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Longest by Halves (Posted on 2012-03-05) Difficulty: 3 of 5
1. What is the longest English word that can be formed using the letters A to M?

2. What is the longest English word that can be formed using the letters N to Z?


(a) It is not necessary to use all the letters within the specified range. A given letter can occur more than once within a word.

(b) Words involving proper nouns, acronyms or abbreviations is not permissible.

(c) None of the generated words can be hyphenated. For example, words like A-bomb, X-Ray etc. are not allowed.

No Solution Yet Submitted by K Sengupta    
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Solution solution | Comment 1 of 6
The longest English word I found that is entirely composed of letters in the first half of the alphabet (A-M) is the 12-letter interjection: FIDDLEDEEDEE, an exclamation of impatience, disbelief or disagreement.

The longest English word I found that is entirely composed of letters in the second half of the alphabet (N-Z) is the 11-letter noun plural: NONSUPPORTS, failure to provide for the maintenance of one's legal dependants.

Both these words were found by Googling for longest English words. Some sites indicate that there are other words that tie for longest -- FICKLEHEADED for the first half of the alphabet, and NONTORTUOUS for the second half. Yet, FICKLEHEADED is not found in any online dictionary, and from its construction, it would seem that the word should instead be the hyphenated adjective FICKLE-MINDED. And, NONTORTUOUS was only found as the hyphenated adjecitve NON-TORTUOUS. Given that hyphenated words are not valid solutions, FIDDLEDEEDEE and NONSUPPORTS seem to be the only solutions for longest word for words comprised of only letters found in the half of the alphabet.

In a later post I noted that 13-letter FIDDLEDEEDEED, though not found in any online dictionary that I have searched may be considered an English word and verb. It is attested in use as a word by  several different indidivuals by its use in online articles and blogs. And for the second half of the alphabet, there is 12-letter NONSTUPOROUS, an adjective written in several articles by educated medical professionals, as well as in several blogs. Like NON-TORTUOUS, the unhyphenated word was not found in the online dictionaries I searched, but may be written without the hyphen. Yet, the two words might yet be considered the "longest by halves." 

Edited on March 8, 2012, 2:38 am
  Posted by Dej Mar on 2012-03-05 11:14:27

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