Here’s the sitch, Scrabble die. Your convos across the board are about to get more interesting with around 500 new words and variations added to the game’s official dictionary: stan, sitch, convo, zedonk, dox, and fauxhawk.
This month, the add-ons in the seventh edition of “The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary” come together with more than 100,000 two- to eight-letter words. The book was last updated in 2018 thanks to a long-standing collaboration between Hasbro and Merriam-Webster.
The new words include some trademarks that have become generic – dumpster, for example – some shorthand joys like guac, and a delightful display of more verb variations: torrented, torrenting, adulted, adulting, atted, atting (as in don’t at me, bro ).
“We’ve also turned a verb into a verb so you can play verb and verb,” Merriam-Webster editor-in-chief Peter Sokolowski said with a smile on his face and a glint of word geek in his eye during an exclusive interview with The UK Time News .
Fauxhawk, a hairstyle similar to a Mohawk, may be the top-grossing newbie, he said. Embiggen, a verb that increases, is one of the unexpected. (Sample sentence: “I really need to expand that Scrabble dictionary.”)
Compound words are on the rise in the book with deadname, pageview, fintech, allyship, babymoon and subtweet. So are the “uns,” such as unfollow, unsubscribe, and unmute. They may sound familiar, but they were never official Scrabble, at least when it comes to the holy game’s branded dictionary.
Tournament play is an entirely different matter, with a wider range of words agreed upon.
Sokolowski and a team of editors at Merriam-Webster mined the oft-refreshed online database at Merriam-Webster.com to expand the Scrabble book. While the official rules of the game have always allowed the use of any dictionary that players approve, many look to the official version when they sit down for a spot of Scrabble. Some deluxe Scrabble sets include one of the books.
In the past two years, the Scrabble lexicon has been purged of more than 200 racial, ethnic, and otherwise offensive words, despite their presence in some dictionaries. That has led to angry discussions among tournament players. Proponents of the cleanup called it a long time ago. Others argued that as gruesome as they are defined, the words should remain playable as long as there are points to be earned.
Despite home game rules never specifically banning offensive words, you won’t find the infamous 200 in the Scrabble dictionary, with rare exceptions for words with a different meaning.
In any case, the new Scrabble book features one old-fashioned word that has simply remained under the radar for years: yeehaw.
“Yeehaw is like so many of the older colloquial terms. They were spoken more than written, and the gold standard for dictionary editing was always written evidence. So a term like yeehaw, which we all know from childhood and in movies and TV, was something you heard. You haven’t read it that much,’ Sokolowski said.
Yeehaw, meet bae, inspo, vibed and vibing, all new additions to the Scrabble dictionary. Ixnay, which was already in the book, has been promoted to a verb, so ixnayed, ixnaying and ixnays are now allowed.
Welp, thingie, roid, skeezy, slushee, and hygge (the Danish obsession with coziness) also made the cut. So was kharif, the autumn harvest of the Indian subcontinent.
The Merriam-Webster wordsmiths added a slew of food-related words: iftar, horchata, kabocha, mofongo, zuke, zoodle, wagyu, queso, and marg, for margarita, among them. Many Scrabble players don’t care about definitions – just points – but informative:
Iftar is a meal that Muslims eat at sunset to break the daily fast during Ramadan. Mofongo is a traditional Puerto Rican dish made from fried or boiled plantains. Horchata is a sweet drink and kabocha is a winter squash.
Zonkey joins zedonk under new words using a Z, one of the highest scorers in Scrabble along with Q (each has a face value of 10 points). The difference between those two crazy sounding animals, you ask? A zonkey is conceived from a male zebra and a female donkey. The pedigree of a zedonk is the other way around. Zedonk even has a playable variant: Zeedonk.
Zoomer, for a member of GenZ, is also new. Familiar with the Middle Eastern spice mix za’atar? A less common variant, zaatar, is now in the Scrabble dictionary. Words with apostrophes are not allowed.
And there’s more where that all came from:
Oppo, jedi, adorbs, dox variant doxxed, eggcorn (a misheard slip of the ear), fintech, folx (including human alternative), grrawlix, hangry, matcha, onesie, spork, swole, unmalted, vaquita, vax, and vaxxed were added.
Yes, jedi does not need to be capitalized. Are you wondering what grauwlix means? It’s this: $%!(asterisk)#, a set of typographic symbols used to replace words people don’t want to write, usually the ones that got you in trouble as a kid.
These include new eight-letter words, the kind that help players clear their seven-tile racks for an extra 50 points: hogsbane, better known as giant hogweed. Another one: pranayam, a breathing technique in yoga.
Sokolowski would not reveal all 500 new words, challenging players to track them down on their own. Are your Scrabble senses jumbled, so to speak?
“These are all words that have already been vetted and defined and added to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, and now we’ve determined they’re playable in Scrabble,” Sokolowski said. “You have some nice new words.”
So which new item is the favorite of the word master? It’s the one that sounds like the way jerk is pronounced.
“I like egg corn,” Sokolowski said, “because it’s a word about words.”