Do You Know the Meaning of These Words With No Repeating Letters?

Jonnathan Chadwick

Image: Sean Gladwell / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

There are so many alphabetical antics in the English language it has its own field of study called logology. Some of the more obscure recreational linguistics are anagrams, palindromes, aptigrams, antigrams, tautonyms, lipograms and semordnilaps. You'll find a couple of those in this quiz, but this quiz is all about isograms, which are words that have no repeating letters. An isogram can also mean a word that has an equal number of each letter, but this quiz will focus on the easier of the two definitions. The English language is full of isograms and it's just a fancy term to define an average word, like the word, "word." 

Most single-syllable words don't have repeating letters, but once you march into two- and three-syllable territory, it gets pretty difficult to create a word without any repeating letters. An isogram (which is an isogram itself) is usually used in recreational wordplay, but it is also useful in cryptology and ciphers, since it is easy to assign a value to each letter knowing that it will only appear once in the word. A 10-letter isogram, for instance, can be used to represent the numbers 1 - 10 (10 usually being 0), and this is commonly employed when salespeople negotiate sale prices. So here's a hot tip: the next time you're negotiating the cost of something—let's say a necklace—take a look to see if any letters are written on the box. Those letters usually correspond to a certain price which is the lowest price the salesperson can go. You will have to ask the salesperson, however, what isogram they're using for their code.

What do you call the land in a rural area?

Countryside is a noun defining the land, scenery or residents of a rural area. Some famous artists like Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet became famous painting landscapes of countryside scenes. They can include anything from lakes to mountains.

Berne is the capital of what European country?

Berne is considered the capital of Switzerland, but officially, Switzerland doesn't have a capital. When Switzerland became a country, it was decided that no city would be designated a capital in an attempt to give every city equal importance.

A _________ activity is one that is likely to cause harm or injury.

Dangerous is an adjective used to describe any person, place, thing or activity that is likely to cause harm or have harmful consequences. Speeding is dangerous because you might get in a car crash, but you might also get a speeding ticket that hikes up your insurance premium.

What is a trampoline used for?

Trampoline is a noun and a verb. As a noun, it's a strong piece of fabric tautly stretched, connected to a frame, and used as a springboard. As a verb, it means to perform acrobatic or gymnastic exercises.

Which of the following only exists in your imagination?

Figment is a noun defining something that only exists in one's imagination. When you mishear someone and then confront them about it, they may respond, "I didn't say that. That's a figment of your imagination."

What is air?

Air is a noun and a verb, both of which have a couple of definitions, but in this instance, we're talking about the gaseous mixture of molecules (mostly oxygen and nitrogen) that surrounds everything and comprises the atmosphere.

Today's corn evolved from what?

Maize is a noun that defines the Central American plant made of kernels of grain on a cob. It evolved from a plant called Teosinte, which looked very different than the corn of today. Today more than 90% of the corn planted in the U.S. is genetically modified.

This quiz will put your __________ to the test.

Lexicon is a noun defining one's vocabulary or language. It can also define a branch of knowledge or a dictionary. The Mesopotamian lexicon simply means the vocabulary or dictionary of Mesopotamia, which would be one of the oldest in the worlds.

A thunderclap is?

A thunderclap is a noun defining a loud crash or boom or clap of thunder. It is usually used as a metaphor or simile, as in: The door slammed like a thunderclap. You can also use it every time you hear thunder, however.

In American politics, the opposite of a Republican is called what?

Democrat is a noun defining a member of the Democratic Party or a person who supports democracy. Contrary to popular belief, America isn't a democracy, it's actually a democratic republic, and one of the most successful political parties in the U.S. was the Democratic-Republican Party, which unfortunately split in two, like much of the country.

Which of these words relates to the destruction of red blood cells?

Hemolytic is an adjective and is strictly a medical term describing the disintegration of red blood cells, which then release hemoglobin into the blood plasma. It stems from two words: hemo (blood) and lytic (disintegration of cells).

What is the allure of an ambidextrous baseball player?

Ambidextrous is an adjective describing a person who can use both hands equally well. Ambidextrous baseball players are known as switch hitters and are tricky for pitchers because they can bat from either side of the plate.

A housewarming gift is what kind of gift?

Housewarming is a noun that defines a party to celebrate new home owners. When you get invited to a housewarming, it's usually expected you'll bring a gift for the owners to put in their new home.

When someone reads your palm, they are practicing what?

Palmistry is the art of interpreting the lines on one's palms to predict their future. The lines on your palm should be exact mirror images on each hand, and when you put your palms together, they will match up perfectly.

2 to the 5th power = 32. In this example, "5th" is what?

A logarithm is a noun defining the quantity that a number must be raised to in order to produce a specific number. In simple terms, it's the small number placed up and to the right of a number in certain math equations.

A nymphalid is a type of what?

