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Merriam-Webster Adds 5,000 New Words To Help You Win Scrabble

“Chillax” and “frenemy” are now fair game.

Merriam-Webster Adds 5,000 New Words To Help You Win Scrabble
[Image: Flickr user Martinak15]

Hardcore Scrabble players, and my intensely competitive family, use the Official Tournament and Club Word List as a strict reference guide for game play. That list is based on the “Official Scrabble Players Dictionary,” published by Merriam-Webster, which just announced it was adding 5,000 words to the dictionary.

Merriam-Webster isn’t revealing all the new additions ahead of publication next week, but has released a group of 30 teasers, words that will join the likes of “za” and “qaid” (including “geocache,” a word voted into the dictionary by Facebook contest).

The new words, which also include entries like “chillax” and “frenemy,” may give younger players a leg up against their parents. (Finally.) A few “q-without-u” words have also been added. And, for those of us who have a hard time remembering two-letter words, the addition of “te” (an alternate spelling for the musical note) should give us an edge.

The North American Scrabble Players Association has indicated that it will accept the new words as legitimate. “[The additions] go a long way toward bringing us closer to the language as it is currently spoken,” John Chew, co-president of the North American Scrabble Players Association told CNN Money. Fellow co-president Chris Cree also gave his nod of approval. “[The additions] will make for more scoring opportunities and add much more to the thought process in terms of both offensive and defensive strategy,” he said.

As with any modifications to Scrabble standards, the new additions will surely anger some purists. But if it’s in the dictionary, it counts. Just try to challenge “dubstep”; I dare you.

About the author

Rebecca Greenfield is a former Fast Company staff writer. She was previously a staff writer at The Atlantic Wire, where she focused on technology news.