SOME NEW TERMS USED IN SCRABBLE® CROSSWORD GAME PLAY  

(This is a "work-in-progress" that has been on hold for a while.   Some of the terms have been around for years, and some are brand new.   I have included terms which I think may be useful in communicating shared events and circumstances relating to club and tournament play.   Suggestions for additions and changes are welcome.   Jim Pate)

Last updated 7/3/2008.


ALPHAGRAM   n. pl. -S   The alphabetical sequencing of letters which comprise a word.   Ex. BBEKLOSS is the alphagram of BLESBOKS.   (Coined by Joe Edley and Jim Homan.)

ALPHAMONIC   n. pl. -S   A mnemonic aid for recalling a word which has some logical or helpful connection to the alphagram of the word.   Ex. The ALPHAMONIC for the letters AEHORST is that the German word HÖRST is the second person present conjugation of the word HÖREN, "to hear", and the playable word is EARSHOT.   (Coined by Travis Chaney.)

AMBILEXTROUS   adj.   Having the ability to switch between two lexicons in competitive Scrabble® Crossword Game play.   (Coined by Lawren Freebody.)

AMIWORD   n. pl. -S   A word (usually short) that looks like the misspelling of a common word.   Ex. FIRN, BIBB, CONN, LONGE.   (Named after Ami Tzubery, a young Israeli player, initially a poor speller, who realized early on that others in the club "expected" him to misspell words and were challenging him almost automatically; whereupon he began to study the dictionary and compiled a secret list of apparent misspellings to lure challenges from others who didn't study.)   (Coined by Sam Orbaum.)

ANAFORM   n. pl. -S   An anagram of some inflected form of a word.   see also: ANAPLURAL and ANASINGULAR   (Coined by Dan Stock.)

ANAHOOK   n. pl. -S   A letter that can be added to a group of letters which can then be anagrammed into a word.   Ex. The letter "S" is an anahook for PETIOLA -- the letters can be arranged to make SPOLIATE.   (Coined by Nick Ballard, popularized by John Chew.)

ANAMONIC   n. pl. -S   A word or phrase that is a mnemonic device to indicate which letters can be added to a set of letters to make valid words.   (Coined by Bob Lipton, popularized by Nick Ballard and John Chew.)   see also: NEGAMONIC

ANAPLURAL   n. pl. -S   An anagram of what would be a plural of a word.   Ex. The only ANAPLURALS of the phony REATONE are EARSTONE and RESONATE.   (Coined by Dan Stock.)

ANASINGULAR   n. pl. -S   An anagram of what would be a singular of a word.  Ex. The only ANASINGULAR of PARIETES is PEATIER.   (Coined by Dan Stock.)

BINGLET   n. pl. -S   A non-bonus play of fifty points or more.   (Coined by ?)

BINGO   n. pl. -GOES or -GOS   A play using all seven tiles on the rack simultaneously that scores a bonus of fifty points in addition to the regular score of the word or words played.   Also called: BONUS PLAY   (First print usage by Mike Senkiewicz.)

BINGO   v. -GOED, -GOING, -GOES or -GOS   To play all seven tiles from the rack on a single play.   (First verb usage in print by John Turner.)

BLANAGRAM   n. pl. -S   1. A list of words that can be made from a set of letters when one of the letters is replaced by a blank tile and called any other letter than the original   2. Any individual word on such a list.   (Coined by Joel Sherman, popularized by Robert Parker.)

BONKER   n. pl. -S   A valid word made by hooking a letter to a phony word which has previously been played.   Ex. Adding an "R" to INLIE to make INLIER or adding an "S" to BONKER to make BONKERS.   (Coined by Steve Goldberg, Zev Kesselman, and David Litke.)

BUNGO   n. pl. -GOES or -GOS   A potential bonus play containing a blank tile which, if designated a certain letter, would be valid, but, because of being designated a different letter, is actually an invalid word.   Ex. DIOPTA?E where the blank is called an "N" rather than an "S".   (Coined by Zev Kesselman, popularized by Steve Goldberg.)

