# What is a Stair Word™?

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.

In case you want it in CSV:

Stair Words™, Not Stair Words™
PANAMA, AFRICA
SOUPY, SOLID
WICKER, WACKER
INLET, OUTLET
ENCHANT, IMPRESS
BORN, BARN
SIGN, SINE
QUALM, QUILT
BICKER, ARGUE
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.

• 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... – GentlePurpleRain Nov 3 '16 at 14:37
• @GentlePurpleRain - Already checked. Doesn't fit in here Wicker and Wacker both are Non Bumpy. – Techidiot Nov 3 '16 at 14:41

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):

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

and SOLID and WACKER, for example, do not:

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: