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Winner: professorfish's bash answer! An entire 9 bytes! Wow!

You may continue to submit your answer, however you can no longer win. Original post kept for posterity:

Your goal is to convert a whole number between 1-9 into the word it represents.

  • You will not need to worry about decimals
  • The user will input a number. Assume that they will never enter anything 10 or higher
  • The user must type the number at some point, however the method the program reads it does not matter. It can be with stdin, reading a text file, etc, however the user must press the 9 button on their keyboard (for example) at some point
  • It is not case sensitive (ie, "one", "One", "oNe", "OnE", etc are all acceptable)
  • HTTP/etc requests are allowed, however any code executed by the server the request is made to counts towards the byte count of your final code (e.g. if I had a C++ program make a HTTP request, the PHP code used in the HTTP request counts)
  • Anything that can compile and run is acceptable

  • This contest has ended on June 27th, 2014 (7 days from posting).
  • This is a , so the shortest code wins
share|improve this question
Is trailing whitespace (i.e. one ) acceptable? –  grc Jun 21 at 5:13
@grc Yes, as long as the program outputs the word. –  Chipperyman Jun 21 at 5:14
you should specify that only the given number may be printed and not the other numbers. –  Pinna_be Jun 21 at 7:04
@Pinna_be for example, if I input 3, you can't output one two three four five six seven eight nine even though you technically output three. Similarly, you can't output three seven, etc. –  Chipperyman Jun 21 at 7:06
This question was quite nice. But I don't like the adding of the date limit. Especially, the date limit has been added just before the date limit, not 7 days before. –  Nicolas Barbulesco Jun 26 at 18:12

65 Answers 65

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Bash (with bsdgames), 9

number -l

Reads from standard input.

I don't know why there's a utility for this, but whatever.

share|improve this answer
I'm not sure I like installing bsdgames and then calling it "bash", though I'll admit that my reservation is subjective. –  Paul Draper Jun 30 at 4:43
@PaulDraper Neither do I. I didn't post this as a serious answer, I think one of the other answers deserved to be accepted –  professorfish Jun 30 at 8:21
Ain't this a standard loophole? –  Quincunx Jul 2 at 18:26
@Quincunx yes, it basically is. Although most things are external utilities in Bash, I wouldn't count the bsdgames package as something very permissible (unlike grep, wget, coreutils, sed, bc...). –  professorfish Jul 3 at 20:02

Python 2, 64

print' ottffssennwhoiieiieoruvxvgn  ere ehe  e   nt'[input()::9]

This is what the string looks like with some extra whitespace (try reading vertically):

o t t f f s s e n
n w h o i i e i i
e o r u v x v g n
    e r e   e h e 
    e       n t

As explained in the comments below, [input()::9] starts at the given index and selects every ninth subsequent character.

share|improve this answer
Oh, shit, I like this. Probably worth pointing out that this is python 2, by the way. –  undergroundmonorail Jun 21 at 7:33
Explain please! :) –  Christofer Olsson Jun 21 at 10:12
@ChristoferOlsson input()::9 is a range from input() to the end of the string in steps of 9, like 1,10,19,28,37 or 3,12,21,30,39, which are exactly the indices at which the letters for the corresponding word are found. –  Martin Büttner Jun 21 at 10:14
@m.buettner thanks! That's nice. –  Christofer Olsson Jun 21 at 10:18
Isn't this something like what a rail-fence cipher does? (+1 for a neat solution by the way.) –  Leo King Jun 21 at 16:09

Common Lisp - 22 bytes

Here's a general one (not just for one-ten):

(format nil"~R"(read))

Oh, you want ordinals (first, second, ... three-hundredth...)? Ok!

(format nil"~:R"(read))
share|improve this answer
Isn't this a standard loophole? –  Sieg Jun 21 at 22:45
Loophole in what sense? It's clearly defined in Hyperspec: lispworks.com/documentation/lw50/CLHS/Body/22_cba.htm –  filcab Jun 21 at 22:48
As in this: meta.codegolf.stackexchange.com/a/1078/20356 –  Sieg Jun 21 at 23:09
Whether it's a standard loophole or not, it's what I came here to post, too. +1 :) –  Joshua Taylor Jun 21 at 23:16
@TheRare Looking at the comments to that answer, I don't think there is strong community consensus that this is a loophole. My feeling is that questions need to explicitly ban use of this kind of built in function if they are not to be used. –  DigitalTrauma Jun 22 at 2:52


So I made another one using my second idea plus some help from others:

set one two three four five six seven eight nine


Where 'X' is the number you want.

