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We have stopped counting how many times we have received this question by email…
"There are three words in English ending in -gry. I only know hungry and angry. Please tell me what the third one is."
It is time to clear up this mystery once and for all.
There is NO mystery! This question has evolved into an urban legend that is impossible to solve.
The fact is there is NO third common word in the English language ending in -gry.
Sources claim that the question had been taken from an old book of puzzles, and had been given publicity on the Bob Grant radio talk show on WMCA in New York City in 1975.
One version is:
Notice the third line "sounds" like a question when read.
Another version is:
In this case the real question is: "There are only three words in the English language. What is the third word?" That is, there are only three words in the phrase "the English language". The third word is "language", which is indeed something we use every day. The first two words are "the" and "English".
And a third version…
This version of course relies on verbal trickery to confuse the quickly-said "g or y" with "gry". The answer is actually 'say'.
You see, in one form or another the riddle has apparently been known for many years.
Now that we have cleared this up, the question remains - "Are there any words in the English language, other than angry and hungry, that end in -gry?YES!
Research from the Oxford English Dictionary, Simon & Schuster's Webster's New World Dictionary, and the G.C. Merriam Company gives us this list:
aggry: A glass bead found buried in the ground in Africa. A word of unknown origin. Seemingly always used attributively, as in aggry beads.
braggry: A variant form of braggery.
conyngry: An obsolete dialectal variant of conyger, itself an obsolete term meaning 'rabbit warren'.
gry: The smallest unit in Locke's proposed decimal system of linear measurement, being the tenth of a line, the hundredth of an inch, and the thousandth of a ('philosophical') foot. Also the grunt of a pig, an insignificant trifle, or a verb meaning to roar.
iggry: Egyptian colloquial Arabic pronunciation of ijri: 'Hurry up!', brought back after the First World War by members of British and Australian forces who had fought in Egypt.
mawgry: from Old French: being regarded with displeasure.
meagry: Having a meager appearance.
nangry: A variant form of angry.
podagry: Dodder, or the condition of a plant infested with it.
puggry: A variant form of puggree, a light scarf wound around a hat or helmet to protect the head from the sun.