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Quiz question

(31 Posts)
Artyfarty Thu 23-Nov-17 11:46:30

At the quiz last night one of the questions was ‘what is the least used letter of the alphabet’. We put Z but the answer was given as Q. On doing a quick Google search this morning different answers come up depending on which site you look at. So now I am confused, what is the least used letter? confused

Charleygirl Thu 23-Nov-17 12:18:09

I asked Alexa and she does not know it!

I would have said Z because one can find a quite a few words when one put the letter U after Q.

MissAdventure Thu 23-Nov-17 12:45:10

It must be Z, surely?

Anniebach Thu 23-Nov-17 12:50:07

If Welsh it's J K Q V X Z 😀

Elegran Thu 23-Nov-17 13:12:38

Words like pizza use 2 Zs at a time (just to confuse). You never get 2 Qs at a time (or do you?)

hildajenniJ Thu 23-Nov-17 13:20:16

According to funfacts the least used letters in order are: z, x, q and j. I think that this is probably about right.

Elegran Thu 23-Nov-17 13:22:01

On this page you can paste in any text and get an analysis of the percentages of each letter,

In artyyfarty's OP that is:-
s : 189
w : 86
l : 80
n : 77
f : 69
v : 63
q : 62
x : 62
k : 60
u : 55
y : 53
i : 48
r : 41
e : 37
t : 34
o : 31
m : 30
h : 24
a : 18
z : 16
p : 15
g : 9
d : 8
c : 7
b : 6
j : 0
That is not typical text, of course, because it specifically talks about Q and Z and the quiz.
Wonder what other bits of text I could paste in? I am off to find some quotes.

Elegran Thu 23-Nov-17 13:22:34

Forgot the link.

Elegran Thu 23-Nov-17 13:24:40

Hang on. How can S be 189% ? That is almost twice as many Ss than text!

Elegran Thu 23-Nov-17 13:31:18

Confusing! They talk about percentages and then give you actual frequencies.

Elegran Thu 23-Nov-17 13:36:54

No, it is encrypting it and then telling you how many times each letter appears in the encrypted version, to help you decipher it.
Sorry - not as much fun as it seemed at first.

Elegran Thu 23-Nov-17 13:37:08

As you were.

Baggs Thu 23-Nov-17 14:43:36


Artyfarty Thu 23-Nov-17 14:56:36

Well I’m beginning to think we were undermarked, I demand a recount! grin

TerriBull Thu 23-Nov-17 15:02:04

Q, and it needs to be followed by a u and then another vowel, I'm trying to think of an exception to that maybe there is one. Z, quite difficult but it pops up with appropriated Italian words such as pizza and piazza. K is sometimes reliant on a following n, similarly x often needs a preceding e, and thank god for "sex" if you really need to park your "x" somewhere, I thinking scrabble! J appears to be one of the most under used letters as well.

Elegran Thu 23-Nov-17 15:37:47


pollyperkins Fri 24-Nov-17 10:41:01

Qantas? (but doesnt count as an acronym.) Qi is acceptable in online scrabble!

Jalima1108 Fri 24-Nov-17 11:33:34

No, doesn't count!
"Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services"

z, x, q and j.

J? I use it all the time!

Legs55 Fri 24-Nov-17 11:49:36

Q can be used on it's own, I know English Language requires the U but some others don't.

Qat is also acceptable in Scrabblehmm

Nelliemoser Fri 24-Nov-17 12:44:12

Have you nerds got nothing better to do? grin grin grin

trisher Fri 24-Nov-17 13:18:00

Seems queer that a quiz question should give 'q' as the answer. Can quickly think of a quantity of words that use 'q' quite often.
I'm with 'z'
Hope it wasn't a vital question that stopped you winning.

grandtanteJE65 Fri 24-Nov-17 13:19:35

Usually any European language that still uses q follows it with a u. However, when writing Arabic, Hebrew, Hindustani and other languages that do not use our alphabet it is considered correct not to follow q with a u!


As to whether q or z is the least used letter in English, I don't know, my dictionary has six and a quarter pages of words beginning with z and ten and about five lines of words beginning with q, but obviously that doesn't tell us how often anyone uses these words, nor does it help with words containing either letter as opposed to beginning with it.

Artyfarty Fri 24-Nov-17 14:19:30

Bit of an ambiguous question really. If we had got it right we would have gone through to a tiebreaker. The prize was only a bottle of wine anyway!

CardiffJaguar Fri 24-Nov-17 16:02:58

It seems to me to be one of those threads for those with nothing else to do. There is no definitive answer.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Fri 24-Nov-17 16:07:52

I'm sure there'll always be some confusion over this. MIL used to do those blank puzzles where you filled in all the letters of the alphabet by starting off with a couple of clues.
The letters X, Z, Q, J and K were always little used.