Current Best; Babingtonites = 5371207621898; 13 letters

We all know from fooling around with a calculator at some point in our lives, the when we turn a calculator upside down we can make words. For example, 0.7734 being HELLO. Or 808 being BOB.

Now assuming your calculator screen can stretch as far as you like, what's the longest word you can possibly spell?

Numbers on a calculator translate the same as on a digital clock


  1. Numbers can be used as many times as you like.
  2. You cannot use operators (+, -, /, *, etc.) in your word.
  3. The decimal sign may only be used once. You can only use it as A) a seperator to put 0 at the beginning of the number (to put O at the end of the word) or B) an apostrophe.
  4. A number can only be used as a single letter in your word, and should not double!

Accepted answer will change to always be the longest!

*Note: Please don't ruin the fun by googling! *

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Not that I'm a hater, but I'd like an explanation as to why this is a bad question. $\endgroup$ – warspyking Dec 20 '14 at 20:35
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I didn't downvote, but I'm going to guess people thought it was a bad puzzle because it's way too easy to code the answer. (I bet that's what McMagister did. I would have done it too if I cared about points.) I would enjoy this puzzle in a live setting, e.g. a pub quiz. $\endgroup$ – Lopsy Dec 20 '14 at 22:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Lopsy That shouldn't take away the value of a fun competition! $\endgroup$ – warspyking Dec 20 '14 at 22:26
  • $\begingroup$ What is the point of Rule #2 - words don't have operators. $\endgroup$ – pacoverflow Dec 21 '14 at 6:32
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    $\begingroup$ I’m voting to close this question because open-ended puzzles are off-topic as of May 2019 $\endgroup$ – bobble May 13 at 22:01

Babingtonites - 13 letters


Accepted on Scrabble

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A 9 looking like a..? $\endgroup$ – warspyking Dec 30 '14 at 20:01
  • $\begingroup$ a sort of. that's what i intended at least $\endgroup$ – James Lynch Dec 30 '14 at 20:01
  • $\begingroup$ Sure, I'll allow it. $\endgroup$ – warspyking Dec 30 '14 at 20:41
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    $\begingroup$ How is that word being displayed? If mirror-imaged, I'd read that as BQBISATOSITES". If rotated 180 degrees, "BbBIgLOZILES". $\endgroup$ – supercat Dec 30 '14 at 20:55
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, rotated 180º, the 9 is supposed to be an a, 1 is i, 7 is t without cross, which I think has been used in older English writing, 2 is n. $\endgroup$ – James Lynch Dec 30 '14 at 21:00

9 letters

BIOLOGIES = 531607018

11 letters

HELIOLOGIES = 53160701734

Definition: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/heliology

12 letters

BIBLIOLOGIES = 531607017818

Definition: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bibliologies
Accepted by Scrabble: http://www.scrabblewordsolver.com/word-checker/bibliologies

  • $\begingroup$ Nice :D Can't wait to see what others come up with. $\endgroup$ – warspyking Dec 20 '14 at 17:37
  • $\begingroup$ Does Heliology make sense plural? (Also my iPod says it isn't a word lol!) $\endgroup$ – warspyking Dec 20 '14 at 17:40
  • $\begingroup$ I can't really find any good source for heliologies so I'm not going to accept it. $\endgroup$ – warspyking Dec 20 '14 at 17:45
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    $\begingroup$ Bibliologies is longer and seems more legit. $\endgroup$ – McMagister Dec 20 '14 at 17:56
  • $\begingroup$ Agreed. Edited as best into question. $\endgroup$ – warspyking Dec 20 '14 at 18:44

15 Letters

Note: the question doesn't specify explicitly whether the calculator needs to be inverted (although I think it intended it to be). Also, I'm going to assume my calculator is set to decimal, as it often isn't.

Based on writing the alphabet, here are the letters I think I can reasonably use rightsideup:

a=0, b=6/8, d=0, e=3, g=9, i=1, l=1, o=0, q=9, s=5, z=2

Note I allow a backwards "E" because of the cultural entrenchment of leetspeak. Upsidedown:

a=0, b=8/9, d=0, e=3, g=6, h=4, i=1, l=1/7, o=0, q=6, s=5, t=7, z=2

Since it seems that the set of upsidedown letters is a strict superset of the rightsideup ones, the ambiguity is irrelevant.

I have a script I wrote for bruteforce dictionary searches with regexes. It uses a dictionary stored on my HDD, so there was no Googling, as required.

The longest words ^[abdegiloqsz]{11,99}$ returns are babesiosises, bibliologies, and glossolalias, all 12 letters. For the upsidedown words, ^[abdeghiloqstz]{15,99}$ gives up digestibilities, which is 15 letters. Therefore, I claim:

digestibilities = 53171719175361.0

N.B. the i, l, and t are mapped by my scheme into 1 and 7. By the pigeonhole principle, there's a conflict. However, if the current answer uses a 9 for an a (backwards character), then think probably I should be allowed a 4 for a t (one extra stroke).

N.B. if you don't like digestibilities, here are some 14-letter words: diabetologists, disestablished, disestablishes, (and more dubiously: habitabilities, illegibilities, dilatabilities).

N.B. If anyone sees how more letters could be added (I'll admit I wasn't very thorough) or wants to give me a more comprehensive dictionary (ASCII; one word per line), I'd be happy to run the search again.


assassinations  (14 letters)

Accepted by the Oxford Dictionary (just add an s).

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Using a 2 for the letter n? I don't really see how that works. I see it as a Z, not an N. $\endgroup$ – Jaap Scherphuis Jul 27 '18 at 22:19

intelligibilities (17) 53171119161113721

It is accepted by the Oxford Dictionary https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/intelligibly

  • $\begingroup$ This is probably going to be accepted sooner or later, but please try not to answer multiple times unless the OP doesn't mind — it is a sneaky way to earn extra reputation... $\endgroup$ – Mr Pie Jul 27 '18 at 22:09

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