Scrabble lovers united – the Scrabble word of the year has been officially announced. The next update will be official in May 2019 and will include for the first time a gender-neutral pronoun – ze.
Elie Dangoor, Chairman of the World English Language Scrabble Players Association (WESPA) spoke at an event for the 70th anniversary of the game this past week.
He said, “Ze will be a regular word in the game – it will be used much more than other new words because it will score highly. I will try it whenever I can.”
Many of the new words will be taken from social media lingo and Mr. Dangoor expects that they will all be well-received.
However, excitement over new words wasn’t always a thing. When modern slang became more popular and accepted as official words in gameplay, many of the older players weren’t happy about the changes.
Mr. Dangoor adds, “When we had ‘lolz’ they turned their noses up at text speak, but now they are much happier to play those words. Part of the education can be a continuum – you want to learn [the words] to score more points so they become part of your language knowledge. So like I am learning English words from Shakespeare, I am learning text speak from Scrabble.”
An outstanding 4,500 words will be added to the official Scrabble dictionary. These changes reflect the linguistic changes that have occurred over the past four years and new additions to the Collins’ English Dictionary.
Some of the other popular words that will be added in 2019 include:
- bae: noun, slang for a significant other, short for Before Anyone Else (5 points)
- ew: exclamation, used to express disgust or distaste (5 points)
- zen: adjective, slang for feeling peaceful and relaxed (12 points)
- ume: noun, fleshy yellow fruit, similar to an apricot (5 points)
- nduja: noun, an Italian spicy salami that is soft enough to spread (13 points)
- pluto: verb, to lose importance (7 points)
- yowza: exclamation, used to express approval, excitement, or enthusiasm (20 points)
Darryl Francis, a Wespa dictionary chair member for eh past 20 years, was part of the time creating the new 2019 Scrabble dictionary. He said, “I didn’t know what nduja was, I only know it because I can see it as one of our new words. To me, that will be a word to use from next year.”
Want to take your love of Scrabble to the next level? Check out our homemade, Scrabble gifts here. The perfect gift or accessory for your game room, you are sure to find something for the Scrabble lover in your life.