So If It’s Not J, X Or Z—What Is It?
Trying to find the answer to this alphabetic fun fact made me think of the “Fifty Nifty United States” song that I memorized in elementary school in the ’90s.
Do you remember it? You know, it’s that song that teaches kids the names of the states in alphabetic order, the one that goes “Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas….”
Did that help you get closer to the answer?
Are You Still thinking? (the answer is not what you may be thinking – this is quite possibly a trick question)
Okay, I Bet You’re Ready For The Answer
Here it is:
The letter that doesn’t appear in any state names is ‘Q’! Good old Q.
I have to say I’m not surprised. Q is a relatively rare letter of the alphabet, anyway, usually combined with U in most words. And it is, after all, one of the most valuable Scrabble letters due to that rarity. In the popular word-making board game, Q is worth a whopping 10 points.
Now… Q isn’t the only rare letter in our state names here in the U.S. The letter Z appears in the name of the only state (Arizona) and X in just two (Texas and New Mexico). P is also fairly rare among the 50, as it appears in only three state names — Pennsylvania, Mississippi, and New Hampshire.