Treebeard's Homepage : Stumpers

Treebeard's Stumper Answer
25 April 2003

Google Whacking

The Google search engine is my home library. DMS students are working on Science and Renaissance Fair projects, so we've all been "googling" lately! Getting zero hits or millions of hits is no help. My stumper is to find searches with two or three words that return exactly one hit. There are a few rules. Quotes are not allowed (too easy). All words must be at (and linked on the top blue Google bar), so only real words are legal. Glossaries and word list entries don't count. Check out for inspiration.

You can start searching for the one true hit right here. It's harder than it sounds!


Gary Stock first described (and named) this game of Google Whacking in January 2002. The GoogleWhack web site tells the story and maintains the Whack Stack of accepted whacks. Note they only accept doublewhacks of two words, even though it's hard enough to find a triplewhack of three words. You can submit your own whacks to the stack.

It helps that my nickname "treebeard" is listed in the dictionary as a "pendulous branching lichen". I found this good whack today and added it to the Whack Stack list, but if I tell, it will vanish. (Why?) Try this without the spaces:

   t_r_e_e_b_e_a_r_d    r_a_z_z_m_a_t_a_z_z
You might find some surprising web sites as you search. Let me know what true whacks you find!

Pendulous branching "Treebeard"
lichen near Santa Barbara, CA.
(Is it Ramalina utriculata?)

I found "treebeard razzmatazz" as a legal one-hit search at Google. I recorded it at, and a day later there were 300 more whacks! DMS students found many more, like "fructifying weasels" and "conspicuous zygosis". Remember these dictionary words really did appear together once on a web page! Whatever they mean, these word combinations will no longer be unique as soon as this stumper appears on the Web and combines them again! Language is a remarkable tool that we can still use to say what has never been said before.


This was a fun diversion from the real school work we all had for our Science Fair and Renaissance Faire projects! DMS students still found time to find (and register) a few good doublewhacks of two words and lots of triplewhacks.

DMS kids found a few odd words like "omish" which is listed as a legal alternate spelling of "amish", but got tired of it and wouldn't accept any more submissions. I got tired of it too. I think Terri is our champion.

Here are a few of the whacks we found at school when we should have been working. As soon as the googlebot finds this page, these will all stop being unique!

treebeard razzmatazzTreebeard
treebeard kerosene cabinTreebeard
lambent weasels birthdayLenora
thrasonical camels
ibids stinkBryan
hepher lumpenTerri
ibids fartTerri
ostentatious dragomenKatie+Chris+Molly+Emma+Brenden
recycling sqirrels razzmatazzTerri
cautious sqirrels razzmatazzTerri
lumpen sqirrels apexTerri
vaca bean barfZoe
conspicuous zygosisRyan H.
omish pink tuna
hysterical omish scott
prodigal parody dragoman
lambent moose'sLenora
fructifying weaselsBecca+Emily
luncrative knights catscanDanny
cardboard spastic treebeard
decaf platypus puppetSophia+Thalia+Emma+Molly
killing omish lepersTravis
resentful omishTravis
weasels consulting alpacasLenora
cardiovascular nimbus sliderBrett
toilet falsification balderdash
fructifying weasel jesterEmily
obstreperous weasel aardvarkRyan H.
phyco zebra computersRyan H.

This was a fun stumper and a good diversion from our real work. There's absolutely nothing profound here except that each of these word combinations (and 1000s more at the Whack Stack) were actually used together on a public web page. A fun follow-up would be to find word combinations with NO hits, and make a web page to include them in a meaningful way. Maybe that DIY google whack should be a Google Smack!

Hah, I just smacked one right here: "treebeard ontolology". Any day now (depending on the googlebot schedule), this smack will become a whack back to this page! Is this a smack whack hack??

The real stumper is to use language to express thoughts that have never been said before that will change how we think of ourselves and each other and the world. I reckon that's genius; and only time - not a search engine - will tell!

Here are a few starting web links for your own research on Google Whacking:

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Copyright © 2003 by Marc Kummel /