I am talking about a set of uncapitalized, everyday English words, each with five or more letters that all share a certain property. There are only nine words in Merriam-Webster that have this property:

shire, washing, color, aware, carol, connect, virgin, ??????, ??????

What are the two missing words?
(Remember: Only English words with at least five letters. Only uncapitalized words. Only words that show up in Merriam-Webster)


2 Answers 2


The missing words are

florid, sylvan

because they have the property that

they are part of U.S. state names. The words can't be full words of state names, otherwise we'd have island, north, south and jersey, too. A tenth word might be "strict", if you count the District of Columbia.

(I think one could argue whether the missing words are really



  • $\begingroup$ I just found an article that uses one of the missing words.... An hour or two after seeing this answer come up. And I almost spoiled your spoiler doing so. $\endgroup$ Feb 27, 2015 at 18:28

@M Oehm is correct as to what the answers are, and that all answers

are part of state names. Confirm it for yourself in the list below (hidden by spoiler).

Here are the words in context:

New Hampshire, Washington, Colorado, Delaware, North/South Carolina, Connecticut, Virginia, Florida, Pennsylvania

Hope this helps!


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