Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-30-2020, 10:11 AM
psychonaut is online now
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Europe
Posts: 6,245

Alliterative pangrams

A pangram is a text that contains each letter of the alphabet at least once. Some famous examples in English:
  • The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
  • Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs.
  • Mr. Jock, TV quiz Ph.D., bags few lynx.

The goal of this thread is to construct alliterative pangrams, where every word in the text begins with the same letter. The shorter the pangram, the better! Here are some examples to get you started, along with the letter counts:
  • Bipeds, bivouacking by Bamford, bequeath blowzy bijoux. (46)
  • DJ Dvorak deoxygenizes Depew's deformable discotheque. (47)
  • Gretzky's grewsome glitchy genuflexion grieved gaping Garboesque Gujaratis. (66)

The game is over when I judge the thread to have gone dormant.

Winners will be announced in 28 categories. There is one award each for the shortest alliterative pangram for each of the 26 letters of the alphabet. There is one meta-award for whoever racks up the greatest number of awards in the previous categories—that is, the award will go to whoever "won" the greatest number of letter categories. Finally, there is one award for the shortest alliterative pangram overall. Depending on the level of participation, further categories may be announced as the game progresses.

Pangram requirements
  1. Pangrams must be in English.
  2. Every word in the pangram must start with the same letter of the alphabet.
  3. Pangrams must be grammatically correct, encoding a complete and meaningful utterance. Some allowance can be made for poetic word order, but you can't simply throw all sense of syntax out the window.
  4. The English must be reasonably modern. Using somewhat obsolete or regional words and spellings is OK, but avoid using any words not in use after the King James Bible.
  5. Using abbreviations is OK as long as they're conventional (like "Mr." and "Ph.D." in the examples above). Don't use any abbreviation that you can't find in a dictionary.
  6. Using proper names is OK as long as they're well-attested. Generally speaking, feel free to use any name that occurs in the title of a Wikipedia article. Don't invent your own fanciful proper names consisting of long strings of uncommon letters.

I reserve the right to clarify or alter these requirements in case of any ambiguities or loopholes.

A note on X-pangrams

The letter X presents a problem, since there are no common words that start with an X and that also contain a Q, J, or W. To keep you from having to solve this problem yourself, here are the results of my own research:
  • I can't find any "proper" words that start with X and contain a J. But in times past, the final i of lowercase roman numerals was often written as j. The Oxford English Dictionary has hundreds of such citations, both ordinal and cardinal. So it is safe for you to use, say, "xvj" to mean "16" or "16th".
  • The only X-words I'm aware of that also contain K are the Greek proper name Xenakis and the word xebeck, a variant spelling of xebec (a type of sailboat).
  • The only non-proper X-words with W seem to be a few archaic spellings (like "xwld" for "should"), which haven't been used since the 15th century and so can't be used in this game. But the OED and many print sources do refer to a 18th-century porcelain painter by the name of Philippe Xrowet (also known as Xhrouet, Xhrouuet, Croix, or Secroix). So feel free to use Xrowet for your X-W word.

Submission procedure

You can submit as many pangrams as you wish. Include the letter count with each pangram, as shown above. If you submit an improved version of someone else's pangram, please acknowledge the original author.

Very short pangrams are likely to include very obscure words. If your pangram contains such words, then please define these terms, or provide a plain-language paraphrase of the entire pangram. If no one can understand your pangram, it won't be considered! Here's an example of a paraphrase for a particularly cryptic pangram:
  • Xerodermatic Xrowet xylographs xarif Xanakis's xvj Xuzhou xebeque. (57)

    Dry-skinned Xrowet (Philippe Xrowet, an 18th-century porcelain painter) makes a wood engraving of the 16th xebec (a sailing ship) from Xuzhou (a Chinese city), owned by a xarif (a Middle-Eastern money changer) named Xanakis.

Feel free to post other alliterative pangrams not meeting the requirements, but please mark them as such so that they won't be counted as proper submissions.
Old 01-30-2020, 07:47 PM
KarlGauss's Avatar
KarlGauss is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Between pole and tropic
Posts: 8,793

Last edited by KarlGauss; 01-30-2020 at 07:48 PM.
Old 01-30-2020, 08:16 PM
Prof. Pepperwinkle's Avatar
Prof. Pepperwinkle is offline
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Chateau Pepperwinkle
Posts: 63,698
Jacques jabbed jazzily, jerking Jemima’s jeweled jodhpurs, jinxing Jeff’s jive jettison. (73)

It's a start.
Old 01-30-2020, 08:34 PM
Prof. Pepperwinkle's Avatar
Prof. Pepperwinkle is offline
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Chateau Pepperwinkle
Posts: 63,698
Sixty slumping Skifflebilly Szechuan squaws sojourned. (50)

Skifflebilly is a combination (not original) of Skiffle and Rockabilly. Lonnie Donegan was a prominent Skiffle artist, and inspired John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

Last edited by Prof. Pepperwinkle; 01-30-2020 at 08:34 PM.
Old 01-30-2020, 11:05 PM
jtur88 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Cebu, Philippines
Posts: 15,214
Can't resist showing off my best Hauku composition.

Now is the time for
All quick brown foxes
To fling J D Pike my box.


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:40 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to:

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017