It’s time to dust off that old Scrabble board because hundreds of words have been added to the game’s official dictionary — and they are a game-changer (pun intended).
Scrabble aficionados are rejoicing with the news that words such as OK, macaron, and emoji are now valid thanks to the latest update.
It’s been four years since Merriam-Webster updated “The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary,” releasing the sixth edition of the Scrabble Bible on Monday.
Another major win for Scrabble players is the long-awaited inclusion of the word OK. “OK is something Scrabble players have been waiting for, for a long time,” lexicographer and editor at large at Merriam-Webster Peter Sokolowski told the AP. “Basically two- and three-letter words are the lifeblood of the game.”
And as expected, fans of the word game are freaking TF out. “OK! @MerriamWebster. Thank you for doing the right thing for the people, OK,” one Scrabble player tweeted before another brilliantly added, “#OK … you hear #macaron and you might think #ew and normally I don’t give a #qapik about new #scrabble words, but you can go fly a #bizjet if you don’t think these are worth their weight in #arancini.”
So, what other new words were added to Scrabble?
Peter Sokolowski explained how the dictionary sought advice from the North American Scrabble Players Association for the latest updates — and shared some of his favorite new additions.
“I think ew is interesting because it expresses something new about what we’re seeing in language, which is to say that we are now incorporating more of what you might call transcribed speech. Sounds like ew or mm-hmm, or other things like coulda or kinda,” he explained. “Traditionally, they were not in the dictionary but because so much of our communication is texting and social media that is written language, we are finding more transcribed speech and getting a new group of spellings for the dictionary.”
New words also included not-so-common vocabulary terms such as aquafaba, beatdown, zomboid, twerk, sheeple, wayback, bokeh, botnet, emoji, facepalm, frowny, hivemind, puggle, and nubber.
The addition of “qapik” is also noteworthy, as there are only 20 playable words starting with q that don’t include a u. “Every time there’s a word with q and no u, it’s a big deal,” Peter added. “Most of these are obscure.”
Pro tip: next time you play Scrabble, keep the new word “bizjet” in mind. The word can earn you 120 points on opening play if you add a “s” to the end, thanks in part to the 50-point bonus for using all your tiles and the double-word space played at the start.
And while many are loving the new words — especially OK — many avid Scrabble players are making it clear they have been playing by their own rules for years.
“Anyone else been using the word OK in Scrabble since they were a child?” one asked. Another explained further, “If you don’t in part decide which words it’s OK to play in Scrabble by negotiating with the other players (especially if you play regularly with the same people), you’re a nerd, end of.”
They continued, “It was always OK to play ‘OK’ in Scrabble because OK is a word in the English language. What, is the dictionary your boss or something?”
That dictionary now has more than 100,000 words — and is updated every four to eight years. The first official Scrabble dictionary was released in 1976, nearly 30 years after the game was trademarked.
One word that didn’t make the cut was the sports term RBI — as players thought it would be too contentious. However, it is still under consideration and Scrabble players may see it approved in the next update.
So, what are you waiting for? Start a Scrabble tournament ASAP!