Appendix:English words containing Q not followed by U

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This list is incomplete. For a more complete list, see Category:English words containing Q not followed by U.

In English, the letter q is usually followed by the letter u. While this is true in the vast majority of cases, there are some exceptions, the majority of which are romanised from Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Inuktitut, or other languages which do not use the English alphabet, with q representing a sound not found in English. For example, in the Chinese pinyin alphabet, qi is pronounced /tʃi/, as pinyin uses ‹q› to represent the sound [tɕʰ], which is approximated as [tʃ] in English. In other examples, q represents [q] (in standard Arabic, such as in qat, faqir and Qur'ān, and alternative spellings are sometimes accepted which use k in place of q).

Almost all of these words are nouns, and most would generally be considered loanwords. However, they are all considered to be naturalised in English according to at least one major dictionary (see References), often because they refer to concepts or societal roles that do not have an accurate equivalent in English. For words to appear here, they must appear in their own entry in a dictionary; words which occur only as part of a longer phrase are not included.

In addition, there are many place names and personal names, mostly originating from North Africa, the Middle East or China, that have a q without a u. The most familiar of these are the countries of Iraq and Qatar, along with the derived words Iraqi and Qatari. Iqaluit, the capital of the Canadian territory of Nunavut, also has a q which is not directly followed by a u. Qaqortoq, in Greenland, is notable for having three naked qs. Other proper names and acronyms that have attained the status of English words include: Compaq (a computer company), Qantas (an Australian airline), Nasdaq (the US electronic stock market) and QinetiQ (a British technology company). Zaqqum (a tree mentioned in the Qur'an) and Saqqara are proper nouns notable for their use of a double q. However, the nouns in this list are common nouns.


Unless noted otherwise all words listed here are assumed to be pluralized by adding -s or -es. References in the "Sources" column relate to the headword in column one; variant spellings are then separately referenced. The sources given are selective, and the absence of a reference to a particular dictionary does not necessarily mean that the word does not appear in that dictionary.