BASH 48 (67)

67 with \n line breaks

I'm not sure if this totally counts, because it's reading from a file, but:

sed -n Xp a

Where "X" is the input and where a is a file with:


The file is 36 chars, and the bash command is 13.

How it works:

Each line in the file is numbered, starting with 1. So 'one' is on the 1st line, 'two' on the 2nd. The command, sed -n 'Xp' a says, "Please print what's listed on line 'X' of file 'a'" sed is a Unix stream editor. -n means be silent, or only essentially ignore everything else. Xp means print what's on line 'X'.

share|improve this answer
Nice first answer! Thank you for taking the time to figure out how we format our answers on this site. Welcome to Programming Puzzles and Code Golf! –  Quincunx Jun 21 at 7:04
You didn't count the linefeeds in a. –  Dennis Jun 21 at 7:24
One byte less than before, accepts a command-line argument and doesn't require additional files: pastebin.com/qdbXKQGP Bash will complain about the missing heredoc delimiter, but it will run fine with Dash and Zsh. –  Dennis Jun 21 at 15:09
@Dennis oh cool I like it. Am I supposed to edit my answer with yours now? Sorry, am new to code golf. –  eric_lagergren Jun 21 at 16:49
You can omit the ' quotes. You could also try using a here string instead of the external file. But you really should count the line breaks in your file. –  DigitalTrauma Jun 21 at 17:29

C# - 127 ( 86 / 46)

If you only take the executable part...


and if HourOfDay would have been part of the the System namespace you would need 46 chars. Unfortunately it sits in System.DirectoryServices.ActiveDirectory which makes it 86...the other noise spoils it.

This is compileable and runnable from the commandline (127 chars):

using System;class P{static void Main(){Console.Write((System.DirectoryServices.ActiveDirectory.HourOfDay)Console.Read()-48);}}

if saved to a file called cg2.cs

csc cg2.cs /r:System.DirectoryServices.dll  && cg2

How does this work?

HourOfDay is an enum type so we can use names instead of magic constants. Enum types have a ToString() implementation that gives you the name of the value. You can cast an int to an enum. Console.Read() reads a character from the input stream represented as an integer. typing '1' gives 49, substract 48 to get 1, cast/box to HourOfDay to return 'One'.

Take a look at the Powershell version of this same trick

share|improve this answer
How does this work ? Let's say I enter 9. What does the program do then ? –  Nicolas Barbulesco Jun 22 at 10:00
What does this -48 do here ? –  Nicolas Barbulesco Jun 22 at 10:09
@NicolasBarbulesco added an How does this work? paragraph. Does it make sense? –  rene Jun 22 at 10:56
@NicolasBarbulesco - It's sorted alphabetically. Which makes sense in every context except "These words are numbers". Since I'm sure the documentation is automatically generated, it wouldn't make sense to special case the one article. –  Bobson Jun 23 at 18:35

Befunge 98, 116 105 103 bytes

&1-       v
"es ""t
 ""   "

Befunge was not made for this...


&1-           ;Grab the input number (`n`) and subtract 1 from it
&1-       v   ;Start moving downwards
          <   ;Start moving leftwards
         j    ;Jump `n - 1` characters to the left.
vvvvvvvvvj    ;Redirect each of the possible locations to jump to, sending the IP down.

        "     ;If `n` was 1, push `o, n, e` onto the stack (`o` is at the bottom)

       "      ;If `n` was 2, push `t, w, o` onto the stack


"             ;If `n` was 9, push `n, i, n, e` onto the stack

>>>>>>>>>     ;Collect all the different possible positions the IP could be in, and send it right
>>>>>>>>>4k,  ;Print the top 5 chars. If there are less than 5, the rest are null characters. This is allowed
            @ ;End of program
share|improve this answer
I mourn the poor soul that wrote the first Befunge interpreter... –  Dennis Jun 21 at 6:05
@Dennis I can't see how that could be so hard. Simply take the file, turn it into a char[][], keep an x and y location, and execute the character at that location. The hardest thing would be defining the operation for every possible character. –  Quincunx Jun 21 at 6:07
You can easily save two bytes with a &1-. –  har-wradim Jun 21 at 19:42

