Three-letter Scrabble Words Beginning with D

Obviously Words


Less Obviously Words, but you probably know them

DOB#yes like on the playground
DOX#yes like on the internet
DOMofficially not like the sex thing, but still a noun, so more memorable to pretend it is
DANofficially not like the judo thing, but still a noun, so more memorable to pretend it is

Words we already knew because they are plurals of a two-letter word


Words that are valid plurals but we wish they weren’t

DEI#Another plural of DEUS, which calls even more into question the validity of DI, even if we grant that DEUS should be permitted.
DUIA plural of DUO, allegedly. Can’t imagine anyone using this with a straight face.

Letters and Sounds

DEEThe letter D
DAHThe long – sound in Morse code.
DITThe short . sound in Morse code. Also exists as a probably-extinct verb, which I won’t dignify with a detailed examination.
DOHThe musical note that is not in fact a deer.
DUHThe sound used to pass judgment on another’s ignorance… Duh.

Reasonable Abbreviations

DEBdebutante. As in the attendee of a deb ball
DEPdepot? As in a small shop
DIFdifference. Also DIFF
DISdisrespect. Also DISS
DOCdoctor. As in Bugs Bunny cartoons.

Regionalisms and Dialect

DAE#= do, Scots
DOO#= dove, Scots
DEF= death, meaning “excellent”. As in Mos Def.
DEG#to drizzle or sprinkle with water (e.g. to water plants). Yorkshire/Lancashire dialect.
DOY#a loved one. Yorkshire dialect. Possible from “joy”, making it similar to Scots JO?
DOF#stupid, from Afrikaans. See also doublet DOWF, which is also a noun where DOF is not. Beloved of the writers on School of Comedy.

Loan Words

DAKfrom Hindi, the mail-post relay system formerly used in India. Also DAWK
DALfrom Hindi, lentils and the dish made of them. Also DAAL, DAHL, and DHAL
DEVfrom Hindi, a god. Also DEVA. Or possibly from Farsi, an evil spirit. Also DIV, DEEV. Also a contraction of “developer” or “development”.
DIV#from Farsi, an evil spirit. Also DEV, DEEV. Also the mathematical function.
DUMfrom Hindi, a method of cooking food with steam.
DEYfrom Turkish via French. A former North African ruler, from Turkish dai, maternal uncle. The titular appellation of the commanding officer of the Janissaries of Algiers, who, after having for some time shared the supreme power with the pasha or Turkish civil governor, in 1710 deposed the latter, and became sole ruler. Until themselves deposed and replaced by BEYs again, around 1830.

= ZO. From Tibetan. A cross between a yak (presumably a domestic yak, B. grunniens, rather than a wild yak B. mutus) and a cow, also ZHO and DZHO (for the infertile males of the breed- Haldane’s rule strikes again), and JOMO, and ZHOMO (for the fertile females). Also known as a YAKOW.

Nonsense (verbs)

DAGThe clotted tufts of wool around a sheep’s bum, and the act of removing them. More familiar in the derived Australian sense of an unfashionable or uncool person, of which I was delighted to learn the etymological root.
DAWTo dawn. Lately (since 1600 or so) in Scots only. Is it still current, who knows?
All seem related to DIP, particularly in the sense of fishing by allowing the bait to dip onto the water. None of them current. Note that using a DIBBER is to DIBBLE not to DIB.
DOD#To make the top or head of (anything) blunt, rounded, or bare; hence, to clip or poll the hair of (a person); to deprive (an animal) of its horns; to poll or lop (a tree), etc.; also figurative to behead. Although if the OED citations can be trusted, most recently used to mean… DAG. And of course by “most recently” I don’t mean in the last 150 years.
DORTo mock, befool, confound. Last citation 1675, well before the QUIZ era. Also DORR
DOWTo do well, thrive, or prosper. Last citation 1855. Last citation not from a dictionary of dialect words, 1758. Also DOCHT or DOUGHT, but conjugates only as DOWED, DOWING, DOWS. Is this related to as in DOUGHTY?
DUPTo open (a door or gate). Seems to be a contraction of “do up (the portcullis)” in the same way as doff, don, etc.

Nonsense (nouns)

DELAn operator in differential calculus. . Also NABLA. For a brief period during my studies, I knew all about how to use the del operator. But that period did not extend as far as the exams, let alone until today, so I direct interested parties to the wikipedia page.
DEX= dextroamphetamine sulfate, aka dexedrine. It does amphetamine things.
DOLIn 1940, James D. Hardy, Harold G. Wolff and Helen Goodell of Cornell University introduced the first dolorimeter as a method for evaluating the effectiveness of analgesic medications… They developed a pain scale, called the “Hardy-Wolff-Goodell” scale, with 10 gradations, or 10 levels, [named] “dols”. Other researchers were not able to reproduce the results… and the device and the approach were abandoned.
DUX#Collins highlights the sense: the best academic performer in a school class. Supposedly used in Scotland, but all the recent uses I see online are from Liberia.
Other senses relate to dukes, leaders, and in music the leading voice in a fugue or canon.

Much higher nonsense-density here than with B or C. Let’s keep DAG, DEL, and DUX, and cast the rest of these last 13 into the void.