Word lovers enjoy playing games with the English language and looking for oddities. For example, word buffs talk about tall words, or extender words, where each letter in the word extends above or below the body of the letter. The words “by” and “flightily” are tall words. In addition, there are heavy or weighty words. To determine the weight of a word, each letter of the alphabet is assigned a weight according to its location in the alphabet: a equals 1 pound; b equals 2 pounds, and so forth. Then the weight for each letter of the word is added together to find the final weight of the word. For example “hat” has a weight of 29 pounds (8+1+20).
Lexicologist Gyles Brandreth combed the English language to find the lightest and heaviest words (not exceeding 15 letters). Here is what he found:
The lightest word is the article “a” with a total weight of 1 pound.
The heaviest word is “untrustworthily” with a weight of 263 pounds.
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For further reading: The Joy of Lex by Gyles Brandreth (2001)