Theory

Hex letters can be used to write english words, like cafebabe, or deadbeef. This is handy for developers, because we can put "recognizable text" in binary data. Unfortunately, there aren't that many words spelled with just the letters a through f. Using creative (or l337) spelling, we can expand the list.

Practice

Using an existing list of common words, and a small Python program, I created an 1196-word list of hex words.

I used two different words lists, including the common word list from the Moby lexicon, but there are others to choose from, if you want.

This is the Python script:

import re, string

minlen = 3

subs = [
    #('for', '4'),
    #('four', '4'),
    #('to', '2'),
    ('ate', '8'),
    #('ten', '10'),
    #('g', '6'),
    ('l', '1'),
    ('o', '0'),
    ('s', '5'),
    ('t', '7')
]

reHexWord = re.compile("[a-f0-9]*")
fWords = open('words.txt', 'r')
for w in fWords.xreadlines():
    w = w.strip()
    for old, new in subs:
        w = string.replace(w, old, new)
    if len(w) >= minlen:
        match = reHexWord.search(w)
        if match and match.group() == w:
            print w

The table of substitutions can be adjusted to broaden the list even further. The code above shows some substitutions commented out, because I didn't think they generally worked well.

My favorites

Words I liked from this list that I haven't seen before (the 8-letter ones are especially appealing as DWORDs):

ba5eba11
bedabb1e
be5077ed
b0a710ad
b01dface
cab005e
ca11ab1e
ca55e77e
deadbea7
defec8
f01dab1e
f005ba11
0ddba11
5ca1ab1e
7e1eca57

The words

Some things to notice:

  • Lots of these words are obscure, and therefore useless. For example, what's an abaca? (a banana-like plant)
  • Some useful words were not in the list (decaf and f005ba11)
  • These are only single words, not combinations, so cafebabe and decafbad don't appear.
  • The letters "ate" are translated to "8" in this list, not "a7e", as they also could have been, so you won't find "10ca7e" here, but you will find "10c8".
  • If we could figure out a way to make an R, we could have acce1er8!

And now, all 1196 words. (And don't miss the 136 hex color words)

