Is there a word for a second word which is contained in the first word, as in, for example, the word end in the word friend?

  • 1
    No. You can talk about letter strings as being part of larger letter strings, but letter strings are not words. Feb 22, 2014 at 20:44
  • I think forms like abso-bloody-lutely (which has its own dictionary definition there) are called "infixes". There must be something subtle going on, because nobody ever says "ab-bloody-solutely". Feb 22, 2014 at 21:27
  • @FumbleFingers - That is called tmesis. It says: " The insertion may occur between the parts of a compound word, or between syllable boundaries (dystmesis), but always preceding a stressed syllable (e.g. one would never say, "Ab-bloody-solutely", preferring "Abso-bloody-lutely")."
    – ermanen
    Feb 22, 2014 at 22:33
  • They're a subset of 'hidden words' and constitute one type of cryptic crossword clue. Feb 22, 2014 at 22:39

1 Answer 1


The best I could come up with is "subword":

A subword of a word is a sequence of at least 2 letters obtainable by removing (possibly zero) letters from the beginning and end; it is proper if at least one letter is removed.

Though this concept is simply mentioned regarding to word games mainly, it even branches out to mathematical and computational linguistics. It is considered as substring and subsequence in some of the cases as well.

This concept is mentioned in compound structures and agglutination also.

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