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This is in the spirit of the What is a Word/Phrase™ series inaugurated by JLee with his original Phrase™ and Word™ puzzles.

If a phrase adheres to a certain rule, then I call it a Stair Word™.

Use the examples below to find the rule.

enter image description here

In case you want it in CSV:

Stair Words™, Not Stair Words™
PANAMA, AFRICA
SOUPY, SOLID
WICKER, WACKER
INLET, OUTLET
WAIF, LADY
ENCHANT, IMPRESS
BORN, BARN
SIGN, SINE
QUALM, QUILT
BICKER, ARGUE
FARADAY, EINSTEIN
CALM, STORMY
FOULER, VULGAR 
BANANA, ORANGE 
MANAGE, GOVERN
BUCKET, PITCHER

The puzzle relies on the series' inbuilt assumption, that each wordcan be tested for whether it is a Stair Word™ or not on its own.

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ These look mostly like Bumpy Words™, except that a couple of them don't quite fit the pattern. I wonder if they're related, though... $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain Nov 3 '16 at 14:37
  • $\begingroup$ @GentlePurpleRain - Already checked. Doesn't fit in here Wicker and Wacker both are Non Bumpy. $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Nov 3 '16 at 14:41
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A Stair Word™ is a word in which

successive letter sequences (pairs) move in opposite directions on the keyboard.

For example (using an example keyboard image that I had lying around in my Pictures folder):

example keyboard image

SOUPY and WICKER, for example, adhere to the rule:

SOUPY and WICKER

and SOLID and WACKER, for example, do not:

SOLID and WACKER

as L→I→D is two consecutive moves to the left, and A→C→K is two consecutive moves to the right.  (Arguably, S→O→L is also two consecutive moves to the right, but O→L is nearly vertical.)

These are called Stair Words™ because they are suggestive

of a multi-flight staircase, zig-zagging back and forth:

         multi-flight staircase
         (Image derived from http://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/EP1181423B1/imgf0001.png)

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  • $\begingroup$ Oh man! I walked the stairs but didn't knew where I was walking. +1 $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Nov 3 '16 at 19:35
  • $\begingroup$ Curses. I even looked at positioning and didn't notice what you saw. +1 from me as well $\endgroup$ – Rubio Nov 3 '16 at 19:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Rubio - How can you miss it man! C'mmon you got the vexed one right :D $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Nov 3 '16 at 19:38
  • $\begingroup$ I know, right?! Kicking myself down the ... uh.... stairs. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Nov 3 '16 at 19:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Techidiot I couldn't see it either, and I WROTE the vexed one. $\endgroup$ – TwoBitOperation Nov 3 '16 at 19:41

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