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Scrabble Makes New Dictionary Filled with Fake Words

December 14, 2022
Listicle? ‘Listicle’ isn’t a word. ‘LISTICLE’ ISN’T A WORD!!!!

When the new Scrabble word list came out last month, I wasn’t sure what to think about it. I really wanted to have a negative knee-jerk reaction to it, but I try not to have knee-jerk reactions anymore. So I decided to mull it over for a few weeks to think about if I even need to have an opinion about this.


Out this month, the add-ons in the seventh edition of “The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary” join more than 100,000 words of two to eight letters. The book was last updated in 2018 through a longstanding partnership between Hasbro and Merriam-Webster.

The new words include some trademarks gone generic — dumpster for one — some shorthand joy like guac, and a delicious display of more verb variations: torrented, torrenting, adulted, adulting, atted, atting (as in don’t at me, bro).

“We also turned verb into a verb so you can play verbed and verbing,” said Merriam-Webster’s editor at large, Peter Sokolowski, a smile on his face and a word-nerd glitter in his eye during an exclusive interview with The Associated Press.

Fauxhawk, a haircut similar to a Mohawk, is potentially the highest scoring newbie, he said. Embiggen, a verb meaning to increase in size, is among the unexpected. (Sample sentence: “I really need to embiggen that Scrabble dictionary.”)

Read more at Yeehaw, bae: An embiggened Scrabble dictionary cuts slurs and adds words new and old


First of all, it’s probably good that Scrabble has finally gotten around to cutting slurs. The linked article, however, doesn’t say what the slurs are. That’s the problem with slurs; you can’t say what the slurs are without being accused of using slurs. Even using the slur in the context of the slur being a slur can get somebody accused of using a slur because that somebody used the slur, even when the context behind using the slur was to explain why the slur is a slur.

Anyway, besides getting rid of slurs, whatever they are, the new Scrabble dictionary has added a bunch of fake words to its playing list. Not that I play Scrabble anymore, but I’m pretty sure the new words give younger players an advantage over older players. I guess this makes up for all the older generation ponzi schemes that the younger generation is going to have to pay for.

If that’s the case, then this new Scrabble word list is okay by me.

Even so, some of these new words seem kind of stupid. The worst of these new so-called words is ‘listicle.’ ‘Listicle’? That just sounds stupid. I guess if an article filled with lists is called a ‘listicle,’ then a test full of lists would be called a ‘testi…’ never mind; that’s already a word.

I don’t trust Scrabble to determine what makes a word and what doesn’t. I don’t think Scrabble has that kind of authority. I don’t think Merriam-Webster has that authority either. I lost my trust in Merriam-Webster when it added the definition ‘not literal’ to the word ‘literally’ just because a bunch of people were misusing the word.

The word ‘ain’t’ is the real victim in all this. It took the word ‘ain’t’ decades to be accepted by most dictionaries. There was even a saying- “‘Ain’t ain’t a word, so you ain’t supposed to say it three times a day because it ain’t proper.” The sophisticated humor in that sentence is that the word ‘ain’t’ is actually used four times.

It’s not fair to ‘ain’t’ that words like ‘bae,’ ‘listicle,’ and ’embiggen’ are accepted so quickly. A new word should have to wait a few generations before being accepted by a dictionary, like ‘ain’t’ had to.

I’ve never liked Scrabble. All you do in Scrabble is make words with the letters. I didn’t see the point in just making words. I like using the words and making up stories with them.

I might play a Scrabble version where you make words, collect the words that are yours, and then write a story based on the words that you used in the game, and then get the story published. Whoever’s story earns the most money in publication wins the game.

But there’s no way I’m putting the word ‘listicle’ in my story.


Enough about me! What do you think? Are these new ‘words’ really words, or has Scrabble resorted to letting anything be a word? Has anybody actually spoken the word ‘listicle’ before? Do the new words give younger people an advantage? If so, does this make up for the older generations ponzi schemes? Leave a comment below!

  1. I like how you decided to mull it over for a few weeks just to see if you even needed to have an opinion. This country would be in a lot better shape if people did more of that.

    • The good news is that my mind is uncluttered, free of unnecessary opinions and senseless arguments.

      The bad news is that I take a long time to make decisions.

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