It’s odd, the process of waking up. Sometimes you can get out of bed and stumble around for an hour or two, maybe even get dressed and go to work, before your brain does anything to differentiate you from a patient in a highly mobile vegetative state. On other days it seems that your mental starter motor catches on the first try and before you’ve even opened your eyes all sorts of brilliantly original thoughts are competing for attention.
Today is one of those days. As I swung my big long legs out of bed the thought occurred to me that the word “cheese” has an awful lot of Es in it. (“Brilliantly original” is of course a subjective description, but this is my story so I say it qualifies). I wondered what word has the most Es in it. Now we’re beginning to move towards a decent notion.
After a little bit of coding, I can tell you that the English word with the most Es in it is electrotelethermometer. What a nice word! It bounces along so pleasantly. I bet it’s the letter E’s favourite word, or its biggest fan.
So I got my program to work out the other letters’ favourite words. I was expecting a lot of unappealing scientific words, and there are a few of those, but there are some alliterationist’s dreams, like beblubber and pipestapple and taramasalata. The word list I used has a lot of very uncommon words with dubious credentials, but they’re fun anyway. For example, I now know there’s a mountain called Pegunungan jajawijaja (jajawijaya according to Wikipedia) in Indonesia, and one called Llullaillaco in the Atacama desert. I had to remove Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch from the list because it was the favourite word of three different letters.
So, without further ado, here’s my list of each letter and its biggest fans:
a (6): astragalocalcaneal, calcaneoastragalar, taramasalata
b (4): beblubber, beerbibber, bubblebow, bubbybush, bumblebomb, flibbertigibbet, gibblegabble, nabobrynabobs
c (6): micrococcocci, pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconioses, pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis
d (5): disdodecahedroid, dunderheadededness, fuddy-duddy
e (7): electrotelethermometer, ethylenediaminetetraacetate
f (4): chiffchaff, cuffuffle, cuffuffled, giffgaff, niffnaff, riffraff, tufftaffeta
g (5): huggermuggering
h (4): chichihaerh, choledochorrhaphy, chromophotolithograph, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, hochhuth, ichthyophthalmite, ichthyophthiriasis, ichthyophthirius, ophthalmophthisis, phenolsulphonephthalein, photochromolithograph, rhamphorhynchus, shihchiachuang, thymolsulphonephthalein
i (9): floccinaucinihilipilification
j (4): jajawijaja
k (4): akiskemikinik, kakkak, knickknack
l (6): llullaillaco
m (4): dynamometamorphism, hamamelidanthemum, immunocompromised, mammatocumulus, mammectomies, mammectomy, mammiform, mammilliform, mammogram, mammondom, mammonism, mammothermography, mammotomy, melammdim, mercuriammonium, mesembrianthemum, metagrammatism, metalammonium, methylenedioxymethamphetamine, mohammadanism, mohammedanism, monoammonium, muhammadanism, multimammate, mummiform, mummydom, tetramethylammonium, thalamomammillary, theomammomist, thermometamorphism
n (6): nonannouncement, noncondescendingness
o (9): pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis
p (4): aplopappus, haplopappus, hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian, hyperleptoprosopic, hypophypophysism, pepperproof, philippopolis, pimperlimpimp, pipestapple, pippapasses, posthippocampal, preapperception, proappropriation, protopappas, snippersnapper, uppropped, whippersnapper
q (2): abqaiq, albuquerque, chiquichiqui, chiquinquira, circumquaque, colloquiquia, equivoque, harlequinesque, iquique, qaimaqam, qepiq, qiqihar, quadratosquamosal, quadriquadric, quaequae, quaquaversal, quasqueton, quasquicentennial, quelquechose, quiaquia, quinquagenarian, quirquincho, quisquous, quitaque, saqqara, semiquinquefid, seqq, sesquiquadrate, subquinquefid, tuquoque, zaqaziq, zaqqum
r (4): archcorrupter, archmurderer, archtreasurer, armourbearer, arteriopressor, arteriorrhagia, arthrorrhagia, barothermohygrogram, briarberry, burrgrailer, cardiorespiratory, carryforward, circumterrestrial, corroborator, counterreformer, counterterror, crackerberry, erythrorrhexis, extracurricular, extraterrestrial, extraterritorial, ferroconcretor, ferrosoferric, forrarder, gastrohydrorrhea, gastrohysterorrhaphy, gerrymanderer, herrerasaur, horrormonger, hydrochlorofluorocarbon, hydroxydehydrocorticosterone, hyperterrestrial, infraterritorial, intercarrier, interterritorial, intertransversary, intraterritorial, kerrikerri, merrytrotter, microprogrammer, microrefractometer, narcoterrorism, noncorroboratory, partridgeberry, pericardiorrhaphy, precorridor, precurrer, preferrer, prehorror, prereferred, prereformatory, presurrender, preterregular, preterrestrial, preterritorial, preterscriptural,
procarrier, prosurrender, protreasurer, pyrotritartric, pyrroporphyrin, rearranger, recarburizer, recarrier, recurrer, recurvirostra, referrer, refrigerator, rehrersburg, remirror, reperforator, reprographer, reredorter, resurrector, resurrender, retransferred, retroauricular, retrogradatory, retropresbyteral, retroreflector, retroserrate, retrotransfer, reverberator, rhyparographer, riroriro, ruppertsberger, semireverberatory, serrirostrate, serrurerie, straightforwarder, superarbitrary, supercarrier, superterrestrial, surrenderer, tartratoferric, terroriser, terrorproof, tetrahydropyrrole, thyrorroria, tirralirra, tirrwirr, transferrer, trinitroresorcin, turbosupercharger, ultraterrestrial, uncorroboratory, underperformer, underroarer, undersorcerer, underterrestrial, undertreasurer, ureteroradiography, ureterorrhagia, ureterorrhaphy, urethroblennorrhea, vertebroarterial, worcesterberry
s (8): possessionlessness, stresslessnesses, successlessnesses
t (5): anticonstitutionalist, antiinstitutionalist, counterattestation, ethylenediaminetetraacetate, hastatosagittate, intersubstitutability, tetrasubstitution, throttlebottoms, totipotentiality, transubstantiationist, turbinatostipitate, yttrotantalite
u (9): humuhumunukunukuapuaa
v (3): evviva, overconservative, overinvolve, oversurviving, overvivid, ovovivipara, vaginovulvar, vivarvaria, vivificative, vivisective, vulvovaginal
w (3): bowwow, powwow, swallowwort, weewow, westnorthwestwardly, whillywhaw, whitlowwort, williwaw, willowware, willowweed, willowwood, willowworm, willowwort, willywaw, windowward, windwayward, www
x (3): hexahydroxycyclohexane
y (4): dacryocystosyringotomy, hyperpolysyllabically, polyhydroxybutyrate
z (4): pizzazz, razzamatazz
And here’s the code that produced it. If you don’t like the number of uncommon words I’ve used, you can run it on your own list. I did a bit of editing by hand after the script finished, to remove alternative forms of the same word as well a load of words beginning quinque- because there were far, far too many. The most disappointing thing is that I didn’t have a word with more than two Qs in it. If you know one, please tell me!