Tag Archives: definition of tmesis

Utterly Unique Words

alex atkins bookshelf wordsThe editors of Dictionary.com are fond of diving into the depths of the sea of words, looking for truly dazzling and unique treasures to haul up to the surface. Here are some recent discoveries that they titled “utterly unique”:

dreamt: this past tense of dream is the only verb in English to end with “mt”

hydroxyzine: one of only two words in the English language that has an X, Y, and Z in alphabetical order; refers to a versatile medication that reduces activity in the central nervous system; specifically, it acts as an antihistamine and sedative. (Incidentally, the other word is xyzzor, a nematode worm. Gross!)

queue: a line; it is the only word in English that is pronounced the same if you remove the last four letters.

syzygy: The alignment of three celestial bodies in a straight line; most commonly the Earth, Sun, and Moon; the only word in the English language that contains three “y”s.

tmesis: the insertion of one or more words between a word, compound word, or a phrase (eg, abso-freaking-lutely, fan-bloody-tastic, legend-wait for it-dary); the only English word that begins with “tm.”

Read related posts: Words Invented by Book Lovers
How Many Words in the English Language?
Words with Letters in Alphabetical Order
What is the Longest Word in English?
There’s a Word for That: Epeolatry

For further reading: A Curious Dictionary of Language Oddities by Chris Cole
A Word A Day by Anu Garg
gusbert.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/word_oddities/words06.htm
rinkworks.com/words/oddities.shtmlhttp://www.dictionary.com/slideshows/unique_words#syzygy
http://users.tinyonline.co.uk/gswithenbank/wordtriv.htm
http://jeff560.tripod.com/words1.html

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