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I'm a four letter word:

With four I deliver people.
With three I trouble people.
With two I kill people.

What word am I?

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    $\begingroup$ This is... what's the word? It's six, which is a hundred times five, which gives forceful advantage over four, which is always greater than three, which came before. $\endgroup$ – Beta Mar 24 at 23:13
  • $\begingroup$ I really wanted to make something of how people are troubled by tribulation and sometimes killed by bibulation; but I've never seen anyone delivered by quadribulation. (Unless "4" is "4 am"!) Sadly, "bulation" is not a four-letter word, either. $\endgroup$ – Quuxplusone Mar 26 at 3:46
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You are a TAXI

With four I deliver people.

A taxi! Delivers people to and fro. Possibly clued too easy.

With three I trouble people.

A tax! Nothing is certain but death and taxes!

With two I kill people.

An ax! Speaking of death... an ax'll do the trick.

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    $\begingroup$ What is an 'ax'? Now, an 'axe' I am familiar with. $\endgroup$ – Glen Yates Mar 24 at 18:44
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    $\begingroup$ It's one of those short ones, easier to swing I think. Just kidding. $\endgroup$ – Amoz Mar 24 at 19:12
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    $\begingroup$ @GlenYates See ax vs axe :) $\endgroup$ – risky mysteries Mar 24 at 20:12
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @riskymysteries I thought there was a difference $\endgroup$ – Some Guy Mar 26 at 19:18
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Another answer that's also a bit of a stretch:

You are a TIRE

With four I deliver people

Most vehicles have four tires and are used to deliver people

With three I trouble people

When you have a flat tire and are down to three tires on your car, you're in quite a bit of trouble

With two I kill people

Motorcycles only have two tires, and are significantly more dangerous than cars; motorcyclists are 35 times as likely to be in a fatal accident than car drivers, per mile driven

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    $\begingroup$ I actually like this one a lot! Maybe it's my inexperience showing through, but this sort of Sphinx' Riddle thing is where my mind first went too. $\endgroup$ – Lieutenant Zipp Mar 25 at 0:52
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    $\begingroup$ 3 and 2 could also be "ire" and "IR (ionizing radiation)" $\endgroup$ – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Mar 25 at 23:23
  • $\begingroup$ Neat. And what happens when 2) collides with 3)? $\endgroup$ – smci Mar 26 at 11:32
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I admit it's a stretch, but here's an alternative:

You are the word FREE

With four I deliver people.

Persons set FREE are delivered from bondage.

With three I trouble people.

A FEE can cause hesitation to complete a transaction.

With two I kill people.

FR (Fr) is the symbol for Francium, a radioactive element that would be lethal if it weren't so short-lived.

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  • $\begingroup$ Two is also a country-code, that could cause offense... $\endgroup$ – smci Mar 26 at 11:32
  • $\begingroup$ @smci - I KNOW, right?!? I'm often offended by the French! :-p $\endgroup$ – MrWonderful Mar 26 at 23:05
  • $\begingroup$ @MrWonderful: careful to avoid spoilers... $\endgroup$ – smci Mar 26 at 23:14
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it's always a 4 letter word right?

It's the letter E

With four I dElivEr pEoplE.

With three I troublE pEoplE.

With two I kill pEoplE.

so either

RUNE or SIGN would fit (just trying to find a 4 letter word for 'letter')

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    $\begingroup$ Or 'char' for the programmers here. $\endgroup$ – Yonatan N Mar 26 at 11:34
  • $\begingroup$ Haha I like this answer! Maybe you could get away with "FIVE", since E is the fifth letter of the alphabet. $\endgroup$ – wavemode Mar 26 at 23:31
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I know there's an accepted Answer, but I have another possibility.

You are:

TRAM

With four you deliver people:

Tram is another word for trolley or streetcar.

With three you trouble people:

Ram, as in the male sheep. While fluffy, they are often very headstrong (literally and figuratively) and a will run you over (literally) if you get in their way.

With two you kill people:

Ra is the periodic table symbol for radium, which is a highly radioactive element.

OR:

Am is the periodic table symbol for Americium, which is also a highly radioactive element.

OR:

AM (ante meridiem) is the designator for the morning hours, where people drive to work while sleepy and cause accidents. Ok, ok, so this is a bit of a stretch.

OR:

Ra is a sun god. The sun can cause skin cancer, which can be deadly. Yes, this is another stretch.

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You are

NNO O - A mix of nitrous oxide and oxygen

With four you deliver people

A mix of nitrous oxide and oxygen is used in delivery to help with labour pains - literally delivering (tiny) people.

With three you trouble people

NNO - Nitrous oxide on its own can be worrying, slowly leading to hypoxia

With two you kill people

Pure Nitrogen will suffocate you

Disclaimer:

I'm aware that, technically, the first bit should be NNO + OO, oxygen doesn't like to be on its own.

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  • $\begingroup$ But we already breathe 70% N2. So to compare, we'd have to go with both 100% N2 and also 100% N2O (which I am sure means more than just trouble) $\endgroup$ – Hagen von Eitzen Mar 25 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ @HagenvonEitzen Yup, so 100% nitrogen will suffocate you. 100% nitrous oxide for a long time is definitely bad news (hence the eventual hypoxia) but more breathable than pure nitrogen. Really depends on where you draw the line for trouble. $\endgroup$ – Lio Elbammalf Mar 25 at 16:38

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