aba
abaca
abaf7
aba5e
aba5ed
aba5e5
ab8
ab8d
ab85
abb
abba
abbe
abbe55
abb07
abb075
abed
abe1e
abe7
abe75
abe77ed
ab18
ab18d
ab185
ab1e
ab1e57
ab0de
ab0de5
ab5ce55
ab5ce55ed
ab5ce55e5
accede
acceded
accede5
acce55
acce55ed
acce55e5
acc01ade
acc01ade5
acc057
acc057ed
acc0575
ace
ace5
ace7a1
ace78
ac7
ac7ab1e
ac7ed
add
added
add1e
add5
ad0
ad0be
ad5
aede5
affab1e
affec7
affec7ed
affec75
af10a7
af007
af7
a1a
a1a5
a18
a1b
a1ba
a1ba7a
a1bed0
a1ca1de
a1d01
a1d05e
a1e
a1ee
a1fa1fa
a11
a11e1e
a11e1e5
a110ca7ab1e
a110c8
a110c8d
a110c85
a1107
a11075
a11077ed
a11077ee
a115eed
a10e
a10e5
a10f7
a100f
a150
a17
a170
a5be5705
a5c07
a55
a55e5
a55e55
a55e55ed
a55e55e5
a55e7
a55e75
a71a5
a7011
a70115
a77e57
a77e57ed
a77e575
baa
baba
babb1e
babb1ed
babb1e5
babe
babe5
bacc8
bad
bade
bae1
baff1e
baff1ed
ba1
ba1a5
ba1a7a
ba1b0a
ba1d
ba1e
ba1e5
ba11
ba11ad
ba11ade
ba11ad5
ba11a57
ba11a575
ba11a7a
ba11ed
ba11e7
ba11e75
ba1107
ba11075
ba115
ba15a
ba0bab
ba5a1
ba5a17
ba5e
ba5eba11
ba5eba115
ba5ed
ba5e1e55
ba5e5
ba55
ba55e5
ba55e7
ba550
ba57
ba57e
ba57ed
ba57e5
ba7
ba75
ba77
ba77ed
ba771e
ba771ed
ba771e5
bead
beaded
bead1e
bead1e5
bead5
bea57
bea575
bea7
bea7ab1e
bea75
bed
bedabb1e
bedded
bede1
bedfa57
bed5
bed57ead
bed57ead5
bee
beef
beefed
beef5
bee5
bee7
bee71e
bee71ed
bee71e5
bee75
befa11
befa115
befe11
bef001
be1
be18d
be11
be11e
be11e5
be115
be17
be17ed
be175
be5e7
be5e75
be507
be5077ed
be57
be57ead
be57ed
be575
be7
be7a
be7e1
be75
be77a
b1ab
b1abbed
b1ab5
b1ade
b1ade5
b1a5e
b1a57
b1a57ed
b1a570c0e1
b1a575
b1a7
b18
b1ea7
b1ea75
b1eb
b1ed
b1eed
b1eed5
b1e55
b1e55ed
b1e57
b10a7
b108d
b10a75
b10b
b10b5
b10c
b10c5
b100d
b100ded
b100d1e55
b100d5
b107
b1075
b1077ed
b10770
b0a
b0a57
b0a57ed
b0a575
b0a7
b081
b0a710ad
b0a710ad5
b0a75
b0b
b0bbed
b0bb1e
b0bca7
b0b5
b0b51ed
b0d
b0de
b0de5
b01a
b01d
b01de57
b01dface
b01e
b011
b010
b017
b017ed
b0175
b00
b00b
b00b00
b00d1e
b005
b0057
b0057ed
b00575
b007
b007ab1e
b007ed
b007ee
b0071ace
b0071e55
b0075
b055
b055ed
b055e5
b07
b07e1
b075
b077
b0771e
b0771ed
b0771e5
cab
caba1
caba1a
caba55e7
cabba1a
cab1e
cab1ed
cab1e5
cab1e7
cab0b
cab00d1e
cab005e
cab5
caca0
cad
cade
cade11e
cade7
cafe
cafe5
ca1ab005e
ca1ce5
ca1f
ca11
ca11a
ca11ab1e
ca11ed
ca115
ca1077e
ca5a
ca5aba
ca5cabe1
ca5cadab1e
ca5cade
ca5caded
ca5cade5
ca5e
ca5ea5e
ca5e8
ca5ed
ca5e05e
ca5e5
ca55aba
ca55e77e
ca57
ca57e
ca57e118d
ca57e5
ca571e
ca571ed
ca571e5
ca570ff
ca575
ca7
ca7a1a5e
ca7a10
ca7b0a7
ca7ca11
ca7fa11
ca75
ca77a10
ca771e
cea5e
cea5ed
cea5e1e55
cea5e5
cede
ceded
ce1e57a
ce11
ce11a
ce11ed
ce110
ce115
ce17
ce55
ce57a
ce570de
c1ad
c1a55
c1a55ed
