Scrabble Adds a Selfie

Posted by on Aug 6, 2014 in vocabulary, word study | 0 comments

“[Calvin and Hobbes are playing Scrabble.]
Calvin: Ha! I’ve got a great word and it’s on a “Double word score” box!
Hobbes: “ZQFMGB” isn’t a word! It doesn’t even have a vowel!
Calvin: It is so a word! It’s a worm found in New Guinea! Everyone knows that!
Hobbes: I’m looking it up.
Calvin: You do, and I’ll look up that 12-letter word you played with all the Xs and Js!
Hobbes: What’s your score for ZQFMGB?
Calvin: 957.”
― Bill Watterson, Scientific Progress Goes Boink

Scrabble added 5,000 new words to its official dictionary. My mom and two of my sisters are big Scrabble freaks, well, especially the sisters. They play online. They talk words and scores. They have all of the two letter words memorized. I do not play Scrabble to their level. I was surprised to learn that “za” is a word. It is just a shortened form of pizza. They use “xi” and “qat”. I need to know what my words mean. Also given the large hours they practice between our opportunities to play together, I am usually at a disadvantage. However, a win is really sweet!

The new words showcase how languages are living and growing entities. Words go out of usage (but I’m sure they stay in the Scrabble dictionary), new words come in. The word “selfie” is a great example. Although it is a very young words it is already being used by people of all ages. My 90 year old mother spoke of not taking a selfie after falling on her face a couple of weeks ago. My 8 month old great-nephew recognizes the word “selfie” and gets ready to pose. Some other new words include

BEATBOX, BROMANCE, CHILLAX, DA, FRENEMY, GI, HASHTAG, JOYPAD, MIXTAPE, MOJITO, PO, SUDOKU, TE,  TEXTER, VODCAST, and VLOG. I was clueless about the word “joypad”. I looked it up and was glad to have my inferences validated!

I think Scrabble can be a great game for both spelling and vocabulary practice. Third grade is a good age to get started, but children need to have guidance and support in the beginning. It needs to be a positive experience when they start playing. Of course, everyone can’t win, but everyone can find words.

Spelling Worksheet Scrabble


This spelling practice worksheet has a Scrabble-like activity, that can be kind of fun! You can find it here.

It’ll be interesting to hear what my sisters think of the new words. I know they will be excited to have more 2 letter words. I wonder how many of us are planning to buy my mom a new Scrabble Dictionary for Christmas!


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