Skip to content


2010 March 23
by admin

Here is a link to the THREES JQXZ list: THREES JQXZ (89).

There are 89 words on the list.  The first sur­prise hook is ADZ, which takes an E (ADZE).  The first inter­est­ing word clus­ter is related to the word AXE (and its L hook):

AXAL axial (per­tain­ing to or form­ing an axis) [adj]
AXEL a jump in fig­ure skat­ing [n –S]
AXIAL per­tain­ing to or form­ing an axis [adj] : AXIALLY [adv]
AXIL the angle between the upper side of a leaf and its sup­port­ing stem [n –S]
AXILE axial (per­tain­ing to or form­ing an axis) [adj]
AXLE a shaft upon which a wheel revolves [n –S] : AXLED [adj] 

Basically, every spelling of AXLE you might think of is an accept­able Scrabble play.

Two more sur­prise hooks:

BIZE bise (a cold wind) [n –S]
COXA the hip or hip joint [n COXAE] : COXAL [adj]

One of my favorite meth­ods (dis­cussed briefly in a pre­vi­ous post) to make words “stick” is to tie them to other words, either by group­ing them based on dif­fer­ent pat­terns (same last let­ter, same first and last let­ter, sim­i­lar hook pat­terns, etc.) or by string­ing them together into hook strings.  AZO is linked to AZON, for exam­ple – the first is an adjec­tive indi­cat­ing nitro­gen, the other is a radio-controlled aer­ial bomb.  That helps me a lit­tle bit (just a lit­tle, not much really).

FIZ is the first exam­ple of what is a fairly com­mon phe­nom­e­non in the THREES – the rep­e­ti­tion of the last let­ter of a three-letter word to cre­ate an accept­able four-letter word.  For exam­ple, FIZ – >FIZZ.  Of the 1015 three-letter words, 91 form four-letter words in this man­ner.  Here are the four-letter “repeat” words (drop the last let­ter, and you’ve got a word on the three-word list): 

