English Language Trivia

Snippets of trivia that every copywriter can use to keep life interesting.

English Language Trivia


‘Underground’ is the only word in English that beings and ends with the letters ‘UND’. In German, ‘UND’ translates to ‘AND’.


Rosalind, of ‘As You Like It’ has the most number of lines out of all of Shakespeare’s female characters. Cleopatra is second, and Imogen is third.

Olympic Games

The Olympic Game’s motto – Citius Altius Fortius – translates to Faster, Higher, Stronger. (Read the lyrics of Gloria Estefan’s song ‘Reach’)

A Thousand

If you start counting from 1, the letter ‘A’ appears for the first time in ‘thousand’. ‘A’ does not appear in any of the words from 1 to 999.


Jiffy is an actual measure of time, and it’s incredibly quick. So how fast is a jiffy? It is 1 / 100th of a second. Be there in a jiffy.

Racecar Kayak

The words ‘racecar’ and ‘kayak’ are palindromes. When read left to right or right to left they spell the same word. ‘Palindrome’ itself is not a palindrome.


‘Rhythms’ is the longest word in modern English without any vowels. That’s 7 consonants together.


According to the old English system of time, a moment equals to one and a half minutes.


The botanical name for chocolate is ‘theobroma cacao’ which translates to ‘food of the gods’.


‘Indivisibility’ has just one vowel, the letter ‘I’, which appears six times in the word.


From the numbers one to ten, seven is the only one that has two syllables. The rest have just one.


‘Typewriter’ is the longest word that can be spelled on a QWERTY keyboard using only the top row.


Up for a real English challenge? In 1939 Ernest Vincent Wright wrote a 50,000-word novel without using the letter ‘E’.

Blue Chip

Blue chip stocks are of high value. The term ‘blue chip’ comes from the blue casino chips that traditionally hold high value.


The popular abbreviation e.g. which means ‘for example’ is a latin term which reads ‘exempli gratia’ (for the sake of example).


The word ‘uncopyrightable’ is spelled with 15 letters, and none of these is repeated.


Fido is a common name for a dog. Little wonder, since Fido comes from Latin and means fidelity.


The word ‘set’ has more definitions and meanings than any other word in the English language.


Of all the days of the week, Monday is the only one with an anagram: dynamo. Let’s start the week.


In English, the number 4 is the only numeral that is spelled with the same number of letters as its value.


The word ‘unprosperousness’ is the longest English word in which every letter appears at least twice.

Deck of Cards

Excluding the joker, if you add up the letters in all the names of the cards (ace one two…jack queen king) the total is 52 – the number of cards in a deck.


Ever had that ‘the word is at the tip of my tongue but can’t remember it’ moment? The proper term for that is lethologica.


The word ‘queueing’ is a quite a phenomenon in the English language, spelled with five consecutive vowels. Have a look at ‘United Arab Emirates’.


The words ‘facetiously’ ‘arseniously’ and ‘abstemiously’ contain all the vowels in the alphabet, and that too arranged in the order that they appear.


The word ‘freelance’ originated from medieval times where a knight with no loyalty to a leader hired out his lance to anyone.


Write a lot with pencils? The average lead pencil will write approximately 50,000 English words, or draw a line about 55 kilometers in length.


The word ‘duoliteral’ – which means consisting of two letters only – has all the vowels in reverse alphabetical order.


‘Screeched’ is the longest word in the English language with only one syllable. It also has just one vowel – ‘E’. You won’t find this word in Gadsby.

United Arab Emirates

The name ‘United Arab Emirates’ consists of an alternating sequence of vowels and consonants throughout all three words in the name.

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