Javascript 73



share|improve this answer
Technically wouldn't alert('0one0two0three0four0five0six0seven0eight0nine'.split(0)[#]) be the same thing but save you 8 bytes? The user still inputs the number they want... –  eric_lagergren Jun 22 at 19:32
@eric_lagergren do you mean the user would have to change the number in the source? I don't think that would count as input. –  nderscore Jun 22 at 23:45
Oh, okay, I see what you mean. I suppose if you ran it like a command in the console it'd be part of the input as opposed to the source. –  eric_lagergren Jun 22 at 23:52

Javascript 68

Atob / btoa can be a poor's man compressing tool (but if you want to try this in console, you cannot copy from the formatted text you see at once. Go to 'edit' and copy from the source panel)

Markdown editor does not like some of the characters in this answer: some characters get lost at saving. Still, I think it's an editor problem, not mine. The lost characters are perfectly valid 8 bit unicode chars.
(Or else I'm wrong, if this issue was already debated in meta, let me know) Here is the version with offending characters escaped, each sequence \xNN should count 1


Simple Test

In firefox console:

.map(x=>x +',' btoa("×C§{Dð£Dá­ç´\x16\x8b«ÐX¯{D¢ÇD\x9e½éô\x12(!·Cb\x9dí").split(0)[x])
share|improve this answer
I tried something similar but couldn't figure out a valid base64 string starting with a number. I think you answer has been corrupted by stackexchange though. –  nderscore Jun 21 at 16:40
@nderscore, damn your'right. Amending the post, still it's valid according to me –  edc65 Jun 21 at 16:43
With the version that has the escaped characters, everything works but 3 and 8, the output Tree and EightF. –  Quincunx Jun 21 at 16:54
@Quincunx 'Tree' is me not speak english –  edc65 Jun 21 at 17:14

Perl, 55


It is run with option -p (+1 byte), e.g.:

perl -pe '$_=(nine,eight,seven,six,five,four,three,two,one)[-$_]'

Input is expected in STDIN and output is written to STDOUT.

The code just generates an array and selects the right element. Option -p takes care of reading the input line into $_ and prints the result in $_.


  • With trailing new line (+3):


    or (same byte count):



  • Using bare words instead of qw[...] (thanks Zaid).

  • Negative index saves a byte (thanks aragaer).

share|improve this answer
Save a couple of characters: $_=(one,two,three,four,five,six,seven,eight,nine)[$_-1] –  Zaid Jun 21 at 18:30
@Zaid: Thanks, it saved two bytes. (I am to used to use strict). –  Heiko Oberdiek Jun 21 at 19:10
I don't like that "-1". $_=(nine,eight,seven,six,five,four,three,two,one)[-$_] - one character shorter. –  aragaer Jun 23 at 19:26
@aragaer: Thanks, nice idea. –  Heiko Oberdiek Jun 23 at 19:39

Oracle SQL - 46

select to_char(to_date(&1,'j'),'jsp')from dual


This does include a standard loophole, I admit, but the SQL is shorter than Golfscript; I couldn't resist!

It works by (ab)using Oracle's datetime format models. TO_DATE(n, 'j') converts a number into a Julian day, the number of days since January 1, 4712 BC. TO_CHAR(<date>, 'jsp') converts this back into the integer (though as a string). The sp, is a format element suffix that spells the number. This'll actually work with quite a lot of numbers.

The &1 is a substitution variable that'll only work with clients that accept it, for instance SQL*Plus.

share|improve this answer
I have a love/hate relationship with Oracle's RDBMS but this is nice. –  rene Jun 24 at 9:07

CJam, 45 43 bytes

"^AM-^L8M-xM-^L^US^_M-^WrM-rM- 1M-s^CHM-|M-X^HE,M-qM-^EM-q4"256bKb'ef+'j/li=

The above uses ^ and M- notation, since some characters are unprintable.

At the cost of 9 more bytes, unprintable characters can be avoided:

" one two three four five six seven eight nine"S/li=

Try it online.

