Given two lists of characters, output their Cartesian product, i.e. the list of pairings of each letter from the first list with each letter from the second list.


"123456" and "abcd" give:



Two lists of characters or strings. The characters used will be alphanumeric a-z, A-Z, 0-9 and a character can occur both multiple times and in both inputs at the same time.


The Cartesian product of the input lists. That is, a list of each possible ordered pair of a character from the first list and a character from the second list. Each pair is a list or string or similar of two characters, or of two length-one strings. The output's length will be equal to the product of the lengths of the inputs.

The pairs must be listed in order; first listing the first character of the first list with the first of the second list, followed by all the pairings of the first character of the first list. The last pair consists of the last character of the first list together with the last character of the second list.

The output must be a flat list of pairs; not a 2D matrix where pairs are grouped by their first or second element.

Test cases

inputs               output

"123456", "abcd"     [["1","a"],["1","b"],["1","c"],["1","d"],["2","a"],["2","b"],["2","c"],["2","d"],["3","a"],["3","b"],["3","c"],["3","d"],["4","a"],["4","b"],["4","c"],["4","d"],["5","a"],["5","b"],["5","c"],["5","d"],["6","a"],["6","b"],["6","c"],["6","d"]]
"abc", "123"         [["a","1"],["a","2"],["a","3"],["b","1"],["b","2"],["b","3"],["c","1"],["c","2"],["c","3"]]
"aa", "aba"          [["a","a"],["a","b"],["a","a"],["a","a"],["a","b"],["a","a"]]
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Adám Changed. I'm having trouble though wording that repeated characters in an input string can and should cause repeated pairs in the output (assuming that's how interpret it). \$\endgroup\$ – xnor Jun 8 '17 at 0:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @xnor maybe easier if the order of pairs is fixed? \$\endgroup\$ – Adám Jun 8 '17 at 0:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why does the title say "list" yet the body say "list of characters"? \$\endgroup\$ – Leaky Nun Jun 8 '17 at 7:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just to be sure: is ["1a", "1b", "1c", "2a", "2b", "2c", "3a", "3b", "3c"] a valid output format? \$\endgroup\$ – Shaggy Jun 8 '17 at 16:22
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You tagged this as code-golf therefore shortest answer wins. In the event of a tie, the first answer to reach that score is usually the winner (currently this one). Give it another few days, at least, before accepting an answer, though, if at all. And see here for guidelines on answering your own question. \$\endgroup\$ – Shaggy Jun 9 '17 at 10:52

34 Answers 34


Jq 1.5, 29 bytes


Uses combinations builtin.

Sample Run

$ jq -Mc  'map(split(""))|[combinations]' <<< '["123456","abcd"]'

$ echo -n 'map(split(""))|[combinations]' | wc -c

Axiom, 55 bytes

f(a,b)==concat[[[a.x,b.y]for y in 1..#b]for x in 1..#a]

some results

(15) -> f("123456","abcd")
   [[1,a], [1,b], [1,c], [1,d], [2,a], [2,b], [2,c], [2,d], [3,a], [3,b],
    [3,c], [3,d], [4,a], [4,b], [4,c], [4,d], [5,a], [5,b], [5,c], [5,d],
    [6,a], [6,b], [6,c], [6,d]]
                                                Type: List List Character
(16) -> f("abc","123")
   (16)  [[a,1],[a,2],[a,3],[b,1],[b,2],[b,3],[c,1],[c,2],[c,3]]
                                                Type: List List Character
(17) -> f("aa","aba")
   (17)  [[a,a],[a,b],[a,a],[a,a],[a,b],[a,a]]
                                                Type: List List Character

APL NARS 8 chars


Copy from https://codegolf.stackexchange.com/a/125115/58988 test

'123456' f 'abcd'
 1a 1b 1c 1d 2a 2b 2c 2d 3a 3b 3c 3d 4a 4b 4c 4d 5a 5b 5c 5d 6a 6b 6c 6d 

Prolog (SWI), 48 bytes


Try it online!


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