AGEE to one side [adv]
ALEE toward the side of a ves­sel shel­tered from the wind [adv]
AWEE awhile (for a short time) [adv]
BALL to form into a ball (a spher­i­cal object) [v –ED, –ING, –S]
BASS an edi­ble fish [n –ES]
BATT a sheet of cot­ton [n –S]
BELL to pro­vide with a bell (a ring­ing device) [v –ED, –ING, –S]
BIBB a mast sup­port [n –S]
BITT to secure a cable [v –ED, –ING, –S]
BOSS to super­vise [v –ED, –ING, –ES]
BOTT bot (the larva of a bot­fly) [n –S]
BROO a bree (broth (a thin clear soup)) [n BROOS]
BRRR used to indi­cate that one feels cold [interj]
BUNN bun (a small bread roll) [n –S]
BURR to remove a rough edge from [v –ED, –ING, –S]
BUSS to kiss (to touch with the lips as a sign of affec­tion) [v –ED, –ING, –ES]
BUTT to hit with the head [v –ED, –ING, –S]
CARR a marsh (a tract of low, wet land) [n –S]
CELL to store in a hon­ey­comb [v –ED, –ING, –S]
COBB a sea gull [n –S]
CONN to direct the steer­ing of a ship [v –ED, –ING, –S]
COSS kos (a land mea­sure in India) [n COSS]
CURR to purr (to utter a low, vibrant sound) [v –ED, –ING, –S]
DELL a small, wooded val­ley [n –S]
DIFF a dif­fer­ence [n –S]
DISS to dis (to insult or crit­i­cize) [v –ED, –ING, –ES]
DOLL to dress styl­ishly [v –ED, –ING, –S]
DORR dor (a black European bee­tle) [n –S]
DOSS to sleep in any con­ve­nient place [v –ED, –ING, –ES]
FESS to con­fess (to acknowl­edge or dis­close) [v –ED, –ING, –ES]
FILL to put as much as can be held into [v –ED, –ING, –S] : FILLABLE [adj]
FIZZ to make a hiss­ing or sput­ter­ing sound [v –ED, –ING, –ES]
GALL to vex or irri­tate [v –ED, –ING, –S]
GULL to deceive (to mis­lead by false­hood) [v –ED, –ING, –S]
HAJJ hadj (a pil­grim­age to Mecca) [n –ES]
HISS to make a sibi­lant sound [v –ED, –ING, –ES]
HOGG a young sheep [n –S]
JAGG to jag (to cut unevenly) [v –ED, –ING, –S]
JIBB to shift from side to side while sail­ing [v –ED, –ING, –S]
JINN a super­nat­ural being in Muslim mythol­ogy [n –S]
KISS to touch with the lips as a sign of affec­tion [v –ED, –ING, –ES] : KISSABLE [adj], KISSABLY [adv]
KOSS kos (a land mea­sure in India) [n KOSS]
LASS a young woman [n –ES]
LESS not as great in quan­tity or degree [adj LESSER, LEAST]
LINN a water­fall [n –S]
MASS to assem­ble in a mass (a body of coher­ent mat­ter) [v –ED, –ING, –ES]
MATT to matte (to pro­duce a dull fin­ish on) [v –ED, –ING, –S]
MELL to mix (to put together into one mass) [v –ED, –ING, –S]
MIGG mig (a type of play­ing mar­ble) [n –S]
MILL to grind by mechan­i­cal means [v –ED, –ING, –S] : MILLABLE [adj]
MISS to fail to make con­tact with [v –ED, –ING, –ES]
MOLL a gangster’s girl­friend [n –S]
MOSS to cover with moss (a growth of small, leafy-stemmed plants) [v –ED, –ING, –ES]
MOTT motte (a small growth of trees on a prairie) [n –S]
MUGG to make funny faces [v –ED, –ING, –S]
MUMM to mum (to act in a dis­guise) [v –ED, –ING, –S]
MUSS to mess (to make dirty or untidy) [v –ED, –ING, –ES]
MUTT a mon­grel dog [n –S]
NETT to net (to catch in a net (a type of open­work fab­ric)) [v –ED, –ING, –S]
NILL to be unwill­ing [v –ED, –ING, –S]
NOGG a strong ale [n –S]
PALL to become insipid (dull and unin­ter­est­ing) [v –ED, –ING, –S]
PARR a young salmon [n –S]
PASS to go by [v –ED, –ING, –ES]
PISS to uri­nate — some­times con­sid­ered vul­gar [v –ED, –ING, –ES]
POLL to ques­tion for the pur­pose of sur­vey­ing pub­lic opin­ion [v –ED, –ING, –S]
PULL to exert force in order to cause motion toward the force [v –ED, –ING, –S]
PURR to utter a low, vibrant sound [v –ED, –ING, –S]
PUSS a cat [n –ES]
PUTT to hit with a light stroke in golf [v –ED, –ING, –S]
RAGG a wool fiber [n –S]
REDD to put in order [v –ED, –ING, –S]
REPP rep [n –S]
RIFF to rif­fle (to flip through hastily) [v –ED, –ING, –S]
SALL shall — SALL is the only form of this verb; it can­not be con­ju­gated [v]
SELL to give up to another for money or other valu­able con­sid­er­a­tion [v SOLD, SELLING, SELLS] : SELLABLE [adj]
SETT the bur­row of a bad­ger [n –S]
SIBB sib (a sib­ling (one hav­ing the same par­ents as another)) [n –S]
SUNN an East Indian shrub [n –S]
TASS a drink­ing cup [n –ES]
TEGG a sheep in its sec­ond year [n –S]
TELL to give a detailed account of [v TOLD, TELLING, TELLS] : TELLABLE [adj]
THEE the objec­tive case of the pro­noun thou [pron]
TILL to pre­pare land for crops by plow­ing [v –ED, –ING, –S] : TILLABLE [adj]
TORR a unit of pres­sure [n –S]
TYEE a food fish [n –S]
VUGG vug (a small cav­ity in a rock or lode) [n –S]
WATT a unit of power [n –S]
WISS to wish (to feel an impulse toward attain­ment or pos­ses­sion of some­thing) [v –ED, –ING, –ES]
WYNN the rune for W [n –S]
YETT a gate [n –S]

I’m not sure this list helps in mem­o­riz­ing three-letter words, but it’s inter­est­ing (and know­ing these hooks can be very use­ful when you need a hook for longer word).  Some of the hooks are totally unex­pected, e.g. HOG – >HOGG, or MUG – >MUGG.