How it works

" Convert the string into an integer by considering it a base-256 number.                ";

"^AM-^L8M-xM-^L^US^_M-^WrM-rM- 1M-s^CHM-|M-X^HE,M-qM-^EM-q4"256b

" Convert the integer from above into an array by considering it a base-20 number.       ";


" Add the ASCII character code of “e” to all elements of that array. This casts to char. ";


" So far, we've pushed the string “jonejtwojthreejfourjfivejsixjsevenjeightjnine”.       ";

" Split the the above string where the character “j” occurs.                             ";


" Read an integer from STDIN and push the corresponding substring.                       ";



$ base64 -d > convert.cjam <<< IgGMOPiMFVMfl3LyoDHzA0j82AhFLPGF8TQiMjU2YktiJ2VmKydqL2xpPQ==
$ wc -c convert.cjam
43 convert.cjam
LANG=en_US cjam convert.cjam <<< 5
share|improve this answer
Wow, our answers are identical, even in length (I assume the user inputs a string). –  Quincunx Jun 21 at 5:06
@Quincunx: Alike minds think great! :P But reading user input will cost two bytes in CJam, so I'll have to think of something else... –  Dennis Jun 21 at 5:20
@Quincunx: It should work with GolfScript as well, although it probably won't save bytes. Base64 dump: IgGMOPiMFVMfl3LyoDHzA0j82AhFLPGF8TQiMjU2YmFzZSAyMGJhc2V7MTAxK30lIiIr –  Dennis Jun 21 at 6:53
This is what I managed to come up with; it's longer: golfscript.apphb.com/… –  Quincunx Jun 21 at 7:10
Do you know what encoding golfscript expects for non-ascii characters? It seems to not be utf-8 –  Quincunx Jun 21 at 7:26

GolfScript, 51 bytes


It's a simple lookup table. The input is evaluated (~), an array of the values is created, and the index is found.

Try it here

share|improve this answer
The user must input a string, you can't have it hard-coded. Also, your Try it here link has different code than the pasted code. –  Chipperyman Jun 21 at 5:12
@Chipperyman The user does input a string in this program. The Try it here link's difference in code is because the webpage does not support user input. Change the string after the ;, this is identical to user input. –  Quincunx Jun 21 at 5:15
Ah, I see. I don't know golfscript very well, thanks for letting me know. –  Chipperyman Jun 21 at 5:15
@Chipperyman: GolfScript places the contents of STDIN on the stack before executing the script itself. –  Dennis Jun 21 at 5:18
Hah! I can beat you by one byte! ;-) –  Ilmari Karonen Jun 25 at 10:09

Bash + Linux 46

Edit 2: Dropped #!/bin/sh for 10 more bytes.

Edit: Thanks to DigitalTrauma and nyuszika7h, this script was shortened significantly. It also fixes the issue I was having with the number "three."

strings /b*/du*|grep dig|cut -b16-|sed -n $1p

Save in a script and pass in a number as a command line argument. If necessary, invoke with sh or bash.


$ ./ott.sh 1

Original: 175

Not going to win, but slightly different approach. And some odd requirements.

Thought I'd see if I could find the text "one two three..." on disk somewhere:

$ egrep -R "seven" /bin
Binary file /bin/rbash matches
Binary file /bin/bash matches
Binary file /bin/dumpkeys matches
Binary file /bin/loadkeys matches

bash turned out to not have every number one-nine but dumpkeys does. I'm not sure what provides this binary file, so if you want to follow along, for my version:

$ md5sum /bin/dumpkeys
edfb87daafe3c7b5680e43460fb03acd  /bin/dumpkeys

Opening up the file in bless shows the following text at offset 0x766c: ethiopic_digit_one\0ethiopic_digit_two\0ethiopic_digit_three\0ethiopic_digit_four\0ethiopic_digit_five\0ethiopic_digit_six\0ethiopic_digit_seven\0ethiopic_digit_eight\0ethiopic_digit_nine

The "one" shows up at 30331; add 19 to get to "two"; add 19 to get to "three"; etc. The distance to the next word is 19 for three letter numbers, 20 for four letter numbers, etc. So starting with base address 30331 it's simple to put together an array of offsets: 0 0 2 1 1 0 2 2 1. Add 19 to get word offset; add 3 to get length of number as a word.

This is all put to use in this bash script:

read n
p=(0 0 2 1 1 0 2 2 1)
for ((i=1;i<$n;i++))
printf "%s\n" `hexdump -s $c -n $((${p[$n-1]}+3)) /bin/dumpkeys -e '"%c"'`

Read user input (no prompt), and then calculate the offset to the word in the binary file, starting at address 30331. Conveniently enough the offsets also describe the length of the word to be extracted from the binary file. The contents are then extracted using hexdump and nicely printed onto its own line.

