Everyone wants an extensive vocabulary. Whether you’re playing games (like Scrabble or Words with Friends) or spinning a yarn, knowing more words can always come in handy. Yearn for the eloquence of yesteryear? Say “yes” to words that start with Y. The letter Y may appear second-to-last in the English alphabet, but it comes first in many yawpings of yore! Just for yucks, if you’re looking to expand your vocabulary, begin by learning a few words that start with the letter Y.
We’ve created this list of words for you, organized by the number of letters in each word. Many of these words have more than one meaning. For simplicity, we’ve only listed one definition for each word. Keep in mind, this word list doesn’t contain every single English word that starts with Y; however, it’s a useful introduction to this very special letter.
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yew – Noun | An evergreen tree or shrub of the family Taxaceae
yuk – Noun | A loud laugh (also spelled yock and yuck)
ye – Pronoun | You, the ones being addressed
yo – Interjection | Used to call someone’s attention
By looking at this list, you may be able to identify some interesting patterns. Words that start with the prefix “yocto” or “yotto” have to do with the number one septillion. Some of the words that start with “yellow” describe animals with yellow coloring: yellowjackets, yellowhammers, and yellowthroats. A number of one-syllable words that start with Y, such as yill, yett, yird, and yirr, are unique to Scottish English dialects. Understanding these linguistic patterns may help you intuit what a word means, even when you don’t have a dictionary handy.
Use words that start with the letter Y to yammer with youngsters or give yuletide greetings to yodelers at your yett. If you memorize this list, you’ll never yowl with confusion or look like an uneducated yokel. No word finder or crossword puzzle will make you feel yellow-bellied. From yo to yachtsmanship, you’ll be prepared with the right Y-word for any occasion.
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Kari Lisa Johnson
I’m an award-winning playwright with a penchant for wordplay. After earning a perfect score on the Writing SAT, I worked my way through Brown University by moonlighting as a Kaplan Test Prep tutor. I received a BA with honors in Literary Arts (Playwriting)—which gave me the opportunity to study under Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel. In my previous roles as new media producer with Rosetta Stone, director of marketing for global ventures with The Juilliard School, and vice president of digital strategy with Up & Coming Media, I helped develop the voice for international brands. From my home office in Maui, Hawaii, I currently work on freelance and ghostwriting projects.