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A chant setting in neume notation of the Gloria Patri from the Liber Usualis, with two Euouae alternatives.

Euouae (/jˈ/)[1] or Evovae is an abbreviation used as a mnemonic in Latin psalters and other liturgical books of the Roman Rite to indicate the distribution of syllables in the differentia or variable melodic endings of the standard psalm tones of Gregorian chant. It derives from the vowels in the Latin words saeculorum Amen, taken from the Gloria Patri, which ends with the phrase in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

In some cases the letters of Euouae can be further shortened to E——E.[2] A few books of English chant (notably Burgess and Palmer's The Plainchant Gradual) make use of oioueae for the equivalent phrase "world without end. Amen".

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, at six letters long, Euouae is the longest word in the English language made up of nothing but vowels (the "v" spelling notwithstanding), and also the English word with the most consecutive vowels.[3] As a mnemonic originating from Latin, it is unclear that it should count as an English word; however, it is found in the unabridged Collins English Dictionary.[4]

Its all-vowel composition makes it an effective play for certain kinds of vowel-heavy Scrabble racks, and the plural form ("euouaes") means a bingo can be made in certain situations. A useful mnemonic for remembering the tricky spelling is by combining Euro (minus the "r") and UAE (as in United Arab Emirates). Both the singular and plural forms of the word are contained within the official Collins Scrabble Words dictionary and various other dictionaries.[5][6][7]

A similar abbreviation, Aevia (or Aeuia), was used to abbreviate the word Alleluia in medieval Office books. In Venetian and other Italian Office books of the 16th century, an equivalent abbreviation, Hal'a, or Hal'ah, can be substituted for Aevia.[8]


  1. ^ Euouae in the Collins English Dictionary
  2. ^ Berry, Mary. "Evovae [Euouae]" in Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy.[full citation needed]
  3. ^ "Longest English Word Consisting Only of Vowels". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  4. ^ "euouae". Collins English Dictionary. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  5. ^ "EUOUAE in Scrabble | Words With Friends score & EUOUAE definition". Anagrammer Scrabble Word Finder. Retrieved 2022-04-06.
  6. ^ "EUOUAE is a valid scrabble word". Retrieved 2022-04-06.
  7. ^ "Redirect". Retrieved 2022-04-06.
  8. ^ William Smyth Rockstro (1900). "Aevia" . In Grove, George (ed.). A Dictionary of Music and Musicians. London: Macmillan and Company.
  • Apel, Willi: Gregorian Chant. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990. ISBN 0-253-20601-4.
  • Dyer, Joseph: «Roman Catholic Church Music» en Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy.
  • Hiley, David: «Chant» in Performance Practice: Music before 1600, eds. Howard Mayer Brown & Stanley Sadie. New York: W. W. Norton, 1990, pp. 37–54. ISBN 0-393-02807-0
  • Hiley, David: Western Plainchant: A Handbook. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995. ISBN 0-19-816572-2.
  • Levy, Kenneth: «Plainchant» in Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy.

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of euouae at Wiktionary