Demo (not sure what's going on with 3):

save to ott.sh

$ chmod +x ott.sh
codegolf/onetwothree$ ./ott.sh 
codegolf/onetwothree$ ./ott.sh 
codegolf/onetwothree$ ./ott.sh 
codegolf/onetwothree$ ./ott.sh 
codegolf/onetwothree$ ./ott.sh 
codegolf/onetwothree$ ./ott.sh 
codegolf/onetwothree$ ./ott.sh 
codegolf/onetwothree$ ./ott.sh 
codegolf/onetwothree$ ./ott.sh 
share|improve this answer
You can save 18 characters by using echo `hexdump -s$x -n$((${p[$n-1]}+3)) /b*/du* -e'"%c"'` instead of the last line. –  nyuszika7h Jun 22 at 22:03
Great idea! You can golf this quite dramatically using the strings utility as follows: strings /bin/dumpkeys|grep dig|cut -b16-|sed -n $1p 51 bytes by my count –  DigitalTrauma Jun 24 at 15:22
Wow thanks. Updated my post. –  tolos Jun 24 at 15:54

Perl, 60 bytes


Requires the -p switch (two bytes).


$ perl -p convert.pl <<< 5

How it works

  • -p reads from STDIN and saves the result in $_.

  • =~/.[a-z]*/g splits the preceding bareword into substrings of one (uppercase) letter followed by any number of lowercase letters.

  • (…) collects the substrings into an array.

  • [$_] retrieves the substring corresponding to the user input.

  • $_=… saves the result in $_.

  • -p prints the value of $_.

share|improve this answer
I like the regex trick. +1 –  Sieg Jun 21 at 15:56

(pure) Bash, 64

Takes input as its first argument, assuming valid input.

v=(o one two three four five six seven eight nine)
echo ${v[$1]}

Creates an array v, then accesses the element specified on the input. Since arrays are zero-indexed, I had to add a 0th element as a placeholder. Alternatively (thnx @DennisWilliamson for pointing this out):

v=(one two three four five six seven eight nine)
echo ${v[$1-1]}
share|improve this answer
Same character count: v=(one two three four five six seven eight nine) and echo ${v[$1-1]} –  Dennis Williamson Jun 22 at 4:52

Bash + coreutils, 64

Non-competitive compression concept

xxd -p<<<TàPnàõ:àsÀ~®@ãCN|tr 0-9a-d \\ng-inor-x|sed -n $1p

Some of the exotic characters here may not render well, so this script may be reconstructed from its base64 representation:

base64 -d <<< eHhkIC1wPDw8VOCLUIJu4PWWDzrgc8B+rkDjEoBDTnx0ciAwLTlhLWQgXFxuZy1pbm9yLXh8c2VkIC1uICQxcA==

Example output

$ ./n.sh 1
$ ./n.sh 9


It occurred to me that the string one two three four five six seven eight nine contains only the letters efghinorstuvwx and a space separator - 15 character values in total. Thus each character can potentially be represented in 4 bits, or 2 characters per 1 byte. We can use the hex representation of a byte as an easy way to split each byte into two hex digits. We can then transform the hex digits back to the letters we require using tr or similar. As luck would have it, rstuvwx are consecutive, so may be expressed as r-x to tr. The encoding is arranged such that e and f are left as-is, and that the words are line-break separated, so we can use sed to ouptut just the line we need.

This decoding process ends up using a fair amount of extra space, so makes this answer non-competitive as a shell-script-style answer, but may be a useful concept in other languages.

share|improve this answer

Python 2.x - 65 64

Not as good as @grc 's answer, but certainly more legible :-)

'one two three four five six seven eight nine'.split()[input()-1]

One less char, thanks to @flornquake

'nine eight seven six five four three two one'.split()[-input()]
share|improve this answer
This one is nice too. :-) It works. –  Nicolas Barbulesco Jun 22 at 9:55
You can save one character like this: 'nine eight seven six five four three two one'.split()[-input()] –  flornquake Jun 22 at 23:01
Thats a Nice one ! –  willem Jun 23 at 17:18