c1a55e5
c1a551e55
c1ea7
c1ef
c1ef7
c1ef75
c10aca
c10d
c10d5
c105
c105e
c105ed
c105e5
c105e57
c105e7
c105e7ed
c105e75
c107
c0ac7
c0a1
c0a1e5ce
c0a1e5ced
c0a1e5ce5
c0a15
c0a57
c0a57a1
c0a57ed
c0a575
c0a7
c08d
c08e
c0a75
c0b
c0ba17
c0bb1e
c0b1e
c0ca
c0c0
c0c0a
c0c077e
c0d
c0da
c0dd1e
c0de
c0ded
c0de5
c0ed
c0e1057a7
c0ff
c0ffee
c0ffee5
c0ff1e
c01
c01a
c01d
c01de57
c01d5
c01e
c0118
c011ec7
c011ec7ed
c011ec75
c011e7
c0110c8
c01055a1
c017
c0175
c0175f007
c00
c00ee
c001
c001ed
c001e57
c0015
c007
c05
c05ec
c05e7
c055
c055e7
c057
c057a
c0578
c057ed
c0575
c07
c07e
c075
c077a
c5c
dab
dabb1e
dabb1ed
dabb1e5
dace
dad
dad0
dad5
daeda1
daff
daf7
da1e
da1e5
da7a
da7aba5e
da7aba5e5
d8d
d81e55
d85
da70
dead
deadbea7
deadfa11
deaf
deafe57
dea1
dea18
dea110c8
dea110c8d
dea15
dea17
deb
debac1e
deba5e
deba7ab1e
deb8
deb8d
deb85
deb7
deb75
decade
decade5
decaf
deca1
decea5e
decea5ed
decea5e5
dec1a55
dec0c7
dec0de
dec0ded
dec0de5
dec0118
deed
deeded
deed5
deface
defa1c8
defea7
defe8d
defea75
defec8
defec7
defec7ed
defec75
def18
def1ec7
def1ec7ed
def7
de18
de1e
de1ec7ab1e
de1ec78
de1e7e
de1e7ed
de1e7e5
de1f7
de11
de115
de17a
de17a5
de5018
de7ec7
de7ec7ab1e
de7ec7ed
de7ec75
de7e57
de7e57ab1e
de7e57ed
d0ab1e
d0b1a
d0c
d0d0
d0e
d0e5
d0ff
d01
d01ce
d01e
d01ed
d01e5
d011
d0115
d017
d00dad
d00d1e
d05e
d05ed
d05e5
d055
d055a1
d057
d07
d07e
d07ed
d07e5
d075
d077ed
d0771e
ea5e
ea5ed
ea5e1
ea5e5
ea57
ea7
ea7ab1e
ea7ab1e5
ea75
ebb
ebb5
ec1a7
ec70b1a57
edd0
ee1
ee15
effab1e
efface
effec7
effec7ed
effec75
effe7e
ef7
e18
e18d
e1d
e1de57
e1ec7
e1ec7ed
e1ec75
e1f
e11
e15e
e5ca1ade
e5ca18
e5ca18d
e5ca185
e55e
e57afe77e
e578
e5785
e7a
fab
fab1e
fab1ed
fab1e5
facade
facaded
facade5
face
faced
face1e55
face5
face7
face7ed
face75
fac7
fac70
fac75
fad
fade
faded
fade1e55
fade5
fad0
faece5
fa1ba1a
fa1c8
fa1d57001
fa11
fa11a1
fa115
fa15e
fa15e770
fa17b0a7
fa5ce5
fa57
fa57ed
fa57e57
fa575
fa7
fa7a1
fa7a15
f8d
f85
fa75
fa750
fa77e57
fea1
fea57
fea57ed
fea575
fea7
fea75
feca1
fece5
fed
fee
feeb1e
feeb1e57
feed
feed5
fee1
fee15
fee5
fee7
fe1afe1
fe11
fe11ed
fe110e
fe17
fe175
fe0ff
fe0ffee
fe55
fe57a1
fe7a1
fe7e
fe771e
f1abe118
f1a7
f1a7bed
f1a7b0a7
f1a7f007
f1a7f007ed
f1a75
f1a77e57
f1ea
f1ea5
f1ed
f1ee
f1eece
f1eece5
f1ee5
f1ee7
f1ee7e57
f1ee75
f10a7
f10a7ab1e
f108d
f10a75
f10cc05e
f10e
f100d
f100ded
f100d5
f1055
f1055ed
f1055e5
f0a1
f0b
f0ca1
f0e
f0e5
f01d
f01db0a7
f01ded
f01d5
f00d
f00d5
f001
f001ed
f0015
f005ba11
f007
f007ba11
f007ba115
f007ed
f007fa11
f0071e
f0071e55
f0071005e
f00757a11
f00757001
f055a
f055e
f055e77e
1ab
1abe1
1abe1ed
1abe11ed
1abe15
1ab1ab
1ab5
