Tuesday, August 05, 2008

word ladders

When I was in primary school I used to love doing word ladders- where you start with one word and change one letter at a time to arrive at a new word in a certain number of steps. For example, to change dog to cat in three steps would be dog, dot, cot, cat.

Here are a couple of Latin word ladders (scala verborum?) I made for my year nine class, see if you can work them out.

  • canis to lupus in five steps
  • nox to die in five steps

10 points for the first correct solutions!

[N.B. Apparently for proper word ladders jumbling letters or adding/subtracting a letter can count as a step, but for these ones it's not necessary.]

Related Posts

7 comments:

Nick said...

Hi
How about:
canis
lanis
lunis
lupis
lupus

Cheers

Nick

jm said...

that's better than my solution in fact. my five steps were:

canis
panis
punis
lunis
lupis
lupus

Mike Salter said...

Nox to die. OK, I'll have a go:

nox
nix (snow)
pix (pitch, tar)
pie (piously, religiously)
die

How about albus to niger? That might take a while.

jm said...

i had:
nox
vox (voice)
vix (scarcely)
vis (you want)
dis (to the gods)
die

but, again, yours is shorter than mine, so you win. albus to niger requires some serious thought...

Anonymous said...

albus
albes [you appear white]
alges [you feel]
aeges [craggy rocks]
aeger [sick/ill]
neger [pres. pass. subj -- deny]
niger

Technically, seven steps, but it does the job.

jm said...

that's very impressive! i didn't think it could be done. some of those words are pretty obscure (when would you ever use the present passive subjunctive neger i wonder), but that just makes it even better!

Anonymous said...

Well, what can I say, sir? I'm magical like that.

... also, I figured it counted, to an extent, as "unseen study".