Improve Your Spelling: Non-words

One of the things that makes English so well-suited to puzzles and word games is its incredibly wide range of letter patterns seen in words, multiple meanings, and seemingly endless variety. English has thousands upon thousands of words, many of which have been "borrowed" from hundreds and hundreds of different languages. However, you may be surprised to find that there are certain letter patterns that do not appear in English; in fact, there are thousands of these letter patterns. Learn these letter patterns to improve your spelling and even improve your Scrabble scores!

Tip: If you are serious about improving your spelling, then Denise and I highly recommend you try the popular spelling-improvement software Ultimate Spelling. Click Ultimate Spelling for details.*

The following letter patterns do not have words in the everyday English vocabulary. There may be some archaic, scientific, or technical  terms that fit a few of the letter patterns below, but for this list I am just focussing on everyday words.

In this list, the "_" character indicates a blank letter, which can be filled by any letter — the "something" when we say we're looking for a word in a crossword that fits the pattern. For example, "T-something-something-T-H" (TEETH,TENTH, TILTH, TOOTH, and TRUTH are your options, just in case you were wondering!). These "somethings" are often called "wildcards" in internet word search engines.

Here are just 80 letter patterns, of words up to 6 letters long, that you'd think there would be at least one everyday English word for, but no! Proper nouns (like names) and abbreviations are not included. I'm also not including the obvious ones — words generally don't end with J,Q, V, X, or Z, for example. 

A _ E _ G
A _ G
A _ I
A _ S _ A _
A _ T _ E
B _ C _ E
B _ U
C _ C
C _ C _ R
C _ H
D _ R
E _ H
E _ I
F _ A
F _ S _ T
G _ A
G _ R _ T
G _ W
H _ A
H _ E _ E
H _ R _ P
I _ M
I _ C _ N _
I _ G _
I _ N _ E
I _ R _ E _
J _ D _ T 
J _ N _ R
K _ C _ E
K _ R _ D
L _ A _ R
L _ F _ E
L _ L
L _ M _ E
L _ S _ T _
M _ E _ R
M _ E _ T _
M _ L _ D
M _ P _ N
N _ A _ C
N _ B _ N
N _ E _ R
N _ L _ S _
N _ N _ M
N _ S _ E
N _ T _ M
N _ U _ N _
O _ A _ L
O _ N _ T
O _ P
P _ E _ M
P _ L _ L 
P _ N _ T
R _ E _ L
R _ E _ T
S _ C _ T
S _ H _ E
S _ O _ I
S H _ A _ L
S H _ E _ R
T _ M _ E
T _ R _ R
T H _ A _
T R _ _ M
T R _ R _
U _ P _ T
U _ R _
U _ S _ E
V _ O _ L
V _ P _
V _ T _ N
W _ D _ T
W _ L
W _ P _ E
W R _ R _
Y _ E
Y _ R _ E
Z _ H _
Z _ S _ E
Z _ T _ T
Z _ W _ 

*Troy and I recommend only products that we have tried and tested. These include Ultimate Spelling. We have agreed to receive a commission from some sales of Ultimate Spelling because we are happy to endorse that software.


Last modified on Friday, 27 November 2015 23:50
English Language Skills (Denise)

English Language Skills (Denise)

I'm a syndicated puzzle writer, with 8 puzzle books to my name, including Word Searches for Dummies and Cracking Codes and Cryptograms for Dummies (with Mark Koltko-Rivera). I have a background in science and graphic design, and am a trained indexer. My favourite puzzles are cryptic crosswords. and my favourite books are murder mysteries and cookbooks. I am also a very keen knitter.

I write a blog all about puzzles, called Puzzling.

Website: E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
You are here: Spell Better Improve Your Spelling: Non-words