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If you play a lot of scrabble I am sure you will remember playing either KOALA or KAURI. They certainly seem to be words that spring to mind when you have plenty of vowels that don’t include an E and you have the letter K.

See if you can think of any more words that meet the following criteria:

5 letter words which include a K and 3 vowels. None of the vowels are an E

There is only one K in the bag so we don’t want to have any words with two of them. It is too wasteful to use a blank for another K

There are 37 other words that meet these criteria, but KOALA and KAURI are by far the most frequently played. Just think how much flexibility you would have if you knew the other 37 as well. While these words come from all over the world a lot of them are associated with New Zealand. Only one word other than koala is Australian in origin.

ABAKA The Manila-hemp plant

ADUKI A Japanese bean

AKITA A large Japanese dog

ARIKI The firstborn male or female of an important Maori family

ASKOI Plural of ASKOS – a Greek oil jar

AZUKI A Japanese bean. The same as ADUKI

DAIKO A large Japanese drum

HAIKA An Arab head covering

HAIKU A Japanese poem

HIKOI To take part in a Maori protest march

HOOKA A pipe with a long flexible stem

IROKO A large African tree

KAAMA A large African antelope

KADAI A dish like a wok used in Asian cookery

KAROO High pastoral tableland in South Africa

KAURU The edible stem of the New Zealand cabbage tree

KAWAU The New Zealand black shag

KAZOO A toy musical instrument

KIAAT An African tree

KOORI A young Australian aborigine

KORAI Plural of KORE – a Greek statue of a young woman

KOURA New Zealand freshwater crayfish

KUIAS Elderly Maori women

LAIKA A small Russian dog

MAIKO An apprentice geisha

OAKUM Old ropes used for caulking the seams of ships

OKAPI An animal like a giraffe with a much shorter neck

OTAKU A young Japanese computer nerd

PIKAU A Maori rucksack

POAKA A New Zealand bird of the stilt family

POOKA A malevolent goblin in Irish folklore

RAKIA A fruit brandy made in the Balkans

SAKAI A Malaysian aborigine

SAKIA An Eastern water-wheel

TAIKO A Japanese drum. The same as DAIKO

UMIAK An Inuit canoe

Happy Scrabbling Patrick

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