Ruby 64

p %w?one two three four five six seven eight nine?[$*[0].to_i-1]
share|improve this answer
You can chop few more bytes by substituting 9 directly at the place of x –  Mr. Alien Jun 21 at 9:38
I don't see where this code takes in input. And why write 9-1 when you can just say 8? Of course both 9-1 and 8 are wrong; this script outputs "nine" all the time and ignores input. –  Ray Toal Jun 21 at 22:27

bash say (OS X): 3 8

"Your goal is to convert a whole number between 1-9 into the word it represents"

Last time I checked, spoken words are words as well. Previous attempt (accepts no input)

say 4

Edit, must be able to read input:


Type any number and the word comes out. I know the end date is due, but in my opinion I should have won the contest.

Example audio file: four.aiff

share|improve this answer
shouldn't be 5? –  rpax Jun 23 at 14:13
@rpax I don't believe the input is counted as a character, is it? –  CousinCocaine Jun 24 at 12:58
This is clever. But this misses the input. –  Nicolas Barbulesco Jun 26 at 17:45
Unfortunately this is not a valid answer because: It never accepts input from the user AND it only works if the number is 4. –  Chipperyman Jun 27 at 7:10
The comment by Chipperyman on this answer by CousinCocaine is true. But it is true for the answer by @RegisteredUser too. However, Chipperyman has rejected this answer by CousinCocaine, and has declared the answer by Registered User winner ex æquo. In addition, the answer by Registered User is a replica of this answer by CousinCocaine. This is more than unfair. –  Nicolas Barbulesco Jun 28 at 16:42

J - 68 or 60 57 or 53 bytes

Interactive version (stdin):


Function version:



                                                   <: Decrease by one
                                                 {~   Get the correct string
                                               >@     Unbox

".(1!:1)1 reads a string and converts it to integer

share|improve this answer
You can save one char by writing it as a train ((;:'one two blah')>@{~<:) and another six by using the gerund one`two`blah instead of ;:. –  algorithmshark Jun 21 at 16:57
@algorithmshark Thanks! I'm still learning J. Although, wouldn't the train version require the text to be infinite rank (edit: apparently not... why not?) and the gerund version extra quotes (edit: oh, it creates a list of boxes)? –  Sieg Jun 21 at 17:07
A fork can have a noun in the left argument, which is shorthand for a constant verb producing that noun with infinite rank (q.v. the Dictionary). And no, no extra quotes on the gerund: undefined names are treated as references to verbs, and the gerund for that is just a boxed string containing the name. –  algorithmshark Jun 21 at 17:22
Also, you don't have to write the STDIN version as a verb expression: >one`two`three`four`five`six`seven`eight`nine{~<:".1!:1]1 is 3 chars shorter. –  algorithmshark Jun 21 at 17:35
@algorithmshark Haha, why didn't I do it that way? –  Sieg Jun 21 at 18:02

DOS Batch - 162 Chars (incl' line breaks)

This answer was inspired by @grc's Python answer, although I did have something similar in mind.

@setlocal enabledelayedexpansion
@set s="ottffssennwhoiieiieoruvxvgn  ere ehe  e   nt
@set /a c=%1
@set z=!s:~%c%,1!
@if _%z%==_ exit /b
@echo %z%
@%0 %c%+9


[Filename] [number]

For example, if the code is in a file called speak.bat, and you want to see the number "five", you would run it as:

speak 5

Also, the output is top-to-bottom, not left-to-right! So instead of


you will see


share|improve this answer

Perl 36 (58 standalone)

use Number::Spell;say spell_number<>

Or, without additional modules:

say qw(one two three four five six seven eight nine)[<>-1]
share|improve this answer
Your first script does not work, on my Mac. Can't locate Number/Spell.pm in @INC (@INC contains: /Library/Perl/5.16/darwin-thread-multi-2level /Library/Perl/5.16 /Network/Library/Perl/5.16/darwin-thread-multi-2level /Network/Library/Perl/5.16 /Library/Perl/Updates/5.16.2 /System/Library/Perl/5.16/darwin-thread-multi-2level /System/Library/Perl/5.16 /System/Library/Perl/Extras/5.16/darwin-thread-multi-2level /System/Library/Perl/Extras/5.16 .) at toto.pl line 1. BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at toto.pl line 1. –  Nicolas Barbulesco Jun 26 at 17:59
Your second script does not work, on my Mac. syntax error at titi.pl line 1, near "say qw(one two three four five six seven eight nine)" Execution of titi.pl aborted due to compilation errors. –  Nicolas Barbulesco Jun 26 at 18:01

In AppleScript ; 123 chars.

