30+ English Words Without Vowels

Brrr: Useful words without vowels

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First-grade teachings notwithstanding, there are English words without vowels that are usable in word games. The diversity, complexity and straight-up weirdness of the English language scoffs at universal rules. Several words, particularly those that don’t come from English’s two parents, Latin and German, are words without AEIOU in them.
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Better yet, like the Spanish Inquisition, no one expects words with no vowels. Knowing words your opponent won’t be looking for is vital for any word gamer trying to make life difficult for the competition. At WordFinder®, we’ve gathered a list of valuable English words without vowels we think you should know.

And Sometimes Y

Yes, English is actually full of words that don’t use the five main vowels, and the reason is one letter long: Y. That's one way to get five letter words without vowels, like you might want when solving Wordle each day. After all, 5 letter words are the name of that game. Similarly, words with all vowels come in handy too.

Y is a flexible letter, standing in for Greek upsilon and various Nordic constructions of the same sound. The “and sometimes Y” rule empowers you to play words with no vowels for big point potential. Even better, many of them can be pluralized with just an S, giving you more opportunities to score. For example:

  • Fly: The act of flying or a type of common, two-winged insect.

  • Hymn(s): A religious song or song or praise.

  • Lynx: A type of wildcat.

  • Myth(s): A story without an author usually intended to teach a lesson.

  • Pyx: A small container for carrying the Eucharist.

  • Rhythm(s): A recurring movement of sound or speech.

  • Sync(s): To match up.

  • Xyst(s): A long and open portico in a gymnasium.

Five-Letter Y Words Without Vowels

Dealing with a difficult Wordle puzzle that’s decided to test your patience by not using any vowels? Those pop up every now and then. Don’t risk your win streak by making random guesses. Instead, try some 5 letter words that only use Y as a vowel. These are five letter words without AEIOU.

  • Crypt: An underground chamber or vault commonly used as a burial chamber.

  • Dryly: To do something in a dry or matter-of-fact manner.

  • Glyph: A symbolic character or sign that is cut or carved into the surface of something.

  • Lymph: The clear or yellowish fluid that contains white blood cells and is found in body tissues.

  • Lynch: The unlawful execution of someone by a mob.

  • Myrrh: A gum resin used in making incense.

  • Nymph: A mythological deity usually represented as a beautiful maiden.

  • Pygmy: Any person, animal or plant that is abnormally undersized.

  • Shyly: In a shy manner.

  • Slyly: To do something in a sly manner.

  • Tryst: An agreement made by secret lovers to meet at a specific time and place.

  • Wryly: To make a comment that can be perceived as purposefully sarcastic or ironic.

The Welsh W

There are two obscure words that use W as their singular vowel, both taken from Welsh. Welsh takes “double-u” literally; the W is a long U sound. Since W by itself is worth 4 points in both Scrabble and Words With Friends, these words are pure gold for players in need. They are:

  • Cwm: A circular space or arrangement.

  • Crwth: An ancient Celtic instrument.

Words Without AEIOU, Y or W

These do exist! Thank that old spelling bee favorite, onomatopoeia. More specifically, thank the remarkable power of the human voice, because even with alternate pronunciations, we can make an awful lot of sounds not summed up by AEIOU, or Y, or W. Onomatopoeias sometimes lack vowels because some vocalizations lack vowel analogues. A few other oddities also sneak in, ready to help toss unwanted letters and get some A’s and E’s into your hand. For example:

  • Brrr or brr: An expression of being cold.

  • Nth: Of an indefinitely large quantity.

  • Pfft: Suggesting a sudden ending.

  • Phpht or pht: Interjection to indicate mild annoyance.

  • Psst: An interjection to attract someone's attention.

  • Shh: Used to urge or request silence.

  • Tsk: Sound made to express disapproval.

  • Tsktsk: Alternative version of tsk.

You’ll notice that both “phpht” here and “crwth” above are five letter words. They may or may not show up as Wordle answers or as words in one of the many Wordle spinoffs, like Quordle, Dordle or Octordle. 

Patchwork Language

The only sure rule in English is that English has no sure rules. In a language that swipes vocabulary from Akkadian to Zyzzyva, there’s an exception to every rule, no matter how strict or simple. Words without vowels do exist amongst the vowel words in the English language, and many are high-value strategic tools for any serious word gamer.

For more strategic tools, check out WordFinder’s curated collection of word lists, including all the playable words without vowels, or words with just vowels, to help prep for your next game. Or use our cheat tool to help you solve tough scrambles in your favorite word games like Word Cookies or Words With Friends. Happy pwning!


Matt Salter has been a professional writer for over 10 years. He is a gaming and technology expert, and world-class word nerd.

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