1ac
1ace
1aced
1ace5
1ac7a5e
1ac78
1ac7ea1
1ac705e
1ad
1ade
1ad1e
1ad5
1a5e
1a55
1a55e5
1a550
1a57
1a57ed
1a575
1a7
18d
1857
1ea
1ead
1eaded
1ead5
1eaf
1eafed
1eaf1e55
1eaf1e7
1eaf1e75
1ea1
1ea5e
1ea5ed
1ea5e5
1ea57
1ed
1ee
1ee5
1ee7
1ef7
1e55
1e55ee
1e57
1e7
1e75
10ad
10aded
10ad5
10af
10afed
10b
10b8
10be
10be5
10b0
10ca1
10ca1e
10ca15
10c8
10c8d
10c85
10c0
10de
10e55
10f7
10f75
1011
100
1005e
1005ed
1005e1eaf
1005e5
1005e57
1007
1007ed
10075
105e
105e1
105e5
1055
1055e5
1057
107
107a
1075
10770
0af
0a5e5
0a57
0a7
0a75
0be5e
0b1a57
0b18
0b0e
0b5e55
0b501e5ce
0b501e7e
0b501e7ed
0b501e7e5
0b57ac1e
0b57ac1e5
0b7ec7
0b7e57
0ce107
0c7ad
0c7a1
0c7e7
0c7e75
0dd
0ddba11
0dde57
0dd5
0de
0de5
0ff
0ffa1
0ffbea7
0ff10ad
0ff5
0ff5e7
0ff5e75
0f7
01d
01de57
01e8
01e0
011a
00d1e5
00f
057ea1
057e0b1a57
057e0c1a57
0770
5ab1e
5ab1e5
5ac
5ad
5adde57
5add1e
5add1ed
5add1e5
5afe
5afe5
5afe57
5a1ab1e
5a1ad
5a1ade
5a1ad5
5a1e
5a1eab1e
5a1e5
5a11e7
5a101
5a17
5a17ed
5a175
5a55
5a7
58d
585
5cab
5cabb1e
5cad
5caff01d
5caff01d5
5ca1ab1e
5ca1ade
5ca1d
5ca1ded
5ca1e
5ca1ed
5ca1e5
5ca7
5c1aff
5c0ff
5c0ffed
5c0ff5
5c01d
5c01ded
5c01d5
5c007
5c07
5ea
5eac0a57
5eac0a575
5eaf00d
5ea1
5ea1ed
5ea15
5ea5
5ea7
5e8d
5ea75
5ec
5ecc0
5ecede
5eceded
5ecede5
5ec7
5ec75
5ed8
5ee
5eed
5eedbed
5eedca5e
5eeded
5eed5
5ee1
5ee5
5e1ec7
5e1ec7ed
5e1ec7ee
5e1ec75
5e1f
5e1f1e55
5e11
5e115
5e57e7
5e7
5e7a
5e705e
5e75
5e77
5e77ab1e
5e77ee
5e771e
5e771ed
5e771e5
51ab
51a7
518
518d
5185
51a75
51ed
51ed5
51ee7
510b
510e
5107
51075
51077ed
50b
50b5
50c1e
50d
50da
50d5
50fa
50fa5
50f7
50f7a
50f7ba11
50f7e57
501
501a
501ace
501aced
501d
501d0
501e
501e5
5010
50105
5007
507
5077ed
57ab
57abbed
57ab1e
57ab1ed
57ab1e5
57ab5
57acca70
57ac7e
57aff
57affed
57aff5
57a1e
57a11
57a11ed
57a115
578
578d
5781e55
5785
57ead
57eadfa57
57ea1
57ea15
57edfa57
57eed
57ee1
57ee1ed
57ee15
57e1a
57e1e
57e118
57e7
570a
570a7
570b
5701e
5701e5
5700d
57001
57055
7ab
7abe5
7ab1e
7ab1ed
7ab1e5
7ab1e7
7ab1e75
7ab00
7ab005
7ab5
7ace
7ace7
7ac0
7ac7
7ac71e55
7ad
7ae1
7affe7a
7a1c
7a1e
7a1e5
7a11
7a11e57
7a55
7a55e
7a55e1
7a55e15
7a55e7
7a57e
7a57ed
7a57e1e55
7a57e5
7a7
7a771e
7a771e7a1e
7a7700
7a7700ed
7a77005
7ea
7ea1
7ea5
7ea5e
7ea5ed
7ea5e1
7ea5e5
7ea7
7ed
7ee
7ee707a1
7e1eca57
7e1e057
7e11
7e115
7e117a1e
7e51a
7e55e118
7e55e118d
7e57
7e57a
7e57ab1e
7e578
7e57ed
7e57ee
7e57e5
7e575
70ad
70ad5
70ad57001
70a57
70a57ed
70a575
70bacc0
70cca7a
70d
70dd1e
70e
70ed
70e5
70ffee
70f7
701a
701d
701e
7011
7011ed
70115
700
7001
7001ed
70015
7007
70071e
70075
7055
7055ed
7055e5
707
707a1
707a1ed
707a11ed
707a15
707e