** This article is updated regularly. It was last updated in January 2020 **
Freelance translation can be a rewarding career but also a demanding one. It’s important to balance hard work with down time, particularly as we continue to build our understanding of the vast benefits of positive mental health.
If you want to achieve your full potential, cope with stress, be at your most productive and much more, positive mental health is essential. As such, we’ve gathered together a collection of lovely language riddles for you to puzzle over and enjoy as part of ensuring you balance your hard work with some well-deserved me time.
January 2020 Update
Our language riddles post has proven really popular since we first wrote it back in 2016. As such, we thought it was high time we gathered a few more riddles together to tease your brains while you're not busy translating, localizing, subtitling, writing and working with language in all manner of other ways!
In line with the original riddles that we featured, we've focused on those that relate to language rather than riddles more broadly. We would be delighted if you would leave your own riddles in the comments section at the end of the article. Just be sure to leave the answers too!
Lovely Language Riddles
(Scroll down for the answers.)
1. How far can you walk in to a forest?
2. A criminal has to carry a sack of stones from one side of the prison to another. What can he put in the sack that will make it lighter?
3. What is the next letter in the following sequence? M A M J J A S O
4. What is one thing that all wise men, regardless of their religion or politics, agree is between heaven and earth?
5. What is the next letter in the following sequence? O T T F F S S
6. Which three words in the English language are all of the following? Four letters long; start with t, c or b; and have the same last three letters yet do not rhyme
7. What is a word made up of 4 letters, yet is also made up of 3. Although is written with 8 letters, and then with 4. Rarely consists of 6, and never is written with 5.
8. Take a 3 letter, 1 syllable word. Add a single letter to the end of the word and it becomes a 4 letter, 3 syllable word. What is the word?
9. Change a long pause to a short pause by doubling a letter. What are the two words?
10. A reasonable idea makes many of me. Your viewpoint is only worth two of me. With a con I will give you permission. When I am strong enough I stay in the air. What am I?
11. I am a message, I am a stand, and I am a station. What am I?
12. What starts and ends with ‘e,’ has only one letter in the middle, but still contains hundreds of words?
13. Find a word that the first 2 letters are a male, the first 3 letters are a female, the first 4 letters are a great male, and the whole word is a great female.
14. The word contains three letters, but if one is taken away it has four left. What is the word?
15. Which word in the English language has the following 3 meanings? a. to empty b. to be even with c. to be full of
16. What word in the English language is always spelled incorrectly?
17. Which five letter word becomes shorter when two letters are added to it?
18. Can you think of the one word answer to this riddle? Rich people need it, poor people have it and if you eat it you’ll die.
19. Pronounced as one letter and written with three, two letters there are and two only in me. I'm double, I'm single, I'm black, blue and gray, I'm read from both ends and the same either way. What am I?
20. Take away the whole and some still remains. What is it?
21. Which word has the most letters in it?
22. Which word is pronounced wrong by all the smartest and wisest sages and scholars in the land?
23. What is the only word in the English language that ends in mt?
24. What do a racecar and a kayak have in common?
25. When is this sentence true? There are eleven letters in the alphabet.
26. What kind of clothes do lawyers wear?
27. Which five letter word has six left after you take two letters away?
28. Which letter of the English language has the most water?
29. What starts with p, ends with e and contains thousands of letters?
30. What occurs once in every minute, twice in every moment and never in a thousand years?
31. What begins with T, finishes with T and has T in it?
32. How many letters are there in the English alphabet?
33. What is the longest word in the English language?
34. Which word is the odd one out - Stun, Ton, Evil, Letter, Mood, Bad, Snap, Straw?
35. What four days of the week start with the letter T?
36. What occurs twice in a week, once in a year but never in a day?
37. Which two keys cannot open any doors?
38. Gun, shoe, spree, door, hive, kicks, heaven, gate, line, den. What’s the pattern behind this list of words?
39. If two is company and three is a crowd, what is four and five?
40. I start with M, end with X, and have a never-ending number of letters. What am I?
1. One step. Then you're walking through the forest.
2. A hole
3. N for November
5. E for Eight
6. Tomb, comb, bomb
7. WHAT is made up of 4 letters
YET is made up of 3
ALTHOUGH is written with 8 letters
THEN with 4 letters
RARELY consists of 6 letters
NEVER is written with 5 letters
8. Ore, Oreo - Are, Area
9. Coma -> Comma
10. Sense, Cents, Con(sent), Scent
14. “Ivy” because you can take Y away to be left with IV which is four in Roman numerals
24. They are both spelled the same forward and backward
25. When “the alphabet” is in quotation marks (count the letters)
29. Post office
30. The letter M
31. A teapot
32. There are 18. Three in ‘the’, seven in ‘English’ and eight in ‘alphabet’
33. Smiles - Because there is a 'mile' between the two S's
34. Letter: if you read them all backwards, letter is the only one that does not make another word
35. Tuesday, Thursday, today and tomorrow
36. The letter E
37. Monkeys and donkeys
38. Each word rhymes with its numerical position on the list: one, two, three, etc.
40. A mailbox
Did you like our lovely language riddles? Do you have any of your own to add? Please use the comments section to share your riddles with us.
We hope you've enjoyed this little bit of downtime. Be sure to check back regularly for more riddles, as we'll keep updating this article regularly.