Word Fun

In my opinion, you should make a real attempt to solve these before looking at the answers. But it’s entirely up to you!



1. The following sequence is an actual sentence. Can you decode it? Hint: I heard it in a sermon given by an Australian preacher. Weigh woe bay wide in the scows a justice.1



2. What do the following words have in common?2 (The order is alphabaetical and has no significance.)

















3. Punctuate the following:3


that which is is that which is not is not is that it it is



4. How many English words can you think of that end with –NACLE? I come up with five.4



A perfectly grammatical sentence containing the word AND

five times in succession


This needs some context:

Once upon a time there was an innkeeper, the proprietor of an establishment called “The Pig and Whistle.” His wooden sign was old and worn and barely legible, so he was delighted when one day a painter offered to paint him a new one in exchange for a meal and a night’s lodging.

An hour or two later, the innkeeper came out to discover that the painter had produced a delightful painting of a graceful pink pig dancing and playing the flute. Underneath he had painted THE    PIG   andWHISTLE.

The innkeeper was not pleased. “Not a bite do you get,” he told the painter, “until there’s the same amount of space between PIG and AND and AND and WHISTLE!”



A perfectly grammatical sentence containing the word THAT

five times in succession


I think that that THAT that that man used should have been a WHICH.



A possibly grammatical sentence containing the word HAD

eleven times in succession


If Gertrude, where Adelaide had had HAD, had had HAD HAD, HAD HAD had had the teacher’s approval.



For more word fun, see the Lists section for Verbs of Vocalization, Verbs of Perambulation, and Nouns of Affect.



1 We will be weighed in the scales of justice.


2 Each one ends with a preposition: by, out, in, under, with, off, at, from, up, over, to, around, about, on. Can anyone come up with a word ending in FOR?


3 That which is, is. That which is not, is not. Is that it? It is.


4 Barnacle, binnacle,5 manacle, pinnacle, tabernacle. I thought of all these myself. Then I found three more: cenacle (1. coterie; 2. retreat house), hibernacle (the shelter of a hibernating animal or insect), and immanacle (obsolete verb meaning “to manacle”).


5 1. A case, box, or stand containing a ship’s compass and a lamp. 2. A secondary channel of a stream.