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A final "s" in a word is usually pronounced \z\, so it is an interesting that the final "z" in "quartz" is pronounced \s\. (I mention interesting quirks like this to my ESL students.) I was wondering if there were any other instances like "quartz". If an on-line dictionary in ordered by the last letter of the word existed, this would be easy to check for, but the concept of a "reverse dictionary" seems to be limited to the (very useful) idea of going from definition/concept to headword. Searching for "dictionary in alphabetical order by the last letter" didn't seem to get me anywhere, but maybe I haven't searched diligently enough.

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Just to clarify, you mean alphabetical ordering of the reverse of the word? (I.e., “quartz” would be with other words ending with Z.) I ask because “reverse alphabetical order” typically refers to the ordering you get by sorting according to the reverse of the alphabet (Z, Y, X, …). –  Jon Purdy Oct 9 '11 at 1:51
Yes, I wanted the alphabetical ordering of the reverse spelling of the words. Sorry I wasn't crystal clear about that. –  Mike Jones Oct 9 '11 at 4:35
Good question +1. Suggestion: could you change your title to something like "Is there an online dictionary ordered by words spelled in reverse?" –  martin jakubik Jan 17 '12 at 14:45
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2 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Summary: Try this word list (2.4 MB) I just made.

I don't know of any such dictionaries, but it's easy enough with a little scripting to refashion any dictionary/word-list, available in an accessible electronic format, into what you want.

For instance, this script (in Python)

import sys
words = [w.strip() for w in sys.stdin.readlines()]
words = sorted(words, key = lambda w: ''.join(reversed(w)))
print '\n'.join(words)

run on the word list /usr/share/dict/words that ships with Unix systems gives this word list (2.4 MB). It takes a while to get the hang of looking up words in such a list, of course, because you have to read the words backwards. The string "quartz" occurs as part of words far apart, for instance:


I think what you actually wanted was just a word list rather than a dictionary, but it is also easy enough, equipped with a good free dictionary, to turn it into a dictionary in alphabetical order of the reversed words.

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You are totally right, and your answer is totally cool. For example, I see that "waltz" is another such word. I will pass the link to your word list on to my students! –  Mike Jones Oct 9 '11 at 4:38
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If you want to find other words like quartz that end in -z, -tz or -rtz, there are plenty of websites for Scrabble players and crossword solvers to find such words.

For example:

This gives us words like bortz, hertz, nertz, slivovitz, spritz, ritz, ansatz and kibbutz.

Rather than bookmarking these sites, you can usually just Google for something like ending with z.

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protected by RegDwigнt Jan 30 '13 at 16:40

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