Words from the Scrabble app

I went to a Scrabble party recently and a colleague sold me on the virtues of the online Scrabble ap. In the margin of the game board, Hasbro gives you all the acceptable two-letter words (from AE to CH, JO, KI, QI, XI, and ZA, among others) and there is even a word checker.

The coolest feature though is the little “teacher” button which tells you what you could have done better. Sometimes these are things you overlook and sometimes they are words you never knew existed. I’ve been jotting the latter down in my linguist’s notebook (where I capture found usage, malapropisms, closed caption fails, or if I’m bored, diagram sentences). But, like lists of digits, the words are hard to remember unless you look up there meanings, so I looked some up. “ayo” is an interjection of greeting, “awee” is a Scots word for a little while, “iwi” is a social unit of Māori culture. “euid” is an acronym for effective user id, the helpful “euoi” is a cry of impassioned rapture in ancient Bacchic revels.

“Quinas” is a plural referring to the five quinas (small blue shields) on a Portuguese flag, while “Quean “ay” chiefly Scottish: woman; especially: one that is young or unmarried (outside of Scots, it apparently refers to an ill-behaved girl or woman, so some research is called for). “Yar” is a nautical term for easy to handle, but also an archaic word meaning to growl. “Farding” The upper stomach of a cow, or other ruminant animal; the rumen (the Urban Dictionary also defines it as “to apply make up”). And a “dhuti” is a long loincloth worn by many Hindu men in India or the cotton fabric, from which the loincloth is made. “Figue” is an alternative spelling of “fig,” from middle French, “dwined” menas to waste away, pine or languish, “bufo” is a type of toad and “laogais” is the system of forced-labor camps in China. “Trez” is the third tine of an antler’s beam (of course), “socidcity” is a measure of the amount of available sodium in water or soil. “Soom” is apparently an acronym for “Scan Once, Output Many” and “ritts” is another tech acronym.

You can see why I missed these words.

About Ed Battistella

Edwin Battistella’s latest book Sorry About That: The Language of Public Apology was released by Oxford University Press in June of 2014.
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