December 1, 2022

The letter “Q” is undoubtedly one of the most puzzling letters in the English alphabet. Not only does it have one of the highest values in Scrabble, but it almost always appears with the letter “U”.

Now why is that?

The English Qu is used as a digraph, which is a pair of letters that represents a single speech sound. It was based on the Greek letter Koppa, but has since fallen out of use with the use of letters like “C” and “K”. However, for some words that have a “U” sound afterwards, “Q” was retained.

Let’s take a look at some quant little words that begin with this perplexing letter.

Quaff

Quaint

Quaintise

Quaintisiness

Quaintly

Qualified

Qualify

Qualitative

Qualitatively

Quality

Quality Words

Quantifiable

Quantity

Quarter

Quat

Queen

Queenhood

Queenly

Queep

Quemeful

Quenching

Querist

Quest

Quester

Question

Qui Vive

Quick

Quicken

Quickening

Quicker

Quickly

Quickness

Quick-Sighted

Quickstep

Quick-Witted

Quick-Wittedly

Quiddity

Quiescent

Quiescent Mind

Quiet

Quieter

Quietly

Quietness

Quietsome

Quillet

Quintessence

Quintessential

Quintessentially

Quip

Quirk

Quirky

Quite

Quiver

Quixotic

Quiz

Quotable

Quotation

Quote

Quotha

QWERTY

 

You might notice that the last word in the list is the only one wherein “U” doesn’t come after “Q”. That shows the evolution of this letter alongside modern technology as this refers to the QWERTY keyboard!

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