Make sure to pay atten­tion to the three-letter words that are verbs – verbs that turn into seven-letter bingo plays in the ING form, like JABBING, JAGGING, JAMMING, JARRING, etc.

HAJ is another word that is linked to a group of works (mostly alter­nate spellings):

HADJ a pil­grim­age to Mecca [n –ES]
HADJEE hadji (one who has made a hadj) [n –S]
HADJI one who has made a hadj [n –S]
HAJI hadji (one who has made a hadj) [n –S]
HAJJ hadj (a pil­grim­age to Mecca) [n –ES]
HAJJI hadji (one who has made a hadj) [n –S]

What is a HADJEE?  Somebody that just HAD to turn right – get it? Ok, it’s not that funny.  But it might help you remem­ber the word.

JAG – >JAGG.  Other inter­est­ing hooks down to the word JEW:

JAMB to jam (to force together tightly) [v –ED, –ING, –S]
JARL a Scandinavian noble­man [n –S]
JEEP to travel by a small type of motor vehi­cle [v –ED, –ING, –S]
JEER to mock (to ridicule (to make fun of)) [v –ED, –ING, –S]
JEEZ used as a mild oath [interj]
JETE a bal­let leap [n –S]

What do french­men call large air­planes?  a JETE (this is only mar­gin­ally funny if you can “hear” the pro­nun­ci­a­tion: zhuh–tey).  JEU takes an X – JEUX.  Note that JAMB is a verb (hence, JAMBING).  JEW is a verb (and is the word that forced the branch­ing of the OSPD and the OWL).

JIB (to refuse to pro­ceed fur­ther) is some­how trans­formed into just the oppo­site by adding a B (JIBB – to shift from side to side while sailing).

JIN gives us another group of words:

–DJIN  jinni (jinn (a super­nat­ural being in Muslim mythol­ogy)) [n –S]
–DJINN– jinni (jinn (a super­nat­ural being in Muslim mythol­ogy)) [n –S]
–DJINNI– jinni (jinn (a super­nat­ural being in Muslim mythol­ogy)) [n DJINN]
 DJINNY– jinni (jinn (a super­nat­ural being in Muslim mythol­ogy)) [n DJINN]
 GENIE  jinni (jinn (a super­nat­ural being in Muslim mythol­ogy)) [n –S]
–JINN– a super­nat­ural being in Muslim mythol­ogy [n –S]
 JINNEE  jinn (a super­nat­ural being in Muslim mythol­ogy) [n JINN]
 JINNI– jinn (a super­nat­ural being in Muslim mythol­ogy) [n –S]

Here are other inter­est­ing J-hooks (the dash is used to indi­cate inner hooks):

 JIBE– to gibe (to jeer (to mock (to ridicule))) [v JIBED, JIBING, JIBES] : JIBINGLY [adv]
–JINK– to move quickly out of the way [v –ED, –ING, –S]
 JINX– to bring bad luck to [v –ED, –ING, –ES]
 JOEY– a young kan­ga­roo [n –EYS]
 JOTA– a Spanish dance [n –S]
–JOWL– the fleshy part under the lower jaw [n –S] : JOWLED [adj]
 JUGA– JUGUM, a pair of the oppo­site leaflets of a pin­nate leaf [n]
–JUTE– a strong, coarse fiber [n –S]

JUS is just JUST with­out the T (some­how that helps me remem­ber it).  JUGFULS and JUGSFUL are both accept­able 7-letter plays.

