You could say the Scrabble dictionary was a little behind the times. The rulebook’s last refresh was almost 10 years ago, just as social media was becoming a Thing That People Do, so the competitive game was missing a few key words.
Selfie, bromance, and texter are part of the 5,000-word update that’ll be released later this week by Merriam-Webster. Selfie is clearly still having a moment—the word was also named Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year for 2013. It’s unclear of Oxford’s other shortlisted words, like bitcoin and twerk, were part of Merriam-Webster’s Scrabble update. The latter dictionary only released a sampling of the 5,000 words that Scrabble players will be able to play.
Selfie was an obvious addition, but other choices lead us to believe that the Scrabble committee is hopelessly behind modern American lexicon. For instance, chillax, frenemy, joypad, mixtape, vlog, vodcast, and webzine made the cut. If you’re scratching your head over a couple of those selections (vodcast?!), you’re not alone.
But hardcore Scrabble players are focused on the scoring potential of additions like te, qajaq, and quinzhee, which The Guardian noted could potentially rack up 401 points depending on where on the board the word is played.
The Scrabble dictionary includes more than 100,000 words, and there are some pretty rigid guidelines for which words can be played. Some words are out because there are no hyphen or apostrophe tiles. Others exceed the eight-letter maximum.
My favorite new addition: Schmutz, as I refer to the dirt and grime that inevitably winds up on my clothes after a day in Manhattan.
This story, "Scrabble gets with the times and adds ‘selfie’ to your arsenal" was originally published by TechHive.