Words ending in "-gry"

At http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a3_251.html we find a mildly amusing but utterly unnecessary wild goose chase about the non-riddle “Besides angry and hungry, what is another English word ending in -gry?”

I would like to clear up this time-wasting bit of nonsense once and for all, as I have done elsewhere on the Internet in an ongoing attempt to lay it to rest permanently.

It is imperative to note that the question is necessarily asked ORALLY, not in written form. This is because it is a pun, a cruel trick question, and it is most definitely NOT asking about arcane words like gry, puggry, aggry–or any other words ending in -gry, for that matter. Here goes the real question, first heard on radio over a quarter of a century ago:

“Besides angry and hungry, what is another English word ending in G or Y?”

Get it? The “G or Y” is spoken aloud to SOUND LIKE “-gry”, and hence the well-meaning listener (or question-answering columnist) is sent off on a pathetic search for words no one ever heard of. The clever answers about “the third word” being “word” or some such contrivance are equally irrelevant, as the answer can vary as the miscreant quesioner varies the form of the question. The obvious truth is that literally thousands of words end in G or Y. “Irritating idiocy” are two that come to mind.

There. Now you never need be pestered by this foolishness again.

Yer pal

It’s you, isn’t it?


Here’s another answer to the question:
Perhaps there are others (depending on how the question is asked)…

Some more possible answers offered:
(This is an annoying riddle, isn’t it?.)

I’m so glad the OP rode in on his white horse and cleared that up for us proles.

In my experience, the usual phrasing of the riddle is the one mentioned at elfin’s first link:

This is the first time I’ve heard the “g or y” version.

Thanks elfin for the substantiation. From your second link to yourdictionary.com (one of my favorite word sites):

"There at least three words in that end in ‘g’ or ‘y’. One of them is ‘hungry,’ and another one is ‘angry.’ There is a third word, a short one, which you probably say every day. If you are listening carefully to everything I say, you just heard me say it three times. What is it? The answer here is, of course, ‘say’. "


Michael Quinion has one of the best write-ups about this stupid question I’ve seen. And note that he doesn’t support any specific version, saying that it’s been lost. Until someone comes up with an old puzzle book with some form in it, we’ll never know.

So, ** hyjyljyj
. . .

what’s the origin of the expression “the whole nine yards?”

can God make a boulder so big He can’t move it?

why do we drive on the parkway and park on the driveway?

why can’t andros ever learn to preview?

Didn’t someone in another thread here (from the purge era) suggest “augry”? Is that a word?

There are a number of uncommon words ending in “gry”, including aggry, puggry, and gry. The “riddle”, though, is usually asking specifically for a common word, and there are only two words ending in “gry” which can reasonably be described as common.

There is a word AUGURY (divination from omens).