Here’s another puzzle for you. It was sent in by a visitor to Omniglot, who writes:

Hoping you can help solve this mystery phrase. My great grandmother used to say this phrase, “I de vreet”, which sounded like “eye deh vreat”. If you could give any insight into what this means. We think it might be Hungarian but are not sure.

Any suggestions?


Here’s a request from a visitor to Omniglot that maybe you can help with:

I purchased a copper pitcher from an antiques dealer in Baghdad recently and found two characters marked under the lip of the pitcher. The dealer wasn’t aware of the marks and assures me that the piece is from Iraq/Iraqi made, yet, though they appear to be some form of Arabic, none of our interpreters have been able to tell me what the marks mean. Can you please tell me what they are? I have studied every alphabet chart online, but cannot find an exact match.

Mystery symbols from a copper pitcher

The image on the left was the one sent to me. The other ones are the same image flipped round.


These puzzles were sent in by a visitor to Omniglot from Taiwan. The first appears on a mosquito coil and looks a bit like Tibetan or one of the other Brahmi-derived scripts.

Mystery writing from mosquito coil

These characters were spotted in Lugang (鹿港).

Mystery writing from Lugang

Can you make any sense of the writing in either of these images?

Lake Monomonac Mystery

A visitor to Omniglot sent me these images asking about these mysterious symbols which appear on a map of Lake Monomonac which was found in the attic of a house near the lake. Can any of you recognise and/or decipher them?

Mystery symbols

Mystery symbols

Mystery symbols

They look like some form of shorthand to me – possibly Gregg – but I can’t make any sense of them.

Here’s a transcription of the shorthand, which seems to be the American Benn Pitman version from the mid 19th century:

(1) Surveyed by one of the members of the Monomonack sporting club. The bearings were taken with a pocket compass and // distances obtained by counting the steps
(2) as measured on the shore at high water mark
(3) including the islands

Provided by Beryl Pratt, author of www.long-live-pitmans-shorthand.org.uk