Official Scrabble list for 'shizzle' may be 'blech' to some

Fri May 22, 2015 2:58pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Scrabble fans scanning the list of 6,500 new words added to the Collins Official Scrabble Wordlist, which is mainly used outside the United States, may "lolz" or cry or even start "twerking" over the verbiage drawn from social media, slang, technology and other aspects of modern life.

The British-based publisher, in its newest word list released this week, unveiled such eyebrow-raising additions as "blech" (used to express disgust), "tunage" (music), "bezzy" (best friend), "cakehole" (mouth), "lolz" (laugh), "shizzle" (sure) and "twerking" (a dance with rapid hip thrusting).

The Collins word list is not to be confused with The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, which is licensed by Hasbro and published by Merriam-Webster. Hasbro owns the rights to the game in the United States and Canada, and Mattel Inc owns it in other countries, where the Collins word list is mostly used.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary last year added 5,000 new words in its fifth edition, including "chillax", "bromance," "selfie" and "buzzkill."

In both cases, the newest words are the latest attempt to attract younger players to the board game that is more than six decades old.

"It will refresh the tournament playing population, it will bring in new players who would otherwise not want to play the game because some of their favorite everyday words were not acceptable until this year," said John Chew, co-president of the North American Scrabble Players Association, of the new Collins list.

"But we'll end up losing some older players who can't get over the idea that a word coined by a 14-year-old is now used in Scrabble," he said.

Collins, which unveiled the new words in a blog post, said its additions, which bring the list total to more than 276,000 words, also show how English is used around the world with a smattering of words from the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.

About 10 percent of tournament Scrabble players in the United States and Canada use the Collins word list instead of the Merriam-Webster one, Chew said.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis and Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Sandra Maler)