Just when you thought you’d seen every obscure holiday or observance, here’s another: April 13 in National Scrabble Day! The ubiquitous board game that requires smarts, strategy and a large vocabulary was created in 1938. April 13 is National Scrabble Day. Alfred Mosher Butts created Scrabble in 1938 and April 13 was his birthday, so…why not have a day to remember his epic contribution to rainy afternoons, bored kids and better vocabularies everywhere?
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According to actor “Arrow” Stephen Amell, “Having a big vocabulary and being good at Scrabble are not the same thing.” But we disagree. Who here hasn’t consulted the dictionary during a heated Scrabble match to get clarification on whether something is or isn’t a real word? Scrabble challenges our brains, and that’s a good thing! So the next time you’re left with a lousy pile of letters or really want to confound your opponent, try they 15 Scrabble words that are real words and earn you high points every time!
1. Za: Seriously, we didn’t know this one. “Za” is an accepted slang term for pizza. Like our lives are so rushed that we can’t utter two syllables? Anyway, it’s a word and it will garner you 11 points.
2. Muzjiks: Russian peasants are known as Muzjiks. All those hard-to-use consonants will get you a whopping 28 points.
3. Aerie: Too many vowels and not enough consonants? Dump four of them here. (An aerie is the nest of an eagle, hawk or other bird of prey.)
4. Caziques: This word for a West Indian chief will earn you a sh*tload of points if played properly. Most famously, Scrabble champ Dr. Karl Khoshnaw played this word in a 1982 tournament and set the record for highest scoring word by playing it across 2 triple word scores for a total of 392 points.
5. Faqir: How often do you get to use a Q without a U? Thank the faqir, or Muslim holy man for those 17 points.
6. Quixotry: Taken from Don Quixote, this mega-point-scoring word means a rash or poorly-thought out idea, vision or scheme. Like jousting at windmills, maybe?
7. Zax: No, it’s not a hipster baby name; it’s a tool for cutting and punching nail holes in roofs. Just three little letters, but 19 big points.
8. Xi: Dump that pesky X by playing this letter of the Greek alphabet.
9. Syzygy: Oh my. Missing vowels, are we? Try playing this beauty, which means an alignment of three heavenly bodies. Heavenly indeed, for at least 21 points.
10. Zymurgy: No crying into your beer, folks. Zymurgy is the branch of chemistry that deals with fermentation, and can net you a huge 120 points if played smartly.
11. Flapjack: Sure, it’s just another word for pancake, but it’s going to earn you 24 points. Even more if you add butter and syrup.
12. Qanat: Stuck with the Q again? Try this word for an irrigation tunnel.
13. Aa: This word for a solidified form of lava might be the last, desperate move of a losing player, or propel you to victory by getting rid of your two remaining letters.
14. Cwm: Your opponents are definitely going to request dictionary confirmation of cwm, a vowelless word for a valley. And we don’t blame them.
15. Jo: Well, it’s a Scottish word, but it counts in Scrabble. When you refer to someone as your “jo,” you’re calling him or her your sweetheart. Go ahead, look it up!