If you’re reading this page you’ve probably been asked an old trick word puzzle. It started in New York in the mid 1970s.
Trick Question: There are three common words in English that end in “gree”. The first two are “angry” and “hungry”. If you’ve listened closely, you’ll agree that I’ve already told you the third one.
The Answer: “Agree”.
These days the trick doesn’t work so well because there’s a third common word ending in the letters g-r-y, without resorting to words which end in /griː/.
COMMON WORDS THAT END IN GRY
Hangry: bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger.
IS HANGRY AN OFFICIAL WORD?
Hangry became an official word in the Oxford English dictionary in January 2018, alongside mansplain, co-parent, Disney (as an adjective), frugivore (animals that thrive mostly on raw fruits), hind milk (fatty milk from deeper in the breast), permalink, normie, self-diagnosed (and a whole heap of other words starting with self-), sunburstery and yellowface.
UNCOMMON WORDS THAT END IN GRY
I believe the words below were collected by George H. Scheetz in the November 1989 edition of Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics. I’ve excluded compound words and capitalized words, meaning to exclude the proper nouns (except some of the exclusions probably aren’t proper nouns — but capitalized anyway e.g. Ymagry, an old word for ‘imagery’).
There’s a town in Alaska called Hungry. FYI.
If you’re after a unique and unusual baby name, you might take inspo from Flaithbhertach MacLoingry, bishop of Clonmacnois in 1038. Have fun spelling it over the phone. “Not McLongrey, McLOINGRY”. If you don’t know a thing about Welsh, it looks Welsh. It’s actually Irish.
Some of these non-English-sphere concepts haven’t properly entered the English language so you couldn’t really call them English, I guess.
Most of these are archaic/obsolete. Are they even English? Depends which era of English you’re talking about. Proto-English, Old English, Middle English, Early Modern English and Modern?
Others are ‘spurious and doubtful’. Some are ‘not actually found but inferred’, whatever the hell that means. (Sounds like it should be a word, but isn’t?)
In some cases, it sounds like one dude used a word and wrote it down in a book.
- aggry: Applied to a kind of variegated glass beads of ancient manufacture; as, aggry beads are found in Ashantee and Fantee in Africa.
- ahungry: an old word for hungry cf. ahungered
- anhungry: an even more obsolete and rare of ahungry
- begry: obsolete form of beggary (extreme poverty)
- bewgry: [not actually found but inferred]
- bowgry: [not actually found but inferred]
- braggry: variant, obsolete form of braggery (a pompous or boastful statement)
- conyngry: An obsolete dialectal variant of conyger, itself an obsolete term meaning “rabbit warren”
- cottagry: In 1697 Abraham de la Pryme used the words cottagry and half cottagry when he referred to customary practices in the manor of Broughton near Brigg.
- fenegry: see: Fenugreek, a herb used in alternative medicine
- gonagry: (see “gonagra”) gout in the knee (fyi ‘podagra’ is gout in the big toe)
- gry: a word proposed by John Locke for one hundredth of an inch.
- haegry: see: hagery
- higry: see higry pigry
- higry pigry: a rare historical alternative to the medical word ‘hiera picra’ (literally ‘sacred bitterness’ in Latin). A warming cathartic medicine made from aloes and canella. More alternatives: hickery-pickery and hickory-pickery. (Canella is an aromatic bark used as a spice. Similar to cinnamon.)
- hogry: see huggerie (A Scottish word meaning slovenly)
- hogrymogry: see hugerie. Also check out ‘hogry-mogry’
- hongry: the word for ‘hungry’ used in a satirical American comic strip called Li’l Abner which ran for 43 years between 1934 and 1977. “Ah is hongry.” (Phonetic spelling for I am hungry in the American South.)
- houngry: An intentional mispelling of the word “hungry” coined by political talk show host Kyle Kulinski in a tweet from 2011. (Don’t look it up. It contains the n-word.)
- huggrymuggry: see hugerie and huggry-muggry
- hwngry: When looking this up you’ll find this word in place of ‘hungry’ when OCR (optical character recognition) has failed to properly read ‘hungry’. These results obfuscate any other meanings of this word.
- iggry: a variant spelling of iggri, an English spelling of an Egyptian Arabic word meaning “hurry up!”
- kaingry: see “caingy” which means clingy.
- losengry: flattery
- magry: obsolete variant spelling of the word more commonly written maugre, a preposition meaning “in spite of”
- malgry: [not actually found but inferred]
- managery: see “menagerie”, a collection of wild animals kept in captivity for exhibition
- managry: see “managery”
- mannagry: see “managery”
- maugry: obsolete variant spelling of the word more commonly written maugre, a preposition meaning “in spite of”
- mawgry: obsolete variant spelling of the word more commonly written maugre, a preposition meaning “in spite of”
- meagry: (rare, archaic) meager looking
- menagry: Obsolete form of menagerie
- messagry: (old word) diligence in doing a message
- nangry: (rare) Alternative form of angry. adjective ; (obsolete, Australian Aboriginal) Asleep.
- pigry: see higry pigry
- pottingry: From A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700): The art or practice of an apothecary, pharmacy; drugs or medicines of an apothecary. Has various spellings: potyngary, pottingerie. The plural is potingaris.
- puggry: Has a number of alternative spellings. Loan word from Hindi. A strip of cloth wound around the upper portion of a hat or helmet, particularly a pith helmet, and falling down behind to act as a shade for the back of the neck.
- pugry: see puggry
- rungry: This one’s from Urban Dictionary: When you’re so hungry from your long run that you must eat everything.
- scavengry: Can guess this one. The act of scavenging.
- shiggry: bad, unwell, drunken
- skugry: from Dictionaries of the Scots Language: shadow; shadowy places; concealment
- toggry: a common misspelling of toggery, meaning clothes; articles of dress or finery
- ulgry: [not actually found but inferred]
- unangry: not angry
- vergry: [not actually found but inferred]
- vngry: a very old spelling of ‘hungry’: “an vngry wolff.” (from a Middle English Dictionary by Hans Kurath)
OTHER WORDS that end in THE LETTERS G-R-Y
If you really want to get into the most pointless argument in the world, you can quibble that the g-r-y doesn’t need to be in that order, in which case you can include words ending in a different combination of those same three letters e.g. orgy.