Other forms
buqsha A former Yemeni monetary unit. [L] Also written bogache. Arabic.
burqa A veiled garment worn by Muslim women. [ODE][LC][C][AHC][OED] Also written burka or burqua. Urdu and Persian burqa, from Arabic burqu`.
cinq The number five, as signified in dice or cards. [ODE][COD][OED] French cinq, "five".
cinqfoil A plant of the genus Potentilla, or an ornamental design thereof. [SOED][OED] Much more commonly written cinquefoil. Middle English, from Latin quinquefolium, from quinque "five" + folium "leaf".
coq A trimming of cock feathers on a woman's hat. [WI] French coq, "cockerel".
faqih An Islamic lawyer. [RHW] Plural faqihs or fuqaha [RHU]. Arabic فقيه.
faqir An Arab ascetic. [L] More commonly written fakir. Arabic فقير
fiqh Muslim jurisprudence. [ODE] Arabic فقه, "understanding".
inqilab A revolution in India or Pakistan. [C]
mbaqanga A style of South African music. [ODE][C][W] Zulu umbaqanga, "steamed maize bread".
miqra The Tanakh, or Hebrew text of the Bible. [WI] Hebrew מקרא.
muqaddam A Bangladeshi headman. [C]
Nastaliq An Arabic script used in Persian writings. [OED] Also written nasta'liq [C], nestaliq [OED], or shortened to just taliq [OED]. Arabic نستعليق, from naskh + ta`liq.
piteraq A cold katabatic wind originating in Greenland. Greenlandic for "that which attacks you".
pontacq A sweet wine from Pontac. [OED]
qabab A dish consisting of pieces of seasoned meat. [OED] Much more commonly written kebab, kebob or kabob. Arabic.
qabalah A form of Jewish mysticism. [C][AHC][WI] More commonly written Kabbalah, and also written Qabala [AHC], Qabbala [WI], Cabalah etc. Hebrew קַבָּלָה.
Qadarite A member of the Qadariyah. [RHU]
Qayamat End of the world. [OED] Much more commonly written Kayamat. Urdu.
qadariyah In Islam, adherents of the doctrine of free will. [RHU] Also written Qadariya [RHU].
qaddish In Judaism, a prayer of mourning. [C] More commonly written Kaddish.
qadi A judge in Arabic. [L][C][W][OED] Also written qadhi [OED] or qazi [OED]. Arabic قاضى.
qadiriyah In Islam, a Sufi order. [RHU] Also written Qadiriya [RHU].
qaf Twenty-first letter of the Arabic alphabet. [RHW] Arabic ق.
qaid A Muslim tribal chief. [RHW]
qaimaqam A minor official of the Ottoman Empire. [C][OED]
qalamdan A Persian writing-case. [C]
qalandar A member of an order of mendicant dervishes. [RHU] Also written calender, or capitalised.
qanat A type of water supply tunnel found in north Africa and the Middle East. [ODE][C][OED] Persian, from Arabic qanāt, "channel".
qanun A type of harp. [OED] Also written qanon [OED].
Qaraqalpaq A Central Asian language. [WED] Also written Karakalpak Qaraqalpaq Қарақалпақ тили
qasida An Arabian poem of praise or satire. [C][OED] Also written qasidah Arabic قصيدة.
qat A kind of Arabian shrub used as a narcotic. [L][C][OED] More commonly written khat. Arabic qāt.
qawwal A person who practises qawwali music. [ODE][C]
qawwali Devotional music of the Sufis. [ODE][C] Arabic قوٌالی (qawwāli), "loquacious" or "singer".
qazi Variant of qadi.
qepiq An Azerbaijani unit of currency. [AH] Also written qapik, qepik, or gopik
qere A marginal reading in the Hebrew Bible. [OED][WI] Also written qeri [WI] or qre [WI].
qhat An obsolete spelling of what. [OED]
qheche An obsolete spelling of which. [OED]
qhom An obsolete spelling of whom. [OED]
qhythsontyd An obsolete spelling of Whitsuntide (the day of Pentecost). [OED]
qi In Chinese culture, a physical life force. [ODE][C][AHC][OED] Commonly written chi or ki. Chinese 氣, 'air'
Qiana A type of nylon. [OED] Originally a trademark of DuPont, now generic.
qibla The point to which Muslims turn in prayer. [ODE][COD][C][OED] Also written qiblah [OED], or qib'lah [RHU]. Sometimes capitalised. 17th Century Arabic, "the opposite".
qibli A local Libyan name for the sirocco, a southeasterly Mediterranean wind. [OED] Also written ghibli.
qigong A Chinese system of medical exercises. [ODE][C] Also written qi gong, ki gong, or chi kung. Chinese 气功 (simp.).
qin A classification of Chinese musical instruments. [AOX]
qinah A Hebrew elegy. [WI] Also written kinah; plural qinot, qinoth
qindar An Albanian unit of currency, equal to one one-hundredth of a lek. [ODE][L][C] Plural qindarka [L] or qindars [C]. Also written qintar [L][C][AOX] or quintal. Albanian.
Qing The last Imperial Chinese dynasty. Also Ch'ing, Ching, or Manchu Dynasty Chinese 清
qinghaosu A drug, artemisinin, used to treat malaria. [C] Chinese 青蒿素.
qipao A traditional Chinese dress. [OED] Also written chi pao. Chinese
qirsh A monetary unit of Saudi Arabia and, formerly, various other countries. [RHU] Also written qurush, qursh, gursh, girsh or ghirsh.
qiviut The wool of the musk-ox. [OED] Inuktitut
qiyas An analogy in Sharia, Islamic law. [RHW] Arabic قياس.
qoph The nineteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet. [L][C] Also written koph. Hebrew ק.
qoppa The nineteenth letter of the ancient Greek alphabet. Generally written koppa. Greek Ϟ.
qorma A type of curry. [Co] Much more commonly written korma. Urdu.
qre (Variant of qere)
qwerty A standard English keyboard layout. [ODE][COD][LC][C][OED] Plural qwertys or qwerties. Also rendered QWERTY. Named after the letters on the top row of keys.
rencq An obsolete spelling of rank. [OED]
sambuq A small Arabian boat. [OED]
sheqel A unit of weight originally used in Mesopotamia. The currency of Israel, divided into 100 agorot. [MW] Plural sheqels or sheqalim. More commonly written shekel. Hebrew שקל, Yiddish ניי-שקל.
suq An Arabian marketplace. [ODE][C][OED] Most commonly written souk (French spelling). Arabic سوق (sūq).
talaq A form of Islamic divorce. [ODE][C][OED] Arabic talaq from talaqa, "repudiate".
taliq (Variant of nastaliq)
taluq An Indian estate. [OED] Also written taluk or talook.
taluqdar A person who collects the revenues of a taluq. [OED] Also written talukdar or talookdar.
taluqdari An Indian landholding tenure. [OED]
taqiya In Islam, the dissimulation of faith displayed for fear of one's life. [RHW] Also written taqiyah [RHU], or capitalised. Arabic التقية.
taqlid Acceptance of orthodoxy in Shia Islam. [RHW] Arabic قْلي.
tariqa A Sufi method of spiritual development, or a Sufi missionary. [E] Also written tariqat [E] or tarika. Arabic طريقة.
tranq A form of sedative. [OED] Also written trank [OED]. Apocopation from tranquilizer.
tsaddiq In Judaism, a term bestowed upon the righteous. [C][OED] Plural tsaddiqs or tsaddiqim. Also written tzaddiq [C], tzadik or tzaddik. Hebrew צדיק.
umiaq An open eskimo boat. [OSPD4] Also spelled umiak
waqf A charitable trust in Islamic law. [ODE][C][OED] Plural waqf [ODE][C][OED] or waqfs [C][OED]. Arabic, literally "stoppage" from waqafa, "come to a standstill".
yaqona A Fijian intoxicating beverage, kava. [C][OED] Fijian yaqona, in which q represents [ŋg]


