Thu | May 23, 2019

Scrabble dictionary adds ‘OK,’ ‘ew’ to official play

Published:Tuesday | September 25, 2018 | 10:19 AM
This May 16, 2015 photo released by Hasbro shows a contestant competing in the first round of the 2015 North American School Scrabble Championship at Hasbro headquarters in Pawtucket, R.I. Merriam-Webster released the sixth edition of “The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary” early Monday with more than 300 additions. (Stew Milne/Hasbro via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Scrabble players, time to rethink your game because 300 new words are coming your way, including some long-awaited gems: OK and ew, to name a few.

Merriam-Webster released the sixth edition of “The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary” on Monday, four years after the last freshening up.

The company, at the behest of Scrabble owner Hasbro Inc., left out one possibility under consideration for a hot minute — RBI — after consulting competitive players who thought it potentially too contentious.

There was a remote case to be made since RBI has morphed into an actual word, pronounced rib-ee.

But that’s OK because, “OK.” “OK is something Scrabble players have been waiting for, for a long time,” said lexicographer Peter Sokolowski, editor at large at Merriam-Webster.

“Basically two- and three-letter words are the lifeblood of the game.”

There’s more good news in qapik, adding to an arsenal of 20 playable words beginning with q that don’t need a u.

Not that Scrabblers care all that much about definitions, qapik is a monetary unit in Azerbaijan.

“Every time there’s a word with q and no u, it’s a big deal,” Sokolowski said.

“Most of these are obscure.”

There are some sweet scorers now eligible for play, including bizjet, and some magical vowel dumps, such as arancini, those Italian balls of cooked rice. Bizjet, meaning — yes — a small plane used for business, would be worth a whopping 120 points on an opening play, but only if it’s made into a plural with an s.

That’s due to the 50-point bonus for using all seven tiles and the double word bonus space usually played at the start.

The Springfield, Massachusetts-based dictionary company sought counsel from the North American Scrabble Players Association when updating the book, Sokolowski said, “to make sure that they agree these words are desirable.”

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