Game on! New words added to the Scrabble dictionary!


SCRABBLE – a word defined as ‘to grasp, collect, or hold on to something’

This was introduced and trademrked in 1948, and remains one of the most popular board games in the world. It can also be played online.

How did it come about? After the Great Depression of 1933, in America, where a lot of people lost their jobs, Alfred Mosher Butts lost his job as an architect. He loved to analyze games and hypothesised that word games were not necessarily as popular as those involving dice for example, as there was no way to score the word games. He came up with what he first called ‘Lexico’, then ‘Criss Cross Words’. This is what we call Scrabble today.

Nothing comes easy! Mr. Butts was not able to find game publishers who liked his game, but found a willing business partner in entrepreneur Jame Brunot, and the two of them persevered, trademarked the game, and worked through 4 long years of rejections.

What changed to make it so wildly popular? according to the Scrabble History page, the President of the department store Macy’s came across it while on vacation, liked it, and ordered some to be sold in his stores. The rest, as they say, is history!

Cool! So why are we talking about Scrabble today? It is still very popular, and there are various offshoots of this game that are also really fun to play. I can think of Upwords, Bananagrams, Words with friends, and Word Chums just off the top of my head!

But that’s not why we are talking about Scrabble today!

Here it is: Merriam-Webster has added 300 words to its official Scrabble dictionary. Last week it would have been against the rules for Scrabble players to use words like:  ‘ew’ or ‘ok’. But not anymore! Merriam-Webster announced on Monday that it has added more than 300 words to its official scrabble dictionary.

Some of the has long awaited words are emoji, ew, twerk, bestie, zombie and ok. Also…. wait for it…. ‘hangry’! This is used to denote a mix of the extreme feelings ‘hungry’ and ‘angry’!

Here’s another with a ‘q’ for which you do not need a ‘u’: ‘qapik’, which is a unit of currency in Azerbaijan.

Happy Scrabbling!

This article was inspired by an article on

Click on these links where you can buy a game if you don’t have one.

Written by: Sunaina Murthy. Sunaina is a biotechnologist, writer, greedy reader, and amateur photographer.
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