Let us give a number to each letter of the alphabet starting at 1 for a and going to 26 for z. The value of a word is just the product of the values for the letters.

The puzzle is to find as many words as possible each of whose product is exactly one million. Each word must be in a different language and must be a word in a respected dictionary for that language.


Any word you use must contain only the letters a to z. If a language has other letters as well that is fine, you just can't use them in the word. You can ignore accents however.

You must use a different word in each language.

You must not write computer code to find the words. This rule is obviously impossible to enforce so it will involve trust. Please do explain how you found any words you got.


Your score is just the number of different languages.

leading entries so far

  • a score of 5 by Len
  • a score of 1 by theplace and dorothy
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Letter values can only have factors 2 and 5. The possible letters are: abdhpejty. $\endgroup$ – Florian F Jan 19 '15 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ @FlorianF It may appear so, but I've not copied you, I thought of the same independently and wrote the answer. $\endgroup$ – ghosts_in_the_code Jan 19 '15 at 16:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Going a little further, we have to have the same number of 2 factors as 5 factors. We can then determine that the "units" of our words can only be: a, j, be, et, dee, eeeh, eeeep, dy, ehy, eepy, pyy, bby, tty, bty, hhyyy, bhyy, htyy $\endgroup$ – singletee Jan 19 '15 at 16:15
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Lembik Posting a question, which: 1. Has two answers in English, one of which not found in COCA and the other having one hit; 2. Has hundreds of possible solutions, equally obscure as the answers; does not exactly fit in Puzzling.SE $\endgroup$ – dmg Jan 19 '15 at 16:31
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ If we open it up past actual words and accept how Brazilians (I think) laugh in the chat of online games, we could get jajajajajaja as a possibility. $\endgroup$ – Togashi Jan 19 '15 at 16:34

Edit 2 - added word:

  1. Tetete - is the name of a people who once lived in Ecuador. The name could have originated from the Siona language but I don't know.
  2. Teetet - is used in the Catalan language as the name of one of Plato's dialogues. In English, the same dialogue is called the Theaetetus.
  3. Teette - is a Finnish verb meaning "do you"
  4. Teaette - is an English word meaning "tea maker". And then I found a 1988 article with a similar puzzle.
  5. Pateyya - a Pali word meaning "surely fit to have husbands"
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You have restored my faith in puzzling.se :) $\endgroup$ – Lembik Jan 20 '15 at 7:25

tetty is an English word with product 1,000,000, although not very common. It means touchy, testy, peevish, crabbed.

  • $\begingroup$ Your get a score of 1! Well done. $\endgroup$ – Lembik Jan 19 '15 at 17:31
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. I don't know why you got so many downvotes?! $\endgroup$ – dorothy Jan 19 '15 at 21:41

I probably won't be able to get more than the one language I know, but let's explore the problem space.

Since we're looking at a product, we're able to cut down the possible letters in the word drastically. One million is $10^6 = 2^6*5^6$, so any letter whose value has a factor other than 2 or 5 will not be usable. This restricts us to a, b, d, e, h, j, p, t, y. We need to choose letters such that we have 6 instances each of 2 and 5 in the factorizations. A word can have as many as as you want, since 1 will never change the product.

a = 1
b = 2^1
d = 2^2
e = 5^1
h = 2^3
j = 2^1 * 5
p = 2^4
t = 2^2 * 5
y = 5^2

For example, the word heap would have seven instances of 2 (three from h, four from p) and one instance of 5 from e, for a final product of 640.

In writing this, I did manage to come up with jetty in English miscount the 2s in what I thought was an answer. As there are more possibilities with high numbers of 2s in their factorization, other resulting words will probably also be heavy in letters with 5s.

  • $\begingroup$ jetty is great but doesn't it have 500000 as the product? $\endgroup$ – Lembik Jan 19 '15 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ Whoops, I miscounted the 2s, you're entirely correct. I'll edit that, but that does mean I haven't come up with any that actually work yet. $\endgroup$ – Togashi Jan 19 '15 at 16:17

TYPEY < Meaning: exhibiting superior bodily conformation Link>


TEETEED - Estonian, means 'roads of tea'. Actually does not count, since it is compound word and supposedly not in any sensible dictionary and what is worse, in plural. But still, in right context, it could be used and everyone would understand it.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you but what does "roads of tea" mean? Does it literally mean roads made out of tea? (Being plural seems 100% fine to me.) $\endgroup$ – Lembik Jan 22 '15 at 12:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ More like roads for tea, roads along which tea is transported. It may also mean ways of tea, something like in expression "mysterious ways of god". $\endgroup$ – user140337 Jan 22 '15 at 12:46

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