Q From Robin Maly: I am a librarian, and one of my patrons asked which letter of the alphabet has the most words that start with it. I have searched everywhere. Thank you if you can help me out on this one!
A An intriguing question. Was your enquirer a contestant on Wheel of Fortune? I know of several frequency tables, but not one that gives the relative occurrences of initial letters of words. Off the top of my head I would have said S, but checked by running a little program in a database I have here of the headwords from the New Oxford Dictionary of English. The answer was indeed S, which was followed at some distance in decreasing order by P, C, D, M, and A. It’s notable that the frequency of initial letters bears no relation to how often letters occur in English in general, in which E is most common, followed by T and then A.
Search World Wide Words
Recently added or updated
By hook or by crook; Polish off; Loggerhead; Lame duck; But and ben; Logomaniac; Type louse; Corium; Lie Doggo; Fewmet; Dingbat; Kibosh; Caucus; Oryzivorous; Kick the bucket; Satisficer; Beside oneself; Words of the Year 2015; Peradventure; Sconce; Orchidelirium; How’s your father; Goon; Emoji; Thank your mother for the rabbits; Nonplussed; Bob’s-a-dying; Methinks; Bill of goods.
Support World Wide Words!
Donate via PayPal. Select your currency from the list and click Donate.
Buy from Amazon and get me a small commission at no cost to you. Select your preferred site and click Go!