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Asher Cooper
Asher Cooper

The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (Fifth...

The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary was first published in 1978 through the efforts of the National Scrabble Association (NSA) Dictionary Committee and Merriam-Webster, primarily in response to a need for a word authority for NSA-sanctioned clubs and tournaments. Prior to its publication, Scrabble clubs and tournaments used Funk & Wagnalls Standard College Dictionary as an official word source, but as tournament play grew, this source proved unsatisfactory. The inclusion of foreign words such as "Ja" and "Oui", the exclusion of common words such as "coven" and "surreal", and a lack of clear guidance on the creation of comparative terms, were all problematic for Scrabble players.[1]

The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (Fifth...

Games manufacturers Selchow and Righter, the owners of Scrabble at the time, approached Merriam-Webster Inc. to assist with the compilation of an official Scrabble dictionary. They proposed that words should be included in the new dictionary if they appeared in the five in-print collegiate dictionaries, namely The Random House College Dictionary (1968), The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1969), Webster's New World Dictionary (1970), Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (1973) and Funk & Wagnalls (1973).[1] Main entries in the OSPD contain from two to eight letters since those are considered to be the most useful.

NASPA created the NWL using the official Scrabble dictionary word list as a starting point. The NASPA Word List provides players with words generally regarded as acceptable for Scrabble. However, it also contains words omitted by the OSPD. These include certain trademarked terms and words removed from the OSPD after they were deemed offensive.

Another advantage CSW has over NWL is the inclusion of word definitions. It makes sense for this particular word list to offer them. People from all around the world use this official Scrabble players dictionary. They might be unfamiliar with words not used in their region. So, the need or desire for definitions is pretty common.

Like the NASPA Word List, CSW has changed its name over the years too. It was originally known as SOWPODS. This acronym combines OSPD with the Official Scrabble Words (OSW), the official Scrabble dictionary in the UK for a time.

Knowing which Scrabble word list to use depends on what level of player you are and what you hope to get out of the list. Check each official Scrabble dictionary for yourself. Want to test how useful they are? Play a few practice games of Scrabble on your own to hone your skills before challenging other players.

Sokolowski and a team of editors at Merriam-Webster have mined the oft-freshened online database at to expand the Scrabble book. While the official rules of game play have always allowed the use of any dictionary that players sanction, many look to the official version when sitting down for a spot of Scrabble. Some deluxe Scrabble sets include one of the books.

Compound words are on the rise in the book with deadname, pageview, fintech, allyship, babymoon and subtweet. So are the "uns," such as unfollow, unsub and unmute. They may sound familiar, but they were never Scrabble official, at least when it comes to the sainted game's branded dictionary.

The dictionary is a reference book for players of the popular crossword puzzle game produced by Hasbro. This is the sixth edition of the dictionary, which was first published in 1976 and is updated only once or twice a decade. The prior edition was published in 2014.

"The competitive players within the North American [Scrabble Players] Association treat it with a proprietary sense. It is their own," co-president of the association John Chew told NPR's Here and Now in 2014, when the dictionary was last updated.

"Before the game begins, all players should agree upon the dictionary that they will use, in case of a challenge. All words labeled as a part of speech (including those listed of foreign origin, and as archaic, obsolete, colloquial, slang, etc.) are permitted with the exception of the following: words always capitalized, abbreviations, prefixes and suffixes standing alone, words requiring a hyphen or an apostrophe," states the company's rulebook.

Here's the sitch, Scrabble stans. Your convos around the board are about to get more interesting with about 500 new words and variations added to the game's official dictionary: stan, sitch, convo, zedonk, dox and fauxhawk among them.

Entries in the new Sixth Edition feature a brief definition, a part-of-speech label, and inflected forms for fast, easy word validation. The new dictionary is approved for recreational and school use, and the new words from the Sixth Edition will be sanctioned for use in official club and tournament play in 2019. 041b061a72


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