Veteran players of Scrabble or its addictive digital cousin, Words with Friends, are familiar with a unique lexicon known as Scrabblish. In short, Scrabblish consists of words that are legal (“playable”) in Scrabble. The words, drawn from a wide range of authorized English dictionaries, are published in a small paperback entitled Official Scrabble Players Dictionary. Despite the dictionary’s small size, it is incredibly comprehensive featuring thousands of short (as in 2-letter and 3-letter words) and long words that can help players successfully compete and earn higher scores. Many of these words, however, are quite obscure, falling outside the vocabularies of most English speakers, as the following list will attest:
avo: a monetary unit of Macao
cwm: a half-open head of a valley or mountainside with steep sides (typically created by glaciers)
faqir: a Muslim or Hindu holy man
gnar: to snarl
gynaecia: the aggregate of pistils or carpels of a flower
muzjiks: Russian peasants
quixotry: a visionary or romantic idea or action (derived from Cervantes’ Don Quixote)
syzygy: an alignment of three celestial bodies
yex: an old English word for sobbing
zax: a tool for cutting and punching holes in roofing slates
zyzzyva: a tropical American weevil
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For further reading: The Official Scrabble Dictionary (5th Edition)
Is That a Word? by David Bukszpan