I struggled to find this online, so I have turned to the English stack exchange...

Is there a list of relative frequencies of words of a certain length? For example, how much more common is a word with 5 characters than 4 characters?

If you could give any sort of help, that would be amazing.

  • How many words are you looking to have analyzed? Most word frequency lists out there are only of the top X words, not every single word. (You can easily get the frequency of words of different lengths from a word frequency list, but usually there's only the "base" of words in the list, so no plurals, etc.) – Laurel Apr 30 at 18:55
  • wordfrequency.info or en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word_lists_by_frequency are a start. You might also want to ask/look for it at stackoverflow. Seems weird but these lists are often programming resources. – Mitch Apr 30 at 22:34
  • 1
    ..but then you'll have to do some processing yourself to get to words of a given length. – Mitch Apr 30 at 22:41
  • And one must also ask whether you are looking for written words, or actual spoken words. And also ask how "length" is to be determined -- in terms of centimeters, milliseconds, points, letters, or bytes. – John Lawler May 30 at 21:19

That data sounds a bit specialised, so I'm not too surprised you can't find it. It would be very dependent on the type of text you take as input. There is lots of data on relative occurrence of particular words or number of times words appear in text.

The is the nearest I could find:

                          blogs    news twitter

avg.word.length            4.0     4.3     3.7

Analysis of text data and Natural Language Processing: Coursera’s Data Science Capstone Project

Their description of how that and other data was generated might give you a start in generating the statistics yourself (if you have any programming skills - otherwise persuading someone else to help you!)

If you can't access a suitable corpus of text to use, Project Gutenberg might be a good source.


Do you mean words that are frequently used, or words in a dictionary? I assessed the word lengths from two dictionary lists I have, with these results:

Length  Words   Words
1       2       2
2       51      128
3       580     1182
4       2655    4736
5       5098    9739
6       7959    17879
7       10222   25282
8       10778   31855
9       10049   32020
10      8475    30590
11      6230    25859
12      4354    20391
13      2849    14877
14      1702    9744
15      670     5919
16      470     3373
17      260     1811
18      119     838
19      50      429
20      14      332
21      1       0
22      1       0
23      1       0
Total   72590   236986
Average 8.6     9.6

But this does not represent common usage. Words tend to evolve into smaller words due to frequent use.

For example boatswain to bosun.

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