut is the Katujjijiit Development Corporation, with six consecutive dotted letters.

In Hungarian, jöjjön (meaning "he should come") has seven dots in a row, if you allow diacritical marks. Incredibly, Finnish has a word with a continuous sequence of 14 dots: pääjääjää (meaning "the main stayer," partitive case).

Alphabetic Sequences

The alphabetical sequence –RSTU– is contained in OVERSTUFF, OVERSTUDIOUS, OVERSTUNK, UNDERSTUFF, UNDERSTUMBLE, SUPERSTUD, OVERSTUMBLE, SUPERSTUFF, UNDERSTUDY, and BIERSTUBE.

The only other four-letter alphabetical sequence found in English is –MNOP–, which is found, for example, in these words: CREMNOPHOBIA, GYMNOPAEDIC, GYMNOPHOBIA, GYMNOPLAST, LIMNOPHILE, LIMNOPHORA, LIMNOPHORID, LIMNOPLANKTON, SEMNOPITHECINE, SOMNOPATHY, and THAMNOPHILE.

If the alphabet is treated as a continuous loop, however, there is also –YZAB– in ANALYZABLE.

Double Letter Sequences

Here are some examples words containing double letters, for each letter of the alphabet: AARDVARK, ABBOT, ACCENT, ADD, FEED, OFF, EGG, WITHHOLD, SKIING, AVIJJA, BOOKKEEPER, ILL, IMMUNE, ANNOY, HOOP, APPLE, HUQQA, ARRAY, KISS, LITTLE, VACUUM, SAVVY, SLOWWORM, WAXXENN, CUBBYYEW, and DAZZLE.

Triple Letter Sequences

The following words contain triple letter sequences, uninterrupted by spaces or hyphens. They all appear in at least one English dictionary, but usually as an old spelling or rare variant: AAADONTA, FLYING JIBBBOOM, PEEENT, FREEER, FREEEST, ISHIII, FRILLLESS, WALLLESS, LAPAROHYSTEROSALPINGOOOPHORECTOMY, BRRR, GODDESSSHIP, COUNTESSSHIP, DUCHESSSHIP, GOVERNESSSHIP, HOSTESSSHIP, VERTUUUS, UUULA, and YAYYY.

Quadruple Letter Sequences

Amazingly, there are some sequences of four repeated letters in words in English dictionaries.

The first citation for "iiwi" in the Oxford English Dictionary is from 1779: "The birds of these islands are as beautiful as any we have seen... its native name is EEEEVE."

ESSSSE (an obsolete word meaning ashes) is in the second edition of the OED.

LLANFAIRPWLLGWYNGYLLGOGERYCHWYRNDROBWLLLLANTYSILIOGOGOGOCH, a town in North Wales, has been described here as having four consecutive Ls. However, in the Welsh alphabet, LL is one letter, entirely separate from L. So in fact this is a double LL rather than a quadruple LLLL as it appears in the English spelling.

BRRRR (an interjection expressive of shivering) is also in the second edition of the OED.

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