Letters can be spelled out

Filed under: Personal | 26 Comments

Interesting word trivia here, consonant letters can be spelled out. These are valid words according to the dictionary and are playable in Scrabble. Vowels don’t have spellings that I can find.

I think it’s a little bogus that these spellings include the letter they are spelling, but I didn’t create the rules.

bee, cee, dee, ef, gee, aitch, jay, kay, el, em, en, pee, cue, ar, ess, tee, vee, double-u, ex, wye, zee

I first learned of this several years back after seeing a kid in the National Spelling Bee go home after getting confronted with spelling the letter H. He/she had never heard of being able to spell letters and was totally blindsided.

UPDATE: I see that Robot Wisdom has asked, “Which two consonants can be spelled without using themselves?”

Read the latest posts

26 Responses to “Letters can be spelled out”

  1. Ross says:

    F eph, G jea, Q cue, X ecks

  2. Those (besides cue which is in my original list) don’t seem to be in the dictionary Ross.

  3. neal says:

    cay: a coastal reef or sandy islet

  4. Neal. Not sure what cay has to do with it (the letter is spelled kay). What did you mean?

  5. neal says:

    hmm, i didn’t realize that only the official spelling describing the actual letter was what you were looking for. “cay” is actual word that would be allowed in scrabble and which sounds exactly like “k.” a homonym, i suppose. and it doesn’t contain the letter “k.”


  6. Ah, I see where you’re going. Cay is still a new word to me, so thanks for the help.

  7. Rex says:

    If ‘e’ is spelled ‘e’, why (y) isn’t ‘y’ spelled just ‘y’? And if ‘i’ can be spelled ‘aye’, it would qualify as a vowel that doesn’t use itself in spelling its name!

  8. Black Domina says:

    P is pee. Ha!


  9. Rick Miller says:

    C – see

  10. Kent says:

    …or sea

  11. James says:

    Double U = W

  12. Lyppy says:

    A = ??
    E = ??
    I = Aye
    O = ??
    U = Yew

    • Anna says:

      O could always be oe
      a could be ae
      e could be ee
      I could be aye as was said earlier
      u could be yew as was said earlier…
      You could just make a lot of thus stuff up, but now I have more words to play in scrabble!!!

  13. Cheryl says:

    Wouldn’t the vowel “o” be spelled “Oh”?

    I always thought the vowel “e” was spelled “ee” since it is playable in Scrabble.

    Anyways, I found this site very interesting as I am a scrabble addict and am always playing the computer on my Zire 71.

  14. salad says:

    I worked in a shop now

  15. Melanie says:

    I looked up double-u online at the scrabble dictionary webiste.
    and even though it’s in the main dictionary, I think because it is hyphenated you cannot play it in a scrabble game. (but I could be wrong)
    My husband is playing online in the next room and I overheard him ask how do you spell “g”, and hence I found your site and was happy to print the list out for him. Thanks.

  16. DaveC says:

    The Chicago Manual of Style uses “ell”, “eye” and “oh”, though at least in the instance I’m viewing (section 2.14 from 14th edition), they put these in quotation marks (as I did).

  17. Adam B. says:

    I thought I was the only one who actually looked this up. I saw the same letter spellings that you listed, and I also didn’t see any vowel letter spellings. However, here’s what I interpret as what the vowels should be spelled.

    A is spelled “a” becuase the definite article “a” can be pronounced as “ay” as well as “uh”.
    E can be spelled “ee”.
    I is spelled “i” because it is the same as the first-person singular pronoun.
    O is spelled “o” and not “oh” because of the interjection of which can also be spelled as “o”.
    U can be spelled as “yu”. Hence W should be spelled as “double-yu”. I even saw W spelled as “double-yu” in a very old and very large dictionary.

    Hence now, all letters have word spellings.

  18. Dave says:

    The official Scrabble dictionary doesn’t include any one-letter words, and certainly the rules used to prohibit the use of one-letter words in general, since they are explicitly outlawed on the first play, and thereafter would be impossible.

    Source: http://www.word-buff.com/can-i-start-a-scrabble-game-using-a-oneletter-word-a-or-i-for-example.html

  19. anonymous says:

    I was bored so i searched this up. Its cool that letters are words bc its not really what u would think. I actually think its kinda stupid tho… i mean.. their letters… let them just be letters

  20. Sally says:

    When writing the letter ‘L’ is it an el or a el? And does it matter if the el is an abbreviation for a word i.e local?

  21. ASM says:

    I still didn’t find out how to spell the letter s. I need the plural – I wrote it esses. Looks and sounds good to me! What do you say?

  22. Bobbe H says:

    This blog came up in a google search when I wanted to know the spelling to letters other than “H”. Why did I already know the spelling to the letter “H”? Because years ago I watched a spelling bee and the poor girl was blindsided with the word “aitch”. Your reason for this blog made me laugh out loud! My brother and I are not the only ones who watched that and remembered it from the late 90s!

Leave a Reply