# Strip words

1. Mar 27, 2006

### Math Is Hard

Staff Emeritus
Here's something to keep HRW up late, and it's a spin off on Curious3141's ideas about "Russian Doll Words"(which was very cool), but not quite exactly the same idea. I am pretty sure I have seen these in word puzzles before, but I started messing with them again recently subconsciously.

What I am after are words that can be "peeled" to make new words.

Strip off the first and last letter and get a new word, and then repeat until you get down to a 2 or 3 letter word root. (Possibly down to a one letter word, like A or I.) 2 letter roots are for words with an even number of letters and 3 or 1 letter roots are for words with an odd number of letters.

For instance ASHAMED counts for ASHAMED and SHAME and HAM. (and then A is a word, so bonus for that!) 4 words total.

MUSINGS counts for MUSINGS and USING and SIN (And I). 4 words total.

These are the maximums I have found: 4 words made from one word 7 letters long.

I wonder if it is possible to find words containing more words or letters than this?

My other (not as good) finds are
FLOWERS: 7 letters, 3 words, FLOWERS, LOWER, and OWE.
PROBING: 7 letters, 3 words, PROBING, ROBIN, and OBI.
MOMENT: 6 letters, 3 words, MOMENT, OMEN, and ME
CANONS: 6 letters, 3 words, CANONS, ANON, and NO

Last edited: Mar 27, 2006
2. Mar 28, 2006

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
I'm really bad at these...the best I could come up with was:
BOWL: 4 letters, 2 words, BOWL, OW! :tongue2:

3. Mar 28, 2006

### Math Is Hard

Staff Emeritus
That's a good start, Moonbie! I think the trick is to find a good middle word to build on. Ones that lend themselves to "s", "e" or "ed" endings work well. And words that contain multiple consonants in the beginning are good.
Try some using the middle word ID or OR.

4. Mar 28, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

Can I cheat and just find any words?

5. Mar 28, 2006

### Math Is Hard

Staff Emeritus
p.s I was trying to find something biology-related for you, MB, but the best I could do was TOM -> STOMA. :)

6. Mar 28, 2006

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Aww...thanks. I think you get a bonus point for using a word that also has a scientific anagram: Atoms.

7. Mar 28, 2006

### Math Is Hard

Staff Emeritus
Well, you could, but I think that might be a different game. I should relax the rules and allow proper nouns, though.

8. Mar 28, 2006

### Math Is Hard

Staff Emeritus
Neat-o! I never thought of that!

9. Mar 28, 2006

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Towel -> Owe

Dish -> Is

heart -> ear -> A

Okay, this is pathetic, I'm going back to picking on pengwuino.

10. Mar 28, 2006

### loseyourname

Staff Emeritus
I can think of about a thousand that form three words:

SHINTO - HINT - IN
FLAGS - LAG - A
TWINS - WIN - I
FLAWS - LAW - A
SAILS - AIL - I
HAIRY - AIR - I
NEATO - EAT - A
HOARY - OAR - A

Tough to find ones that'll form four words, though. If you could take off two letters from the end and beginning, you could make ASHAMED into UNASHAMEDLY and have one that makes five, but I guess that's outside of the rules.

11. Mar 28, 2006

### Tom Mattson

Staff Emeritus
APATHY-PATH-AT
SPARE-PAR-A
SLIDE-LID-I
SPORES-PORE-OR

Well in that case...

ATHENS (or ATHENA)-THEN-HE

12. Mar 28, 2006

### JamesU

UBIQUITOUS-QUIT-UI

(Ui is a last name )

13. Mar 28, 2006

### Tom Mattson

Staff Emeritus
How about BIQUITOU and IQUITO, are they last names too?

You're supposed to be peeling off one pair of letters at a time.

14. Mar 28, 2006

### AKG

Salient > Alien > Lie > I
Stripes > Tripe > Rip > I
Piraters > Irater > Rate > At

I can't find "Irater" in the dictionary, but I can't find "Angrier" in there either, so "Irater" should be a word.

Last edited: Mar 29, 2006
15. Mar 29, 2006

### honestrosewater

I'll be back later (I'm actually turning a pattern (the deletion of compound constituents) that fell out of the trinonym thread into a little miniresearch project thing and am busy (snoozing) collecting data for it), but I just have to say that this is a perfect example of why I love you, MIH. If I was a teacher, I'd want you as a student, and if I was a student, I'd want you as a teacher, and if I was just about anything else, I'd want you around. You rock SO hard!

P.S. Okay, one first idea: match up pairs of prefixes and suffixes with the same number of letters (e.g., (un-, -ed) (surround a verb stem), (dis-, -ize), (dis-, -ed-s), etc.). This guarantees you at least one peeling, but then you can also look specifically for stems that would form more, e.g., dis-[]-ing, is-[]-in, s-[]-i. Actually, building up from stems does look more promising -- just matching prefixes for suffixes. Say, pick a word: heart. dis-heart-en-s. dis-he(art)-en-ing... Ack, devil woman, you will be the death of me! (I wonder where that saying comes from.)

