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Old 01/21/08, 08:08 AM   #1
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Default Many Vowels

It is important to note the difference between vowel letters and vowel sounds. A string of letters may represent a single vowel sound (like ea in head); conversely, a single letter may represent multiple vowels, or a diphthong (such as boy, with one diphthong, or Peoria, which has multiple diphthongs). This section deals with words that have many vowel letters, which may, however, represent a smaller number of vowel sounds. Unless otherwise specified, "vowels" here refers to the regular vowels, a, e, i, o, u.

Euouae (a type of cadence in medićval music) contains six vowel letters in a row. It is a pseudo-word, however, formed from the vowels of the last six syllables of the "Gloria Patri" doxology: "seculorum. Amen". It is also often spelt evovae.

There is only one common word in English that has five vowels in a row: queueing. More unusual examples are cooeeing (making a "cooee" sound), miaoued or miaouing (from miaou, to make a sound like a cat; more commonly miaow or meow). Another candidate is zoaeae, a plural of zoaea. Zoaea, more commonly spelt zoea, is a larval stage in crustacean development. Those who write using the ligature "ć" may consider the singular to have only three vowels (zoća). Proper nouns and their derivatives include Rousseauian (pertaining to the philosopher Rousseau), Aeaea or Aiaia (a location in Greek mythology), and the related adjectives Aeaean/Aiaian.

The list of common words with four vowels in a row is also fairly short, and includes s aqueous,Hawaiian, obsequious, onomatopoeia, pharmacopoeia, , queue, plateaued, and sequoia, amongst a few others.

Examples of words consisting entirely of vowels, including proper names and some words already mentioned, are:

a (the indefinite article)
aa (a geological term for a type of lava)
ae (a Scots adjective form of "one")
Aeaea or Aiaia (a location in Greek mythology)
aeaeae (magic)
ai (the three-toed sloth)
aia (a Brazilian bird)
aiea (a town in Hawaii)
au (French for "to" or "with", encountered in English in compounds such as au pair and au fait)
euouae (a type of cadence in mediaeval music)
euoi (a Greek exclamation of joy)
eau (French for "water", encountered in English in compounds such as eau de cologne)
Eiao (one of the Marquesas Islands)
I (first person pronoun)
Iao (a Polynesian god)
I’i (a figure in Polynesian mythology) – contains a consonant, but not one written with a letter generally recognized as a consonant in English.
Io (a figure in Greek mythology, also a moon of Jupiter)
oi (an impolite exclamation used to gain someone's attention)
oo (a Hawaiian bird).

Exclamations such as oooo, aaaa and eeee are not normally considered legitimate words.
Other words that have a high proportion of vowels, including some proper names, are as follows.

6 letters, 1 consonant:
Aeolia (a region now in Turkey)
Eogaea (a supposed ancient continent)
Euboea (a Greek island)
ooecia (plural of ooecium, part of the reproductive system of some primitive animals)
zoaeae, Aeaean/Aiaian, eunoia, already mentioned

7 letters, 1 consonant:
ouabaio (an African tree that yields the poison ouabain)

8 letters, 2 consonants:
aboideau or aboiteau (a sluice gate)
Beaulieu (a village in Hampshire, England)
epopoeia (variant of epopee, an epic poem)
quiaquia (a type of fish)

9 letters, 2 consonants:
Aizoaceae (a plant family)
Aloeceae (a plant family)
Outaouais (a region of western Quebec)

11 letters, 3 consonants:
Aecidiaceae (a plant family)
Ouagadougou (capital of Burkina Faso)
Paeoniaceae (a plant family)

12 letters, 3 consonants:
Saurauiaceae (a plant family)

Containing all the vowels
The shortest word containing the five regular vowels is eunoia at six letters, followed by sequoia (and a variety of rarer words such as Aeonium, eulogia, miaoued) at seven. The shortest words with all six vowels (including y) are oxygeusia (an abnormally acute sense of taste) and Oxyuridae (a family of parasitic nematodes).

There are many words that feature all five regular vowels in alphabetical order, the commonest being abstemious, adventitious, facetious. One of the shortest, at eight letters, is casesious. Considering y as a vowel, the suffix -ly can be added to a number of these words; thus the shortest word containing six unique vowels in alphabetical order is facetiously (11 letters).

Subcontinental and uncomplimentary are common words having the five vowels in reverse order. One of the shortest such words, at eight letters, is Muroidea, a superfamily of rodents.

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Old 01/21/08, 12:05 PM   #2
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Post Re: Many Vowels

It's amazing to see these words made with so many vowels.
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