There are still a few more to find!
New Scrabble words show how the English language is changing as we use it.
Last August I wrote a blog about these changes. I shared with you the quest of Chris Ulicky to discover ALL the words added between Edition 5 (2014) and Edition 6 (2018) of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary. And I showed you Chris’ list of 273 new words in the 6th edition.
Chris has a practical reason: in their wisdom, the publishers have not issued a Large Print Edition of the new dictionary. Therefore, Scrabble players who want or need a larger font are destined to use an out-of-date dictionary. Unless they can find a list of the new words and write them into their large print copy, as Chris has been doing.
It turns out that another reader has been searching for the new words as well. The publisher has stated that there are “300 new words.” Jack Feller tells me that he compared his 5th and 6th editions, page by page, to find as many of those words as he could. Comparing with Chris’ list, which I published last August, Jack has found ten additional words that are new in the 6th edition book.
Ten New Scrabble Words
Merriam-Webster is apparently counting every form of a word, including plurals, as a new word. So if we adopt that (slightly cheating) shortcut, Jack has found ten words to add to Chris’ list:
- Basehead (a person who inhales cocaine)
- Blewit (a pale lilac mushroom)
- Gean (a wild sweet cherry)
- Gipsyish (resembling a gypsy)
- Gipsyism (the mode of life of gypsies)
- Untrendier (more untrendy)
The attached list shows all 283 of the added words, combining Chris Ulicky’s and Jack Feller’s work.
Or – Is It Seven?
And now I must reveal to you a mystery: not every 5th Edition has the same words!
Jack’s go-to 5th Edition is a hardcover version (2nd printing, 2014), which I suspect he acquired soon after its release. However, to crosscheck this blog I used a paperback 5th Edition, 4th printing, dated 6/2016. And the 2016 5th Edition includes three of these words not present in Jack’s hardcover book: BLEWIT, GEAN and GEANS.
Are there in fact exactly 300 new words in the 6th Edition? And if so, compared with which version of the 5th Edition? Only the sages at Merriam-Webster know. What we do know is that Chris and Jack have together identified 283 new words in the later edition that do not appear in some, perhaps most, printings of the 5th Edition. These must amount to most or perhaps all of the total new words.
However: If you encounter other added words, please let us know! Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to share them with Scrabble players everywhere.
Do you have new Scrabble words to share? We welcome your contributions! Please add your comment below, or send a message to me through the Contact page.
Kudos! To Jack Keller for his assistance with still more new Scrabble words.
Image Credit: A portion of a Super Scrabble game board fabricated by Art Chester.