{"one","two","three","four","five","six","seven","eight","nine"}'s item((display dialog""default answer"")'s text returned)

This script takes the input in a dialog. Then it gives the output in AppleScript’s result.

Example :

  • Input : 6
  • Output : "six"

Here is a nicer version :

set l to {"one","two","three","four","five","six","seven","eight","nine"}
set n to text returned of (display dialog "?" default answer "")
display dialog (l's item n) buttons ("OK") default button 1

This version displays the output in a nice dialog.

Example :

  • Input : 9
  • Output : nine

[ Answer edited ; slightly improved the dialog for the input ; still 124 chars. Answer edited again ; now 1 char less ! ]

share|improve this answer
set n to text returned of ... Wow. –  Sieg Jun 22 at 17:27

CJam - 50

This is a plain ASCII solution that uses HTTP requests (this is allowed in the question):


On the server there are 9 plain-text files named 1, 2, ..., 9, each containing the corresponding word.

Total size: 14 + 3 ("one") + 3 ("two") + 5 + 4 + 4 + 3 + 5 + 5 + 4 = 50.
It can be golfed more by using a shorter domain.

The online interpreter doesn't support HTTP requests, so the program needs to be run using the java interpreter.

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Please add a comment if downvoting. –  aditsu Jun 22 at 12:45
-1, this is a standard loophole. –  nyuszika7h Jun 22 at 21:58
@nyuszika7h it's specifically allowed in this question –  aditsu Jun 23 at 2:46
Sorry, I missed that. I can't undo my downvote now until the answer is edited. –  nyuszika7h Jun 23 at 9:34
@nyuszika7h edited –  aditsu Jun 23 at 10:26

Java 7 - 185

class Num{
public static void main(String[] args) {
    System.out.print("ONE,TWO,THREE,FOUR,FIVE,SIX,SEVEN,EIGHT,NINE".split(",")[(new java.util.Scanner(System.in)).nextInt()-1]);
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C 111

#include <stdio.h>
int main(){printf("%.5s","one  two  threefour five six  seveneightnine"+5*(getchar()-'1'));}

The length here is carefully engineered so I can interpret it as binary and convert that to decimal. At only 7 characters, I'm confident I have a winner!

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+1 Code-golfers generally don't mind if your c code compiles with warnings, as long as it meets the specs. So you can omit the #include and main()'s return type. Also a bit of refactoring of your expression: main(){printf("%.5s","one two threefour five six seveneightnine"+5*getchar()-245);}. 86 chars by my count. –  DigitalTrauma Jun 24 at 15:51
I don't get the length stuff, and I don't see where there would be 7 chars. –  Nicolas Barbulesco Jun 26 at 18:06
@NicolasBarbulesco: It's 111 characters--but if we treat the 111 as binary, that would convert to 7 in decimal. –  Jerry Coffin Jun 26 at 18:13
Jerry, there is code golf running in your head ! –  Nicolas Barbulesco Jul 8 at 10:29


shameless Linux-replica of cousincoicane's answer

spd-say 1

speaks out one

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Wouldn't this only work if the input was 1? –  Chipperyman Jun 25 at 4:38
@Chipperyman it works for any number –  Registered User Jun 25 at 4:38
Limit, but clever ! –  Nicolas Barbulesco Jun 26 at 17:27
This misses the input. –  Nicolas Barbulesco Jun 26 at 17:32
@nicolasbarbulesco yes. but there were many other answers that miss input, so I went ahead with this. –  Registered User Jun 27 at 2:39

PHP, 93 73 68 bytes

<?=explode(' ','one two three four five six seven eight nine')[1-1];

Try it out

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This is short-circuiting the input method. The other solutions — including mine, to come — would be shorter too if they placed the “input” directly at the target spot. –  Nicolas Barbulesco Jun 22 at 11:03

VBScript 98 80 75

msgbox split(" one two three four five six seven eight nine")(inputbox(""))
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Tcl, 61

Number entered as command line argument

lindex {- one two three four five six seven eight nine} $argv
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protected by Doorknob Jun 23 at 19:41

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