Nymphalid is a noun defining a certain type of butterfly. They're actually the largest family of butterflies and are known for their striking colors and features. The monarch and the viceroy are two well-known butterflies in the nymphalid family.

The science of the study of skin patterns is called what?

Dermatoglyphics is a noun defining the study of skin marking and patterns. At 15-letters long, it's argued that this is the longest isogram in the English language — two words longer than it are debatable: subdermatoglyphics and uncopyrightables.

In a classroom setting, a teacher's student is an example of what?

Subordinate is a noun, adjective and verb, but in this context, it is a noun that defines someone who is under the authority or control of another. All the students in every classroom are subordinates.

What does misconjugate mean?

Misconjugate is a noun that defines a lingual error. More specifically, to conjugate means to use the proper form of a verb depending on voice, tense, number and person (i.e., I am, he is, you are, she was). If you say "she am," you misconjugated the verb "be."

A series of not guilty verdicts is called what?

Exculpations is the noun version of the verb exculpate, which means to clear someone from charges of guilt (to vindicate someone). Expulcate isn't an isogram because of the repeating "e," but the noun form is rarely used.

How might an alien describe a human?

Earthling is a noun that defines an inhabitant of planet Earth. In ancient times it was used to differentiate between beings of heaven (gods) and those who lived on Earth, but today, it's mostly used in science fiction.

A word that means something completely different when spelled backwards is called a what?

Semordnilap is a word invented in the 1900s to define a word that creates a new word when spelled backwards. Most words spelled backwards don't create anything, and most semordnilaps are completely made up. Some famous examples are Oprah and her company Harpo, or boy and yob, which is British slang for a punk.

Someone who treats a serious issue with inappropriate humor is acting what?

Facetious is an adjective describing the act of deliberately treating a serious issue with humor. It can also be called acting flippant or glib. It's not the same as the psychological defense mechanism of laughing at inappropriate times because one feels uncomfortable and doesn't know what to do.

Which of the following words can be used to describe the bad guy in a superhero movie?

Nefarious is an adjective to describe something wicked or evil, or wicked evil, like most villains in superhero comics. All villains are villainous, but not necessarily nefarious. Nefarious stems from the Latin word for "crime," meaning a nefarious action usually breaks law or tradition.

What do you call someone who chops down trees?

Lumberjack is a noun that defines a logger, who is a person who chops down trees, forms them into logs, and sends them to sawmills. The stereotypical lumberjack style consists of heavy boots, big beards and a lot of plaid.

Someone who is vexatious does what?

Vexatious is an adjective that describes someone or something that causes annoyance, frustration, worry or harassment. It's the adjective form of the verb to vex, which means to make someone mad. A vexatious moment is vexing.

The stock market fluctuates based on what?

Speculation is a noun that has a couple definitions, one of them actually relates to risky investment (i.e. property speculation), but in this context it defines theories that are formed with little evidence. If you think everybody is going to stop using Facebook after news of a security breach, you could speculate that its stock price will plummet even if you don't have firm evidence. This is how the stock market moves.

To vouchsafe means to what?

Vouchsafe is a verb meaning to give someone something in a gracious or (just to be confusing) a condescending manner. Yes, it can mean both. If someone in front of you at the grocery store is short a dollar, you can gift one to them, or you can throw one on the floor and tell them to take it.

Which term describes the action of romanticizing something?

Glamorize is a verb meaning to accessorize something or to make something seem glamorous. The thing being glamorized usually isn't glamorous, like adding fake diamonds to a cheap watch or writing a glowing profile about a war battle.

The size or extent of something is called its what?

Magnitude is a noun denoting the size of something. It can also define importance, quantity or intensity, as in "the magnitude of one's words," "profits of varying magnitudes" or "an earthquake of great magnitude."

Who is the man that takes responsibility for a child's religious education?

Godfather is a noun that defines a man who presents a child at baptism and takes responsibility for their religious education. It can also be a label for one who inspires others or the leader of an organized crime syndicate.

The distinctive way you write your name is called what?

Signature is a noun that has several definitions, but in this context it relates to the distinctive way one signs their name. It can also define something distinctive that characterizes someone or something. Michael Jordan's signature was his fade-away shot.

A nightmare is a ___________.

A nightmare is a noun with a few definitions that all relate to frightening feelings or feelings of anxiety or horror. Some people believe an evil spirit can haunt one's dreams. This spirit is called a nightmare. A frightening dream is a nightmare. And being stuck in rush-hour traffic when you're running late can also be a nightmare.

When you receive systematic instructions, you receive what?

Education is a noun defining the process of educating, or the outcome of being educated. If you passed first grade, you received an education. If you completed high school, college and a medical residency, you also received an education.

"A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!" is an example of what?

Palindrome is a noun that defines a word, phrase or sequence of characters that read the same frontwards and backwards. It's one of the most popular and fun topics studied in the field of logology, and there are several famous examples in the English language, like 10801, kayak or level.

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