# What is a Racist Word™?

This is in the spirit of the What is a Word/Phrase™ series started by JLee with a special brand of Phrase™ and Word™ puzzles.

If a word conforms to a special rule, I call it a Racist Word™. (Disclaimer: In case anyone feels nervous about this puzzle, Racist Words™ are not actual racist words.)

In addition, the Not Racist Words™ are Not Racist in a related way. Can you also determine what that is?

Use the following examples below to find the rule:

Racist Words™ Not Racist Words™
BLACK ALBUM
GREAT CRYPT
LARGE EARTH
LIGHT FIELD
NOBLE GLAND
QUICK HEATH
SWEET OUNCE
THICK TRIES

And, if you want to analyze, here is a CSV version:

Racist Words™,Not Racist Words™
BLACK,ALBUM
GREAT,CRYPT
LARGE,EARTH
LIGHT,FIELD
NOBLE,GLAND
QUICK,HEATH
SWEET,OUNCE
THICK,TRIES

• Random trivia: 'album' is Latin for 'white'. Of course that's not racist ... Oct 25, 2016 at 6:43
• so the White Album is ... like ... really white?
– Rubio
Oct 25, 2016 at 7:15
• @Rubio Fair Gwen tried to play the White Album for the candidate but found that it was blank. Oct 25, 2016 at 15:38
• Did anyone try comparative frequency analysis in certain politicians' speeches?
– WBT
Oct 25, 2016 at 19:07

I think the answer is

All words in the list, both Racist™ and Not Racist™, can be appended or prepended with the letters EN. For the Racist Words™, the result is just an extension of the root word, while for the Non-Racist Words™, the meaning changes completely.

Racist Words™

BLACKEN
GREATEN
ENLARGE
LIGHTEN
ENNOBLE
QUICKEN
SWEETEN
THICKEN

Non-Racist Words™

ALBUMEN
ENCHANT
ENCRYPT
EARTHEN
ENFIELD
ENGLAND
HEATHEN
ENOUNCE
ENTRIES

They are called Racist™ because

I think this is a reference to the "N-word", adding EN to the Racist Words™ does not fundamentally change them while adding EN to the Non-Racist Words™ completely changes the meaning.

• If this is not the answer, it should be. Oct 25, 2016 at 10:24
• @hexomino: That's correct - well done. What I had in mind is that modifying the words on the left in the way you have stated gives words that mean "to make ___", while doing the same to the words on the right does not. Oct 25, 2016 at 12:06
• Awesome. Clever question, clever answer.
– user30599
Oct 25, 2016 at 12:42
• By this explanation, I find it strange to consider "earth" a non-racist word. Oct 26, 2016 at 20:16
• @Daniel Wagner I see where you're coming from: earthenware is made of earth. However, the words on the left are all adjectives that are turned into verbs with the sense "to make <adjective>", and that isn't true for EARTH. Oct 27, 2016 at 16:38

Each of the words on the left can be made into a new word by adding the >! letters 'E', 'E', 'N', 'D' BLACKENED BROADENED GREATENED ENLARGED LIGHTENED ENNOBLED QUICKENED SWEETENED THICKENED

• I think this doesn't work with ENCRYPTED or ENCHANTED, which are not supposed to fit the pattern. Oct 25, 2016 at 6:29
• @quarkle: Very close. If you look at the title, you might see how to modify your answer to get the correct one. Oct 25, 2016 at 6:29
• @tmpearce: You are right to notice this. In this particular puzzle, the Not Racist Words™ are Not Racist in a related way. Oct 25, 2016 at 6:34
• Oohh, close. well done! Deserves more votes I think. Oct 25, 2016 at 14:39
• @tmpearce You've never chantened some weapons in your Minecraft world stored on your cryptened hard drive? Oct 26, 2016 at 4:52

Racist words are words that

can end with "EST"

So:

BLACKEST, BROADEST, GREATEST, LARGEST, LIGHTEST, NOBLEST, QUICKEST, SWEETEST, THICKEST

are racist words.

• Noblest and Largest - Both words can end with "EST". The fact that the base words already end with 'e' is irrelevant.
– user30599
Oct 25, 2016 at 7:24
• Ermmm... Am I wrong or is it simpler to say they are adjectives in this case? Oct 25, 2016 at 7:58
• @geisterfurz007 - Could be. I'm stuck on how the "est" relates to "racist" and how to define the "non racist" words. I'm hoping that someone who's had more coffee than me can supply a fuller answer.
– user30599
Oct 25, 2016 at 8:12
• @Pete: clearly they are, in fact, "racest" and "non-racest" words. Oct 26, 2016 at 6:28
• I dunno... the planet we live on is the Earthest of all the planets in our Solar system. Oct 26, 2016 at 14:06

Racist words are words that

can be postfixed with NESS to make another word.

There is a simpler explanation: