Scrabble Updates Its Dictionary for the First Time in a Decade, Adding 5,000 Words
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Scrabble's dictionary just got a dose of 21st century vocabulary.
For the first time in nearly a decade, the game's official dictionary has been updated. The fifth edition – which goes on sale tomorrow – contains 5,000 new words.
Admissions include terms, such as "selfie," "hashtag," "vlog," "webzine," that have penetrated not just teenage vernacular, but daily conversation and main-stream news coverage over the last decade, an eventful 10 years that saw the rise and then total domination of social-media (remember, the last time the Scrabble dictionary was updated, Facebook was in its infancy and Twitter was but a distant dream). This 10-year window also explains why some of the freshly included words already feel dated (does anyone say "chillax" anymore?)
While it's cool that you'll soon be able to play the word "selfie" against your grandma with the full power of the Scrabble bible on your side, Scrabble enthusiasts are more excited about the inclusion of four two-letter words: "te," "da," "gi" and "po." As any decent Scrabble player will tell you, two-letter words are an integral part of the game; they open up the board, they get rid of unwanted letters and they allow you to place tiles in parallel to other words and reel in significant additional points. Because the letters are so common, the inclusion of "te" (the seventh tone on a musical scale) has Scrabble strategists particularly worked up.
"Being able to hook an 'e' underneath 't' means that I can play far more words," Robin Pollock Daniel, a champion of the North American Scrabble Players Association, told the Associated Press . "Sometimes you play parallel to a word and you're making two-letter words along the way. I call those the amino acids of Scrabble. The more two-letter words we have, the more possibilities a word will fit."
While the updated dictionary goes on sale tomorrow, new words won't be allowed in official club and tournament play until December 1st (sorry, Daniel).
Courtesy of Time, here's a sample of the new words that will appear in the Fifth Edition of The Official SCRABBLE Player’s Dictionary.
BEATBOX (v. -ED, -ING, -ES) to sing to the rhythm of rap music
BROMANCE (n. pl. -S) a close nonsexual relationship between men
BUZZKILL (n. pl. -S) one that has a depressing or negative effect
CHILLAX (v. -ED, -ING) -ES to calm down
COQUI (n. pl. -S) a small arboreal frog
DA (n. pl. -S) dad
DUBSTEP (n. pl. -S) a type of electronic dance music
FRENEMY (n. pl. -MIES) one who pretends to be a friend but is actually an enemy
FUNPLEX (n. pl. -ES) a building with facilities for sports and games
GEOCACHE (n. pl. –CACHED, -CACHING, -CACHES) to search for hidden items by using a Global Positioning System device as part of a game
GI (n. pl. -S) a white garment worn in martial arts
HASHTAG (n. pl. -S) a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that categorizes the accompanying text
JOCKDOM (n. pl. -S) the world of athletes
JOYPAD (n. pl. -S) a device with buttons to control computer images
MIXTAPE (n. pl. -S) a compilation of songs recorded from various sources
MOJITO (n. pl. -TOS) a cocktail made of rum, sugar, mint, and lime juice
PO (n. pl. POS) a chamber pot
PONZU (n. pl. -S) a tangy sauce used chiefly on seafood
QAJAQ (n. pl. -S) kayak
QIGONG (n. pl. -S) a Chinese system of physical exercises
SCHMUTZ (n. pl. -ES) dirt, grime
SELFIE (n. pl. -S) an image of oneself taken by oneself using a phone camera
SOJU (n. pl. -S) Korean vodka distilled from rice or sweet potato
SUDOKU (n. pl. -S) a puzzle involving the numbers 1 through 9
TE (n. pl. -S) ti
TEXTER (n. pl. -S) one that texts
VLOG (v. VLOGGED, VLOGGING, VLOGS) to blog video material
VODCAST (v. -CAST or -CASTED, -CASTING, -CASTS) to make video files available for download over the Internet
WEBZINE (n. pl. -S) a magazine published on the Internet
YUZU (n. pl. -S) a sour Japanese citrus fruit