I have started playing the German language version of Words With Friends. I play with one friend who used to be my German teacher in high school. But I also play with a computer opponent, and was dumbfounded by a "word" it played during one of our sessions: Ln.

I couldn't imagine it being a valid word as it looked more like an abbreviation. I also consulted the various online dictionaries and translation tools but without success.

Should I consider this a bug in the game, or is there such a word?

  • 3
    Sind Abkürzungen im Spiel denn erlaubt? Wörter ohne Vokal gibt es im Deutschen generell nicht. Der Logarithmus Naturalis wird so abgekürzt, womöglich weiteres. Neben Wörterbüchern ist Wikipedia eine weitere, gute Quelle: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/LN Commented Aug 14, 2015 at 4:57
  • 4
    Are you sure that it was "Ln" not "In" with a capitalized "i"? Even in Mathematics you write the natural Logarithm "ln" with lower case "L" not "Ln"!
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Aug 14, 2015 at 6:55
  • 1
    Mhhhhh, @userunknown, ob es da nicht doch Wörter ohne Vokal gibt...
    – Em1
    Commented Aug 14, 2015 at 7:47
  • 1
    @Em1 Hmm, gute Frage. Aber dieser sarkastische Unterton? Tz, tz, tz....
    – Konadi
    Commented Aug 14, 2015 at 9:04
  • 1
    Hm ist vielleicht ein Laut, aber kein zertifiziertes Qualitätswort. :) Commented Aug 14, 2015 at 23:25

3 Answers 3


I may be that ln. is used as an abbreviation in some professional context but I consider this not to be a valid German word.

What may have happened here is that the preposition in was (erroneously) capitalized and rendered with a sans serif font such as e.g. Arial. Then the capitalized i (top) and the l (bottom) are identical:

enter image description here
left Arial - right Times New Roman

Note that we capitalize in only at the beginning of a sentence.

  • 2
    ... and many feminists in the middle of a word. :) Commented Aug 14, 2015 at 23:27
  • Daran hatte ich auch gedacht - aber warum sollte der OP dann ausdrücklich Ln mit großem 'L' geschrieben haben?
    – Matthias
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 10:40

Never saw it in use, but according to the Duden "authority", it is a valid, albeit seldomly used abbreviation for Leineneinband, probably used by librarians or antiquarians.

If the game considers abbreviations to be valid solutions, then all is good.


"Ln" is definitely no German word.

Edit (short explanation): Every German word must have one of the following letters: a, e, i, o, u, ä, ö, ü or in very rare cases y.

  • Es gibt Antworten die keiner längeren Erklärung bedürfen. Wenn es ein Wort nicht gibt, dann gibt es das nicht. Gäbe es jetzt einen Grund, wieso es das Wort geben sollte, dann wäre eine Erklärung, wieso die Gründe nicht durchschlagen erwünscht - so lädt die Aufforderung nur zu leerem Gelaber ein. "Steht nicht zwischen Liz und Lob im Duden" - das ergibt sich ja schnurstracks aus der Behauptung, dass es das Wort nicht gibt. Commented Aug 14, 2015 at 23:32
  • Ok, actually you are right. Exceptions confirm the rule ;-) Of course you can use ä,ö,ü in valid German words instead of a,e,i,o,u, i forgot to mention. German words without one of these letters but with an y for example are very very rare.
    – anion
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 8:43
  • The Duden lists pst . Either not all words contain a vowel; or we cannot use the Duden to define what a word is.
    – blutorange
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 11:10

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