State Letter Banks: The Long and Short of It
Francis, Darryl, Word Ways
Take each of the 50 US state names in turn. For each state name, reduce the name to the list of different letters occurring in the state name, ignoring repeated occurrences of letters (for example, Alabama to ABLM). For each such sequence, what is the longest and the shortest word that can be made from all of the different letters, allowing repeated use of any letter? (In the National Puzzlers' League, collections of such words, not merely the longest and shortest possible, are known as a Letter Bank.)
In some cases, the shortest word possible appears to be the state name itself--obviously for a state such as Iowa or Utah with no repeated letters. Similarly, the longest word possible may be the state name, especially when it is a long name with many repeated letters, such as Mississippi. For a handful of states, both the longest and shortest words are the state name, such as Kentucky or Wyoming. Where possible I have replaced the state name with a transposition.
Most of the words are from Webster's Second or Third editions, although a smattering of words from other sources have been included (and references provided at the end of the article).
lamb Alabama ambalam lask Alaska Kalkaska Azorin Arizona Arizonian ranks Arkansas Arkansans florican California craniofacial cardol Colorado local road counite Connecticut uncontinence wardle Delaware well-rewarded forlaid Florida Firoloida og aire Georgia Gregoria hawi Hawaii Wahiawa Idaho Idaho Hodaiah lions Illinois nonillions naid Indiana Indianian Iowa Iowa Iowa sank Kansas kanakas Kentucky Kentucky Kentucky allusion Louisiana nonillusional amine Maine manienie land-army Maryland Maryland Day mustache Massachusetts Mattachussetts chingma Michigan chimichanga somniate Minnesota testamentations imps Mississippi Mississippis rimous Missouri missouriums manto Montana montanto bankers Nebraska snake bearers vaned Nevada Vendean New Hampshire New Hampshire New Hampshireman New Jersey New Jersey Jenny-wrens New Mexico New Mexico New Mexico ywroken New York New Yorker antichlor New Carolina choriallantoic North Dakota North Dakota North Dakotan hoi Ohio hooi holm-oak Oklahoma koloa moha goner Oregon nongreen paynesville Penssylvania Pennsylvanians drain-holes Rhode Island snail-horned unhistorical South Carolina unanachronistical South Dakota South Dakota South Dakota sent Tennessee tensenesses taxes Texas estate taxes haut Utah tuath Vermont Vermont removement raving Virginia viraginian nowanights Washington Washingtoniana West Virginia West Virginia Weavering Street Wisconsin Wisconsin Wiconisco Wyoming Wyoming Wyoming
Oxford English Dictionary drain-holes (saucer, 1856q), hawl (haw), holm-oak, land-army (army, see definition), missouriums (mastodon, 1847q), ywroken
Random House Dictionary Azorin, nonillusional, unanachronistical, Wahiawa
Bartholomew Gazetteer of the British Isles Weavering Street (a hamlet in Kent, England)
English Dialect Dictionary hooi (of the wind, to whistle)
Hodge, Handbook of Indians North of Mexico Mattachussetts (early spelling)
Funk & Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary Jenny-wrens (plural of Jenny-wren, the herb Robert--not a wren! …