There Are No Countries in the World That Begin with These 2 Letters

There are 195 countries in the world, but only 24 out of 26 alphabet letters begin their names. See if you can guess which letters are missing.

No Countries in the World Begin with These 2 LettersPhoto: ShutterStock

Bet You Can’t Name a Country That Begins With These Two Letters!

Put your thinking caps on, globe-savvy readers. Can you name a country that starts with every letter in the English alphabet? Some might come to you right away, like Australia, Brazil, and Canada. Others could be trickier, like Kenya or Luxembourg.

While you could go on like this for all 195 countries, you won’t solve it for all 26 letters in the alphabet. In fact, no matter how long you muse and mull over this puzzling problem, there are two letters that no countries in the world start with. See if you can guess which ones they are.

Ready for the answer? Drum roll, please: Turns out, no countries in the world start with the letters W or X.

Some might be quick to point out that Wales, which is considered a country, starts with the letter W. But Wales is actually part of a larger “sovereign state,” the United Kingdom, and is not a member of the United Nations (UN). As a result, it is often not included in official totals of countries. (This is the real difference between the United Kingdom and Great Britain.)

If you guessed Y, you were close—but you probably forgot about Yemen, which is the only country in the world that starts with the letter Y. Meanwhile, Oman is the only country that starts with the letter O. Other rare letters include Q and Z; no countries but Zambia and Zimbabwe begin with the letter Z, while Qatar is the lone country that starts with Q. (By the way, this is the least visited country in Europe—and it’s absolutely stunning.)

Looking for another fascinating factoid to share at the next cocktail hour? It turns out this European country now has the most powerful passport in the world!

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Originally Published on Reader's Digest