English Language Blog

Amazing English Scrabble Words Posted by on Feb 16, 2016 in English Vocabulary

Image by Eljay on Flicker.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Image by Eljay on Flicker.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Have you ever played Scrabble? Scrabble is a popular word game in the United States. This game is played with 2-4 players, using a game board and ‘tiles’, which are small pieces of wood or plastic with letters on them. Each letter used in the English language is given a point value and players try to create words that have the highest point value. Common English letters like ‘a’ or ‘e’ have lower point values than uncommon letters like ‘x ‘or ‘z’.  The letter tiles are used to form words in a crossword fashion, so some letters are used in multiple words. Scrabble is played in languages other than English too, in fact the game is made in 29 languages.

Scrabble is a very popular game among native English speakers, especially Americans. According to Wikipedia around 30% of American homes own a Scrabble game.

I think this game should be just as popular among ESL learners around the world!

Playing Scrabble is a great way to build your vocabulary and test your English word knowledge. If you can’t get hold of an official Scrabble game, you can also easily make your own homemade version and use it to practice your English.

In the game of Scrabble players begin with 7 random letter tiles and they try to make a word from those letters. When a player uses letters to make a word they can pick out new random letters and start again on their next turn trying to make another word.

Some people are very serious, or at least very competitive, about playing Scrabble. There is a strict rule that words used in Scrabble have to be “real” words, you can’t make something up that just looks like a word.  Often people have a dictionary with them when they play, so they can check the other players’ words to make sure their opponents aren’t cheating.

Trying to find new words to make with the letters you have randomly selected can be hard. Trying to make the highest scoring word possible with the letters you have to work with is usually the real challenge. It is easy to come up with a word like ‘road’ or ‘cat’, but coming up with a word like quixotry is not easy! Quixotry is a word worth up to 365 points in the game of Scrabble! It is a very obscure word in English, like most high-point Scrabble words. Quixotry means a romantic or quixotic idea or action.

Just for fun I want to share with you a few other high-point English language Scrabble words. Don’t worry about trying to come up with words like this when you play Scrabble – just play to improve you English. I really do want to encourage you to try this game, perhaps with some other ESL learners, to work on building your vocabulary and thinking about the spelling and common letter/sound combinations found in English words.

Here are some rare, but high scoring, English words for your next game:

klutz (an awkward person)

gherkins (small pickles)

hijack (to illegally take a plane or ship)

syzygy (an alignment of three celestial bodies, i.e. planets, moons, or stars)

quizzify (to quiz or question)

xanthan (a thickening agent used in food)

…and oxyphenbutazone (an anti-inflammatory medication used to treat arthritis and bursitis). This word is theoretically the highest-possible scoring word in American-English Scrabble play. This word has to be played across three triple word score squares and build on eight already-played tiles, but if all that happens the word is worth 1,778 point!

Tags: , , , ,
Keep learning English with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: Gabriele

Hi there! I am one of Transparent Language's ESL bloggers. I am a 32-year-old native English speaker who was born and raised in the United States. I am living in Washington, DC now, but I have lived all over the US and also spent many years living and working abroad. I started teaching English as a second language in 2005 after completing a Master's in Applied Linguists and a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults' (CELTA). Since that time I have taught ESL in the United States at the community college and university level. I have also gone on to pursue my doctorate in psychology and now I also teach courses in psychology. I like to stay connected to ESL learners around the world through Transparent Languages ESL Blog. Please ask questions and leave comments on the blog and I will be sure to answer them.