In many word games, most famously in Scrabble, a player must build a word using a certain set of letters. Therefore, if a player is obliged to use a Q but does not have a U, it may be useful to construct words from this list. In Scrabble in North America, the only acceptable words with a Q and not a U are qi, qat, qaid, qai, qadi, qoph, qanat, tranq, faqir, sheqel, qabala, qabalah, qindar, qintar, qindarka, mbaqanga, and qwerty, along with their plurals (such as qats and sheqalim).[ TWL ] Other words in this list, such as suq and qiviut, are also acceptable, but since these contain a U, they are less likely to be useful.

See also[edit]


  • [AH]: The American Heritage Dictionary, Fourth Edition →ISBN
  • [AHC]: American Heritage College Dictionary, Fourth Edition, 2000
  • [AOX]: Ask Oxford Last accessed May 29, 2006.
  • [C]: The Chambers Dictionary, 2003
  • [Co]: Collins English Dictionary, Third Edition (updated 1994)
  • [COD]: The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Eighth Edition, 1990
  • [E]: Microsoft Encarta online dictionary Last accessed May 29, 2006.
  • [L]: The Longman Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition, 1988 →ISBN
  • [LC]: The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, Fourth Edition, 2003
  • [MW]: Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition
  • [MWO]: Merriam-Webster online dictionary Last accessed May 29, 2006.
  • [ODE]: Oxford Dictionary of English, Second Edition, 2003 →ISBN
  • [OED]: Oxford English Dictionary, 2003
  • [OSPD4]: The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, 2005 →ISBN
  • [RHU]: Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 1997
  • [RHW]: Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, 2005 →ISBN
  • [SOED]: The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Third Edition, 1992
  • [W]: Random House Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 2000
  • [WI]: Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged →ISBN