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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 October 2018

Turn that ‘frowny’ upside downy: Scrabble allows players 300 new words

Food, slang and social media-speak dominate the game’s new list of acceptable words

A "k" here would enable you to make the word "twerk" as of September 2018
A "k" here would enable you to make the word "twerk" as of September 2018

Wordsmiths, rejoice. The sixth edition of The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary released on September 25, four years after the last one, by the team at Merriam-Webster.

The refreshed tome has a total of 300 new words, many of which reflect what we’re eating, how we’re speaking and the technology we’re surrounded by these days.

Food-wise, Scrabble players can use earn an impressive number of tiles if they manage to spell out aquafab (chickpea water), arancini (Italian rice balls), bibimbap (Korean rice dish) and sriracha (hot sauce). Cotija (Mexican cheese) is slightly shorter, but just that J will get you at least eight points.

Gens Y and Z will be pleased to know that terms such as “bestie”, “frowny”, “emoji”, “facepalm”, “sho” (a variant of sure) and “zomboid” (presumably from the videogame) are now acceptable, as are the two-letter words OK and ew.

Also acceptable is yowza, colloquialism that was first documented in America in the 1930s, and an expression one might use to describe the twerk, which is also part of the new list.

Tech talk rules the roost of new words, with everything from bitcoin, botnet to listicle and sheeple making the cut.

Plenty of points can also be earned if you use bizjet, the plural of which can be worth 120 points on an opening play; and qapik, a monetary unit of Azerbaijan, which doesn’t need a “u” after its “q”.

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