AD Main Menu

Scrabble adds 5,000 new words. What does 'yuzu' mean?

Chris GaylordThe Christian Science Monitor

The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary will get its first major update in close to a decade. Players can expect more than 5,000 new words, including four new two-letter words and lots of high-scoring neologisms.

The new wordbook introduces many millennial-approved terms, such as texter, hashtag, vlog, selfie, vodcast, and the game's first fan-elected term: geocache.

This fifth edition of the official dictionary will hit store shelves Wednesday. Merriam-Webster will also publish a digital edition for iOS, Android, and Kindle, available later this month.

"With thousands of new words, this edition will boost scores for players of all levels," says John Chew, co-president of North American Scrabble Players Association, in announcing the new edition. "Tell your opponent how your letters make you feel with AIYEE, MEH, OOF, or YESSIREE, or show off your GAMEPLAY by scoring 401 points for QUINZHEE!"

While it's extremely unlikely that more than a handful of players will ever see "quinzhee" (a shelter made by hollowing out a pile of snow), get ready for a bunch of new two-letter words, including da (slang for dad), gi (a martial arts uniform), po (a chamber pot), and te (the seventh note on the musical scale). 

Merriam-Webster says it takes this process very seriously, which is why we've not seen another major revision since 2005. New words cannot be abbreviations, capitalized words, or terms that include a hyphen. Potential additions must be used widely, become more popular over time, and have a clear definition. Also, the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary bothers to print only words between two and eight letters long. Lengthy words such as "abandonment" are still legal in Scrabble, but the printed list has left that one behind.

Players have plenty of time to study up on the new additions. Fifth-edition words will not be eligible for official club and tournament play until December. The Scrabble app on Facebook, iOS, and Android will start allowing the words "later this year." 

Here is a partial list of the upcoming words:

BEATBOX (v. -ED, -ING, -ES) to sing to the rhythm of rap musicBROMANCE (n. pl. -S) a close nonsexual relationship between menBUZZKILL (n. pl. -S) one that has a depressing or negative effectCHILLAX (v. -ED, -ING) -ES to calm downCOQUI (n. pl. -S) a small arboreal frogDA (n. pl. -S) dadDUBSTEP (n. pl. -S) a type of electronic dance musicFRENEMY (n. pl. -MIES) one who pretends to be a friend but is actually an enemyFUNPLEX (n. pl. -ES) a building with facilities for sports and gamesGEOCACHE (n. pl. –CACHED, -CACHING, -CACHES) to search for hidden items by using a Global Positioning System device as part of a gameGI (n. pl. -S) a white garment worn in martial artsHASHTAG (n. pl. -S) a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that categorizes the accompanying textJOCKDOM (n. pl. -S) the world of athletesJOYPAD (n. pl. -S) a device with buttons to control computer imagesMIXTAPE (n. pl. -S) a compilation of songs recorded from various sourcesMOJITO (n. pl. -TOS) a cocktail made of rum, sugar, mint, and lime juicePO (n. pl. POS) a chamber potPONZU (n. pl. -S) a tangy sauce used chiefly on seafoodQAJAQ (n. pl. -S) kayakQIGONG (n. pl. -S) a Chinese system of physical exercisesSCHMUTZ (n. pl. -ES) dirt, grimeSELFIE (n. pl. -S) an image of oneself taken by oneself using a phone cameraSOJU (n. pl. -S) Korean vodka distilled from rice or sweet potatoSUDOKU (n. pl. -S) a puzzle involving the numbers 1 through 9TE (n. pl. -S) tiTEXTER (n. pl. -S) one that textsVLOG (v. VLOGGED, VLOGGING, VLOGS) to blog video materialVODCAST (v. -CAST or -CASTED, -CASTING, -CASTS) to make video files available for download over the InternetWEBZINE (n. pl. -S) a magazine published on the InternetYUZU (n. pl. -S) a sour Japanese citrus fruit

For more on how technology intersects daily life, follow Chris on Twitter @venturenaut.