That other long three-letter word

According to Kevin Mabley, “ham” is the longest three-letter word in the English language.

This statement was made to us more than 20 years ago with the following explanation: if you pronounce each letter as with its common duration and do not exaggerate the sounds, “ham” is the most drawn out of the three-letter words.

We recognize that there are other candidates, among them: “now,” “hum,” “fez,” “his,” “has,” and “oil.” However, back in the late 80’s, Mr. Mabley made a compelling case for “ham” being the longest – so much so that it has stuck with us all this time.

In the absence of a strong argument in favor of one of the other words, we must agree with Kevin and endorse “ham” as the longest of the three-letter words.

If you wish to voice your support for one of the words above or some other three-letter word, please do leave us a comment or send an email to thatotheremail at We’ll carefully consider any relevant feedback we receive.

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