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A friend of mine made a simple bar bet, in which he wrote down a list of ten words. Turning it around to show me, he covered up the first two words with his hand. The eight words below his hand were the following:

THIRD
FOURTH
FIFTH
SIXTH
SEVENTH
EIGHTH
NINTH
TENTH

He bet me \$20 that I would not be able to guess the first words on the logically-ordered list on my first try, though I could name them in any order. Of course, I'm thinking, I'll just say 'FIRST' and 'SECOND', easy $20. So I did. And he removed his hand. And much to my surprise, I was out twenty bucks for my haste.

What were actually the first two words on the list?

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closed as too broad by Engineer Toast, mmking, singletee, xnor, Len Jul 18 '15 at 5:37

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ A slight variation (not worth another question): ___ Second Third Fourth Fifth Sixth Seventh ___ Ninth Tenth $\endgroup$ – supercat Oct 25 '14 at 2:16
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    $\begingroup$ never take a bar bet if you dont already know the answer $\endgroup$ – Keltari Oct 27 '14 at 20:16
  • $\begingroup$ @supercat So what is the answer to your sub-question? $\endgroup$ – Trenin Oct 28 '14 at 19:49
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    $\begingroup$ @Trenin: Unison and octave (musical intervals). $\endgroup$ – supercat Oct 28 '14 at 19:59
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WHOLE
HALF

were the first two words.

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  • $\begingroup$ Correct. At first glance, one sees a sequence of ordinal numbers, but if the first two are WHOLE and HALF, they're a sequence of ever-decreasing fractions. $\endgroup$ – generalcrispy Oct 23 '14 at 20:45
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    $\begingroup$ Although note that this only really works in American English - A British English speaker would likely never use "A fourth" instead of "A quarter". $\endgroup$ – Jon Story Oct 23 '14 at 22:41
  • $\begingroup$ @JonStory Don't think this works in American (or Canadian) English either; we say "quarter" too. $\endgroup$ – Trenin Oct 28 '14 at 19:46
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Senior and Junior. The list was suffixes for descendants with identical names, such as King George IV, which is King George the Fourth.

EDIT: Answer 2 Whole and half. One whole, one half, one third, etc.

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    $\begingroup$ It's a good answer, but it's not the one I'm looking for. Normally, in that context, you wouldn't use "Third", "Fourth", etc... you'd use Roman numerals. $\endgroup$ – generalcrispy Oct 23 '14 at 20:38
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    $\begingroup$ I'd also argue that this isn't true. The current British Monarch, for example, is Queen Elizabeth the Second. I've never heard of a monarch referred to as Senior or Junior. $\endgroup$ – Jon Story Oct 23 '14 at 22:40
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    $\begingroup$ @Jon This isn't specifically referring to monarchs. Many times, in the US at least, if a father and a son have the same first and last name, they are referred to as Junior and Senior. $\endgroup$ – mdc32 Oct 23 '14 at 22:43
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    $\begingroup$ Ah my apologies, the use of King George as a reference confused me :) $\endgroup$ – Jon Story Oct 23 '14 at 22:46
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, it's just not common to see a name passed down to a 3rd generation, and fairly rare to see it passed down to a 4th generation. The most accessible example people will be familiar with is historical royalty. $\endgroup$ – Jason Oct 24 '14 at 19:30
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They could be “Main” and “Second”. In the town I live in (and perhaps in some other small towns) west-side streets parallel to Main are $2^{nd}, 3^{rd}, 4^{th}, 5^{th}$ etc. (East-side streets are B, C, D...; ie, Main does double duty standing in for $1^{st}$ St. and A St.)

map snip

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  • $\begingroup$ Thought this one too. $\endgroup$ – Timme Nov 21 '16 at 15:40

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