Vivek Haldar

Garland Words

I define a garland word to be one which can be formed by chopping off the last few letters and “wrapping around” to the start.

For example: You can chop off the the trailing “on” from “onion” and still form the word by wrapping around to the starting “on”. In other words, you can write the letters “o”, “n”, “i” in a circle, in that order, and form the word “onion”.

I say that a garland word is of degree n if you can do the above with the last n letters of the word.

It turns out that garland words are fairly rare. In the English dictionary that came installed on my Ubuntu machine, there were 99171 words, only 199 words were garland words of degree 2 or above. The highest garland degree was 4.

The exact distribution was: there were only 3 words of degree 4, 32 of degree 3, and 164 of degree 2.

The degree 4 garland words were: “hotshots”, “beriberi” and “abracadabra”.