Need Letters First!
Trying to find a memorable phone number? This phone number word finder finds words you can spell with your phone number. These words are often called phonewords and are much easier for people to remember and share with their friends. You can use this tool to help select a custom phone number (aka vanity phone number) for your business or find possible ways to refer the phone number you already have.
The results are ranked by a quality score, which places the best words first(usually the longest words with the best position within the phone number); tab through the results to see the rest of the words.
You can also use this tool to help solve puzzles based on phonepad letters. We've seen a couple of these; some of these will appear as simple number sequences. More advanced ones take advantage of the fact the phone pad is a 3 x 4 grid and share the progression between the spots on the grid vs. the actual number itself.
This website is powered by a flexible dictionary search engine (that powers our scrabble helper. This dictionary search takes a sequence of letters and iterates through the possible words which you can form with those letters by swapping them around. So given a letter series EPHON, it looks at all of the possible ways to rearrange the letters into sequences which match actual words yielding PHONE. It accomplishes this in under a second, on the server side - it may take slightly longer for the data to move back & forth via the internet.
The phone number word search is a modified version of this dictionary search engine; every letter in the sequence maps to several possible values (eg. 1 => A, B, C). We iterate through each digit in the number, constructing a word out of each of the possible options for each number in sequence using the phone pad letters. These possible words are compared with the dictionary to eliminate fruitless paths (eg. once we're comfortable the first three letters in a possible phone number word cannot be used to spell anything, we stop searching for sequences that include part of the stream).
Unlike the scrabble solver search, the engine has been set to tolerate a little bit of junk letters / numbers in the word. In the real world, many successful phonewords have blended short words (3 - 4 letters) with additional digits before or after the word. So once we see "a legitimate word" in one of the possible paths, we will usually keep the resulting options.
Which brings us to the "quality function" used to rank results. Most real world users have a preference for longer words or word pairs, which will consume most of the phone number. There is also a preference for phone words where the additional digits have been placed in an obvious and easily remembered spot, such as the middle three digits or the last four digits (such as 555-SORT or EAT-1234). After we generate a (usually large) list of possible phone words, we have a ranking function that sorts these into order based on their expected desirability.