Obscure Scrabble Words

alex atkins bookshelf wordsVeteran players of Scrabble or its addictive digital cousin, Words with Friends, are familiar with a unique lexicon known as Scrabblish. In short, Scrabblish consists of words that are legal (“playable”) in Scrabble. The words, drawn from a wide range of authorized English dictionaries, are published in a small paperback entitled Official Scrabble Players Dictionary. Despite the dictionary’s small size, it is incredibly comprehensive featuring thousands of short (as in 2-letter and 3-letter words) and long words that can help players successfully compete and earn higher scores. Many of these words, however, are quite obscure, falling outside the vocabularies of most English speakers, as the following list will attest:

avo: a monetary unit of Macao

cwm: a half-open head of a valley or mountainside with steep sides (typically created by glaciers)

faqir: a Muslim or Hindu holy man

gnar: to snarl

gynaecia: the aggregate of pistils or carpels of a flower

muzjiks: Russian peasants

quixotry: a visionary or romantic idea or action (derived from Cervantes’ Don Quixote)

syzygy: an alignment of three celestial bodies

yex: an old English word for sobbing

zax: a tool for cutting and punching holes in roofing slates

zyzzyva: a tropical American weevil

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Words Oddities: Fun with Vowels
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For further reading: The Official Scrabble Dictionary (5th Edition)
Is That a Word?
by David Bukszpan

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