New Fifth Edition Scrabble Dictionary Includes 'Beatbox,' 'Selfie' - Rolling Stone
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New Scrabble Dictionary Includes ‘Beatbox,’ ‘Chillax’ and ‘Selfie’

Fifth Edition of Merriam-Webster’s “Official Scrabble Players Dictionary” also features first fan-chosen word, “Geocache”


Scrabble board game.

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In a move that could ignite a lexicographic uproar the likes of which hasn’t been seen since “Ain’t” was infamously included in Webster’s Third, the folks at Merriam-Webster have added over 5,000 new words to the Fifth Edition of The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, including millennial vocab favorites like “Selfie,” “Chillax” and “Hashtag.” It’s enough to turn an old school Scrabble fan into a zealous, yet conflicted “frenemy” — a word you can now play for a minimum of 15 points.

The new book marks the Scrabble dictionary’s first major update in nearly a decade and is set to be published on August 6th (it will go into effect for official club and tournament play on December 1st). The Fifth Edition also includes the first ever word chosen by fans during the Scrabble Word Showdown earlier, which took place this year: “Geocache,” a term used for games in which players use GPS systems to play hide-and-seek or create scavenger hunts.

While the web 2.0 speak and contemporary slang mark significant additions to the Scrabble dictionary — big points can now be won with “Beatbox,” “Mixtape,” “Vodcast,” “Texter” and “Vlog” — the game has also expanded to make room for boozy treats like “Mojito” and “Soju,” and interjections such as “Aiyee,” “Meh” and “Oof.” And finally, the world will no longer have to suffer the scourge of injuries sustained during Scrabble brawls over the word “Quinzhee.”

“Language is constantly evolving and new words are added to Merriam-Webster dictionaries on an ongoing basis,” said Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster ‘s editor at large. “Now thousands of those words can officially be played on the Scrabble game board, as long as they meet the Scrabble game’s criteria for length and styling.”

The new additions to the Scrabble dictionary come in the wake of Merriam-Webster’s youth-friendly update to their college edition dictionary, which now includes terms like “Dubstep,” “Auto-tune,” “Catfish” — as in the person who sets up a fake social media profile — “Unfriend,” and, once again, “Selfie.”


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