Tuesday, 27th October 2015

by Joshua Gaskell

In spite of the general rule that in English q is followed by u, the OED currently contains nineteen foreign-made words that begin with a q followed by some other letter. They are:

  • Qallunaaq: ‘Of or designating non-Inuit people, spec. those of European descent; non-Inuit.’
  • Qallunaat: ‘With pl. concord. Non-Inuit people, considered collectively. Also occas. as a count noun: = Qallunaaq n.
  • qasida: ‘A classical Arabic or Persian monorhyme poem in uniform metre, consisting of ten or more distichs set in a usually tripartite episodic structure, freq. with a panegyric or elegiac theme.’
  • Qatabanian: ‘A native or inhabitant of Qataban, an ancient kingdom of the southern Arabian peninsula.’
  • Qatabanic: ‘= Qatabanian adj.
  • Qatari: ‘A native or inhabitant of Qatar, a peninsular region on the west coast of the Persian Gulf.’
  • qawwal: ‘A performer of qawwali.’
  • qawwali: ‘A style of Muslim devotional music, now associated particularly with Sufis in Pakistan, characterized by a fervent, often improvisatory vocal delivery, accompanied on drums and harmonium. Also: a song in this style.’
  • qi: ‘The circulating physical life-force whose existence and properties are the basis of much Chinese philosophy and medicine; the material principle postulated by certain Chinese philosophers.’
  • Qiana: ‘A nylon fibre used for fabrics; a synthetic fabric with a silky texture made of this fibre.’
  • qigong: ‘A system of techniques originating in Chinese philosophy as a means to focus and strengthen qi, involving breathing exercises, meditation, and hand and arm movements, used in alternative medicine and as a basis for training in martial arts.’
  • Qin: ‘A Chinese dynasty, founded by Qin Shi Huang (259–210 B.C.), which was the first to establish rule over a united China; the era of this dynasty’s rule, from 221 to 206 B.C.’
  • qin: ‘A Chinese seven-stringed zither, played by plucking.’
  • qindar: ‘A former monetary unit of Albania, equivalent to one-hundredth of a gold franc. In later use also: = qindarka n.
  • qindarka: ‘A monetary unit of Albania, equivalent to one-hundredth of a lek.’
  • Qing: ‘A Chinese dynasty of Manchu emperors which ruled from 1644 until 1912, when it was overthrown by the Chinese Revolution; the era of this dynasty’s rule.’
  • qinghaosu: ‘A sesquiterpene lactone, originally isolated in China from the annual mugwort (Artemisia annua), and used in the treatment of malaria; = artemisinin n.
  • qipao: ‘A type of dress traditionally worn by Chinese women, typically having a high mandarin collar, a split skirt, and a fitted bodice with an asymmetrical closure extending from the neck to the right underarm; = cheongsam n.
  • qiviut: ‘The underwool of the musk ox; fibre made from this.’
  • QWERTY: ‘Designating the standard English-language typewriter keyboard, of which the first six keys on the top row of letter keys are Q W E R T Y (also applied to equivalent keyboards on other devices); designating this sequence of letters; employing or relating to this sequence.’
  • qwertyuiop: ‘The sequence of letters on the top row of letter keys on a standard English-language keyboard.’