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Scrabble is expanding the list of playable words. In the brand-new edition of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, over 500 new words were added—including yeehaw, bae, inspo, vax, vibed, skeezy, convo, slushee, and hygge. The book was last updated in 2018, as part of Hasbro and Merriam-Webster's longstanding partnership, when 300 words were added.
The additions reflect the changing ways in which words are included in the dictionary. "Yeehaw is like so many of the older, informal terms. They were more spoken than written, and the gold standard for dictionary editing was always written evidence. So a term like yeehaw, which we all know from our childhood and in movies and TV, was something you heard. You didn’t read it that often," Merriam-Webster’s editor at large, Peter Sokolowski, told the Associated Press.
Other new words are food-related, like iftar, horchata, zoodle, wagyu, queso, and marg. "All of these are words that have already been vetted and defined and added to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, and now we’ve determined they’re playable in Scrabble," Sokolowski shared. "You’ve got some fun new words."
Over the years, words have also been removed from the dictionary, including slurs. The third edition of the dictionary removed 167 playable words.
"We looked at some of the social unrest that’s going on globally. I’ve heard the argument that these are just words, but we believe they have meaning. Can you imagine any other game where you can score points and win by using a racial epithet? It’s long overdue," a Mattel spokesperson said following the removal of words like the n word, "Paki," and "Shiksa."
In 2020, the North American Scrabble Players Association also removed offensive words from tournaments. "How can we in this day tell prospective members that they can only play with us if they accept that offensive slurs have no meaning when played on a board?" CEO John Chew said in a statement at the time.
The official Scrabble dictionary is also searchable online; there are over 100,000 words in the dictionary.
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