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Magma et al. (Posted on 2010-06-30) Difficulty: 3 of 5
"Onion" and "salsa" possess a similar structure: both words consist of two identical 2-letter syllables and a distinct letter between them.
Apparently, there are more English words of similar form (12312).
Find as many as you can.

No Solution Yet Submitted by Ady TZIDON    
Rating: 4.5000 (2 votes)

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Solution Solution | Comment 3 of 10 |

The two-syllable abcab-formatted words that may be likely found in an average English dictionary along with magma, onion and salsa are: algal [of or relating to algae]; edged [having a specified kind of edge or border]; and pampa [a prairie; a vast grassland]. And, though not quite common, I proffer: caeca [opening pouch of the large intestine] and zanza [an African musical instrument].

Found in some dictionaries, the following two-syllable abcab-formatted words may be considered archaic, obsolete, regional, or of a specialized field:  arear [backward; in or to the rear]; barba [(Medicine) the beard; hair of the head]; Darda [a card game akin to Klabberjass {a game I have played}]; Ganga [(Hinduism) the Ganges river personified as a goddess]; ictic [of or caused by a blow; sudden; abrupt]; indin [(Chemistry) a dark red, isomeric crystalline substance]; Kalka [Khalka, a Mongol people; the language of the Khalka]; malma [(Zoology) a North American spotted trout, Salvelinus malma]; mormo [a bugbear; false terror]; sarsa [sarsaparilla]; teste [(Legal) the witnessing or concluding clause of of a legal instrument]; and valva [(Entomology; Biology) an anatomical structure of certain males used in mating].

If two-syllable abbab-formatted words were permitted to be categorized along with the abcab-formatted words, then the following can join the uncommon word list (yet, for several of these words, the words to which these are variant may be considered common): mamma [variant of mama: one's mother; a mammary gland]; nanna [variant of nana: one's grandmother; (Music) lullaby]; Nanna [Mesopotamian god of the moon]; pappa [variant of papa: one's father]; unnun [to remove from the condition of being a nun].

There are other abcab-formatted words, yet are not two-syllable. The common or somewhat common: sense [to perceive a stimulus; good judgment]; shush [to urge to be quiet; hush]; and verve [an energetic style]. And, the less than common: berbe [(Zoology) an African genet, Genetta pardina]; chich [the chickpea]; Miami {the only 3-syllable abcab-formatted word I found} [a member of the extinct Algonquian people]; seise [(Legal) sieze; to give legal possession to somebody]; and shash [a sash; the scarf of a turban].

Edited on July 1, 2010, 3:05 am
  Posted by Dej Mar on 2010-06-30 13:50:49

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