P.P.S. Is undishearteningly a word? :buggrin:

Oh, EACH peeling needs to produce a word. Oops, autopilot. Okay, Roger. Or do you prefer stripping? :tongue2:

Still, varying the length of each peel (1 letter, 2 letters, etc.) could be interesting too, I think.

Oh, and loseyourname already said what I said. I guess I should read the thread before posting P.S.s.

Last edited: Mar 29, 2006
16. Mar 29, 2006

### zoobyshoe

Something's terribly wrong here: you and I are somehow in total agreement about something.

17. Mar 29, 2006

### honestrosewater

It's not so terrible, is it?

Um, I hope this isn't cheating: You can do wildcard searches on OneLook (I adore this site). A * is replaced with a string of any length, and a ? is replaced with a single letter. For instance, I wanted to find some words to fill in

un-[]-ed

So one option is a word that begins with n, ends with e, and what's in between them is a verb

n-[VERB]-e

One search is n???e, which turned up, e.g., naile, giving

unailed -- naile -- ail -- i

Jimmy was sick last week, but now he is unailed. Kosher?

Other example searches: n*e, n?i?e, n??a??e, n*at*e, ?to?, ?atop?...

And actually, you wouldn't need to even think in terms of categories of words; it's just automatic for me, I guess.

Last edited: Mar 29, 2006
18. Mar 29, 2006

### honestrosewater

e-shearers -- shearer -- heare -- ear -- a

Surely you wouldn't reject this already rejected name for the first electronic razor? I don't know how much the poor word can take. Not to mention their dejected inventor, Mr. E. Shearer. I, for one, think that E. Shearer's e-shearers deserve another chance. But I am just a simple country witch doctor.

Last edited: Mar 29, 2006
19. Mar 29, 2006

### zoobyshoe

Not at all. It's nice to find we're in enthusiastic agreement about something, just temporarily disorienting, is all.

20. Mar 29, 2006

### Mk

I can think of about a thousand, this is easy:
Hinder > Hind > Hi > I
Blenders > Blender > Blend > Lend > End > En (the average with of a typeset charachter)
Magistrate > Magi > Ma > A
Ashamed > Ashame > A sham? > Sham > Ham > Am > A
Speakerbox > Speaker > Peaker > Peak > Pea > A
Gulgamesh > Amesh :tongue2: > Mesh
Arrowhead > Arrow > Row > Ow > O
Ledges > Edges > Led > Ed!
Apartheid > Apart > Part > Par > Pa > A
Discussions > Discussion> Discuss > Cuss > Us
Applications > Application > Cations > Ions > Ion > Io > I
Jackass > Ass > As > A
Jackrabbit > Rabbit > Rabbi > Ra > A
Reference > Refer > Ref
Peppermints > Peppermint > Pepper > Pep
Peppermints > Mints > Mint > Min (a dialect of Chinese) > Mi (the third note of a major scale: do re mi...) > I
Waterloo > Water > Ate > At > A
Conditioner > Condition > Ion > Io > I
Conditioner > Condition > Con > On > O
Flippantly > Pant > Ant > An > A
Clocktowers > Clocktower > Tower > Tow > To > O
Clocktower > Clocktower > Clock > Lock > Lo > O
Oxford > Ox > O
Oxford > Ford > For > Fo
Publications > Publication > Public > Pub > P.U. You stink
Publications > Publication > Cations > Cation > Ion > Io > I
Conservationists > Conservationist > Conservation > Cons > Con > On > O

Anybody want to try these?
Antineodisestablishmenttarianism
Angelicans
Replications
Globalization
Magnetohydrodynamics

This is like a cross between Scrabble and factor treeing

Last edited: Mar 29, 2006
21. Mar 29, 2006

### loseyourname

Staff Emeritus
You're doing it wrong, MK. With each successive move, you have to take only one letter off of the beginning and end of each word. This isn't simply about more words being contained within a word.

22. Mar 29, 2006

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
3-word strippers come easily to mind ! (eg : Anna Nicole Smith )

23. Mar 29, 2006

### Mk

Ohhhh Well I guess I have to rethink my words.

24. Mar 30, 2006

### Math Is Hard

Staff Emeritus
Nice ones, LYN. I really like SHINTO and HOARY. Bonus points for interesting words!!

Yeah, the four word ones are rare birds! That wonderful site that HRW posted (why have I never seen this before?!!??) should be helpful in tracking down more of them.

ooh, I really like APATHY! Must keep this one in mind for future Scrabble matches!

:!!) :!!) :!!) Wowser!!

And I would play IRATER on a Scrabble board any day - I think it's perfectly legal!

25. Mar 30, 2006

### Math Is Hard

Staff Emeritus
That made my whole week. Got to be one of the nicest compliments I've ever received. Especially since I only created this thread to torment and distract you! How's the research project going by the way?
how about emailed-- maile -- ail -- i ?

I wasn't sure about maile at first but it looks legit, though both listings are classified as obsolete.

1. A small piece of money; especially, an English silver half-penny of the time of Henry V.
2. Rent; tribute.

Can a word "expire"?

Last edited: Mar 30, 2006