Transdeleted and Transadded Presidents

By Francis, Darryl | Word Ways, February 2004 | Go to article overview

Transdeleted and Transadded Presidents


Francis, Darryl, Word Ways


Take the surnames of the US presidents. For each one, what is the longest transdeletion and what is the shortest transaddition? Jim Puder posed and answered these problems in the August 1998 Word Ways. The November 1998 Colloquy contained a healthy response to Puder's article, improving on several of the words offered.

Suppose now the problem is restated, using not the presidents' surnames but their first names and surnames together. Instead of NIXON, we have RICHARD NIXON. And just to make things a tad more challenging, let's include multiple first names where these exist (such as RICHARD MILHOUS NIXON) and familiar names (thus, JIMMY CARTER as well as JAMES CARTER).

Transdeletions

Let's look at the longest transdeletions first. In several cases, other
words of the same transdeletion length could have been offered, but we
have chosen to offer just one for each presidential name. For example,
Andrew Jackson can be transdeleted to OCEANWARDS and SNECKDRAWN, as
well as SNECKDRAWS. Note that there are three single-letter
transdeletions in the list: DAHOMANS, NUT-GRASSES, MACERATERS.

Presidential Name              Longest Transdeletion (number of letters
                               deleted)

George Washington              news-gathering (3) Concise Oxford, 9th
                               edition, 1995
John Adams                     Dahomans (1) Web 3
Thomas Jefferson               freemasons (5) Web 3
James Madison                  seminomads (2) Web 3
James Monroe                   monomers (3) Web 3
John Quincy Adams              daunomycins (4) Web 3
Andrew Jackson                 sneckdraws (3) Web 3
Martin Van Buren               unnarrative (3) Random House, 1965
William Harrison               Williamsonia (3) Web 3
William Henry Harrison         millionnaires (7) Web 2
John Tyler                     helotry (2) Web 3
James Knox Polk                kakemonos (4) Web 3
James Polk                     plasome (2) Web 3
Zachary Taylor                 catarrhal (4) Web 3
Millard Fillmore               lamelliform (4) Web 3
Franklin Pierce                pincerlike (4) Web 3
James Buchanan                 macahubas (4) Chambers, 1998
Abraham Lincoln                harmoniacal (3) Web 3
Andrew Johnson                 wanderoos (4) Web 3
Ulysses Grant                  nut-grasses (1) Chambers, 1998
Ulysses Simpson Grant          sportsmanliness (4) Web 2
Rutherford Birchard Hayes      carbohydrates (10) Web 3
Rutherford Hayes               sorryhearted (3) Web 2
James Abram Garfield           marriageable (6) Web 3
James Garfield                 federalism (3) Web 3
Chester Alan Arthur            transurethral (4) Web 3
Chester Arthur                 chatterers (3) Web 3
Grover Cleveland               overlearned (4) Web 3
Stephen Grover Cleveland       telencephalons (8) Web 3
Benjamin Harrison              mesorrhinian (4) Web 2
William McKinley               inimically (5) Web 3
Theodore Roosevelt             overlettered (5) Web 2
William Howard Taft            midlittoral (6) OED
William Taft                   milliwatt (2) Web 3
Thomas Woodrow Wilson          swordswoman (8) Web 3
Woodrow Wilson                 ironwoods (4) Web 3
Warren Gamaliel Harding        remaindering (9) Web 3
Warren Harding                 handwringer (2) Webster's 10th
                               Collegiate, 1998
Calvin Coolidge                ideological (3) Web 3
John Calvin Coolidge           nonideological (4) Random House, 1965
Herbert Clark Hoover           reverberator (6) Web 3
Herbert Hoover                 thereover (4) Web 3
Franklin Delano Roosevelt      noradrenalines (9) Web 3
Franklin Roosevelt             lateroversion (4) Web 2
Harry S Truman                 unmartyrs (2) Web 3
Harry Truman                   unmartyr (2) Web 3
Dwight David Eisenhower        disinvigorated (7) Web 2
Dwight Eisenhower              Wigtownshire (4) Web 3
Jack Kennedy                   cayenned (3) Web 2
John Fitzgerald Kennedy        nondeferential (7) Web 2
John Kennedy                   enjoyed (4) Web 3
Lyndon Baines Johnson          nonadhesion (8) Web 2
Lyndon Johnson                 donjons (6) Web 3
Richard Milhous Nixon          harmonichords (6) Web 3
Richard Nixon                  hadronic (4) Web 3
Gerald Ford                    foraged (3) Web 3
Gerald Rudolph Ford            flapdoodle (7) Web 3
James Carter                   maceraters (1) Web 2
James Earl Caner               telecameras (4) Web 3
Jimmy Carter                   retiracy (3) Web 3
Ronald Reagan                  rangeland (3) Web 3
Ronald Wilson Reagan           noradrenalins (5) OED
George Bush                    subrogee (2) Web 3
George Herbert Walker Bush     leatherworkers (9) Web 3
Bill Clinton                   billion (4) Web 3
William Clinton                caimitillo (4) Web 3
William Jefferson Clinton      inconformities (9) Web 3
George Walker Bush             housebreaker (4) Web 3

If you object to the WILLIAMSONIA transdeletion because of the common
William element, substitute the slightly shorter RHINOLALIAS (Web 3). … 

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