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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.


After a long period of division, tends to unite; After a long period of union, tends to divide. This has been so since antiquity. - The Three Kingdoms

If a word conforms to a special rule, I call it an Union Word™.
Use the following examples below to find the rule.

Union Words™ Not Union Words™
ARGUMENT PARAMETER
DEUCE DRAW
PANASONIC HITACHI
CANESUGAR HONEY
FRAGMENT SCRAP
NORTH SOUTH
BRANCH DIVISION
INDEX EXPONENT
BELLY BACK
SAUCEPAN WOK

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

Union Words™,Not Union Words™
ARGUMENT,PARAMETER
DEUCE,DRAW
PANASONIC,HITACHI
CANESUGAR,HONEY
FRAGMENT,SCRAP
NORTH,SOUTH
BRANCH,DIVISION
INDEX,EXPONENT
BELLY,BACK
SAUCEPAN,WOK

Hint 1:

Nation

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    $\begingroup$ One that can only be used exclusively with other Union words, else it will go on strike? $\endgroup$ Jul 26, 2019 at 9:16

2 Answers 2

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A Union Word is a

Word whose first three letters are a valid Alpha-3 country code.

ARGUMENT

ARG -> Argentina

DEUCE

DEU -> Germany

PANASONIC

PAN -> Panama

CANESUGAR

CAN -> Canada

FRAGMENT

FRA -> France

NORTH

NOR -> Norway

BRANCH

BRA -> Brazil

INDEX

IND -> India

BELLY

BEL -> Belgium

SAUCEPAN

SAU -> Saudi Arabia

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    $\begingroup$ Are you serious? Not again! :P $\endgroup$
    – Cloudy7
    Jul 25, 2019 at 16:47
  • $\begingroup$ Not only country code but also those example are all in the UNIted natiON :P $\endgroup$
    – Conifers
    Aug 7, 2019 at 8:01
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Here's my guess:

A Union Word™ is a word which has its first three letters align with the three-letter abbreviation of a country name.

Evidence:

Argument --> Argentina, Deuce --> Germany, Panasonic --> Panama, Canesugar --> Canada, Fragment --> France, North --> Norway, Branch --> Brazil, Index --> India, Belly --> Belize, Saucepan --> Saudi Arabia

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    $\begingroup$ Great answer, but I think you've been barely ninjaed! Great minds think alike... $\endgroup$
    – El-Guest
    Jul 25, 2019 at 16:46
  • $\begingroup$ Belize was the one that initially tripped me up too -- but Belize is actually BLZ! $\endgroup$
    – El-Guest
    Jul 25, 2019 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ I forgot all about that nation! (I was thinking of soccer and the World Cup as I was answering the puzzle.) $\endgroup$
    – Cloudy7
    Jul 25, 2019 at 16:56
  • $\begingroup$ But FIFA have their own, slightly different system. I like the close misses in the counterexamples: parameter and honey. $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Jul 25, 2019 at 17:02
  • $\begingroup$ Parameter annoyed me because I thought it was just first three letters at first, but the first non-Union word was a counterexample! I didn’t actually realize the official ones were PRY and HND for those two, respectively. $\endgroup$
    – El-Guest
    Jul 25, 2019 at 18:36

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