LEX has three inter­est­ing front hooks:

–FLEX  to bend (to curve (to devi­ate from straight­ness)) [v –ED, –ING, –ES]
–ILEX  a holly (a tree) [n –ES]
–PLEX  a mul­ti­plex [n –ES]

LEX forms a three-word hook chain: LEX – >ILEX – >SILEX (sil­ica (a form of sil­i­con) [n –ES]).  Other inter­est­ing hooks for words on the list that start with L, M or N: 

–FLUX– to melt (to change from a solid to a liq­uid state by heat) [v –ED, –ING, –ES]
 LUXE– lux­ury (free indul­gence in that which affords plea­sure or com­fort) [n –S]
 MAXI– a long skirt or coat [n –S]
 MIXT– MIX, to put together into one mass [v]
 NIXE– NIX, a water sprite [n]
 NIXY– an unde­liv­er­able piece of mail [n NIXIES]

  Here’s a hook chain: MA – >MAX – >MAXI – >MAXIM – >MAXIMA – >MAXIMAL – >MAXIMALS:

 MAXIM– a brief state­ment of a gen­eral truth or prin­ci­ple [n –S]
 MAXIMA– MAXIMUM, the great­est pos­si­ble amount, quan­tity, or degree [n]
 MAXIMAL– an ele­ment of a math­e­mat­i­cal set that is fol­lowed by no other [n –S]
 MAXIMALS– MAXIMAL, an ele­ment of a math­e­mat­i­cal set that is fol­lowed by no other [n]

Just remem­ber, every­thing from MA to MAXIMALS is a word.  MIX has some inter­est­ing deriv­a­tives: MIXABLE, MIXIBLE, and MIXEDLY, along with an unusual hook (MIXT).

OXO and OXY are both usual X-words.  OXY has a few front hooks (so don’t play it next to a TW):

–BOXY– resem­bling a box [adj BOXIER, BOXIEST] : BOXILY [adv]
–DOXY  a doc­trine (a belief or set of beliefs taught or advo­cated) [n DOXIES]
–FOXY– crafty (skill­ful in deceiv­ing) [adj FOXIER, FOXIEST]
–POXY– afflicted with a pox [adj POXIER, POXIEST]

Another small hook chain: OXY – >POXY – >EPOXY (to glue with epoxy (a type of resin) [v EPOXIED or EPOXYED, EPOXYING, EPOXIES]).

PIX is a vari­ant of PYX.  There are three impor­tant Q-words – two of which do not require a U (QAT, QUA).  QUA has a num­ber of inter­est­ing hooks:

–AQUA  water [n AQUAE or AQUAS]
 QUAD– to space out by means of quadrats [v QUADDED, QUADDING, QUADS]
 QUAG– a quag­mire (an area of marshy ground) [n –S]
 QUAI– quay (a wharf) [n –S]
 QUAY– a wharf [n QUAYS] : QUAYLIKE [adj]


There are only a few other inter­est­ing hooks from this point to the end of the list (ZZZ):

–PREX  prexy (a pres­i­dent) [n –ES]
 SEXT– one of seven canon­i­cal daily peri­ods for prayer and devo­tion [n –S]
 TAXA– TAXON, a unit of sci­en­tific clas­si­fi­ca­tion [n]
 TAXI– to travel in a taxi­cab [v TAXIED, TAXIING or TAXYING, TAXIS or TAXIES]
 VEXT– VEX, to annoy (to be trou­ble­some to) [v]
 WAXY– resem­bling wax [adj WAXIER, WAXIEST]
 ZINC– to coat with zinc (a metal­lic ele­ment) [v ZINCED, ZINCING, ZINCS or ZINCKED, ZINCKING, ZINCS]
 ZINE– a mag­a­zine (a type of peri­od­i­cal pub­li­ca­tion) [n –S]
 ZING– to move with a high-pitched hum­ming sound [v –ED, –ING, –S]
 ZITI– a tubu­lar pasta [n –S]
 ZOOM– to move with a loud hum­ming sound [v –ED, –ING, –S]
 ZOON– the whole prod­uct of one fer­til­ized egg [n ZOA or ZOONS] : ZOONAL [adj]; to zoom (to move with a loud hum­ming sound) [v –ED, –ING, –S]

ZIN – >ZINE – >ZINEB (an insec­ti­cide [n –S])

Think Dr. Seuss and it’ll help you remem­ber ZAX.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS