Here is another valuable “u-less” “q” word: “qat,” a noun which also has a plural form: “qats.” It is a tropical evergreen shrub that can also be spelled “kat” or “khat” and is pronounced KOT. The plant, which is primarily found in Africa, contains a natural amphetamine that is considered psychologically addictive. Chewing the leaves can produce feelings of euphoria and stimulation. One source indicates that ninety percent of Yemeni men regularly chew qat and that its production and distribution have been a source of conflict between Yemeni and Somali societies.
One of the words I played during my losing Scrabble match in Florida (see: qi) was an evergreen shrub, but it was “yew,” not “qat.” Interestingly, the yew is a symbol of sorrow or death, while qat apparently provides euphoria and stimulation. Next time I’ll play the word qat, instead of yew, and hopefully feel euphoric when the final score is posted on the refrigerator.