Playing with words

I find language really interesting and yesterday something struck me which also appeals to the human desire to find patterns in things (see last entry for another mention of that).

I realised a while ago that P_T was an interesting letter combination as pat, pet, pit, pot and put are all English words.  But I didn’t realise until last night that B_D also works along the same lines – and it got me thinking about how many such combinations of letters there are in English.

The two I find the most interesting are P_T and B_G because they don’t involve any unusual words at all.  Ones such as H_T and D_N involve some slightly odd (but still valid) words.

So, the outstanding questions in my mind are – how many three letter combinations are there which work? (We have eleven so far) and what is the longest combination (We have P_TTING which feels a bit like a cheat – other than that, we have L_ST and a few others which are only four letters)

If you’re the kind of person who likes to think about this kinda stuff then do let me know at if you find one longer than four letters which isn’t based directly on a three letter one – or if you can think of any more three letter ones.  For completeness’ sake the ones we have thought of so far are listed below

-n, –s

b-g, p-t, b-d, h-t, b-t, m-d, t-n, d-n, p-p, t-g, h-m

d-ne, m-re, l-st, p-ck


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