CATAGRAM   n. pl. -S   A word that has no anagram.   (Coined by Dan Pratt.)

CONGO   n. pl. -GOES or -GOS   A phony bingo played where the player knows it is phony, but which looks logical or reasonable (or is reminiscent of an obscure real word), in an attempt to con the opponent.   (Coined by Sam Orbaum.)   see also: PINGO

COPH   n. pl. -S   A valid seven-tile bingo play with a phony hook which is unnoticed because of the impressiveness of the bingo itself.   Ex. The bingo WAHINES where the play is made by hooking the H to the end of the word COP.   (Coined by Steve Goldberg, Zev Kesselman, and David Litke.)

COPH   v. -ED, -ING, -S   To make (or have made against one) a valid seven-tile bingo play which does not get challenged from the board even though it forms an invalid word by hooking a letter to a previously played word.   (Coined by Steve Goldberg, Zev Kesselman, and David Litke.)

DINGLE   adj. or n. (no plural form)   Relating to, designating, or being a special challenge rule wherein on the second and subsequent occasions of a player making an unsuccessful challenge that player is penalized by missing a turn.   (The term comes from a combination of the words "double" and "single".)   (Coined by ?)

ENTHUSIAST   n. -S   A new designation for the division in a Scrabble® Crossword Game tournament that previously has been labeled "Novice".   So called because many of the players in such a division are not new to the game or even to tournament play and are very devoted to organized competition.   (Coined by Susi Tiekert.)

FOXEN   n. pl. -S   Any hook of one letter to a valid word which forms an invalid word, particularly when the invalid word is a plausible phony word.   Ex. Adding "E" to the front of either DAM or TON or to the back of BED.   (Coined by David Litke.)

HUMONGO   n. pl. -GOES or -GOS   A bingo that scores over 100 points, particularly one which is played over two triple-word squares simultaneously.  (Coined by Jim Pate.)    see also: ZINGO

KOHSHOOT   v. KOHSHOT, KOHSHOOTING, KOHSHOOTS   To play one or more intentional phonies in a lost game to reduce negative point spread when one's opponent is not likely to challenge for fear of losing due to the challenge penalty.   (Named in honor of Phil Koshute and conjugated in the manner of the verb "shoot".)   (Coined by Dan Stock.)

LETTERATI   n. pl.   Collective name for club and tournament Scrabble® Crossword Game players.  (Popularized by Paul McCarthy.)

MINGO   n. pl. -GOES or -GOS   1. A bingo that scores minimum points.   Ex. RE(A)LES(T) for 56 points.   2. Any bingo that scores less than 60 points.   (Coined by Sally Ricketts.)

MISLE   v. -LED, -LING, -LES   (pron. MIZZ-uhl)   To pronounce a played word incorrectly such as to get a wildly incorrect concept of the definition, and, in extreme cases, cause the victim to believe that the word is in fact a phony word.   Ex. RESTING being pronounced RE-STING.   (Coined by Daniel A. Goodwin.)

MOXBIB   n. pl. -S   A phony word that is so outrageous that it is likely to draw a challenge.   (Coined by Joel Wapnick, popularized by Peter Morris.)

NEGAMONIC   n. pl. -S   A word or phrase that is a mnemonic device to indicate which letters can not be added to a set of letters to make valid words.   (Coined by Jere Mead.)   see also: ANAMONIC

NONGO   n. pl. -GOES or -GOS   1. A seven-tile play which will not fit on the board because either the seven-letter word will not legally hook to another word or because the board does not contain one or more other letters in the proper position for a valid play to be made.   2. A group of seven letters that in itself does not produce a valid word but that can produce valid words with the addition of certain other letters.   (Coined by Jim Pate.)   def. no. 2 see also: TRONGLE

PHONIA   n. pl. -S   The irrational fear that a very common word about to be played is not valid.   (Coined by Jude Shipman.)   see also: UNRECOGNITIS

PINGO   n. pl. -GOES or -GOS   n. A phony bingo.  (Coined by Jude Shipman.)   see also: CONGO

POSIGRAM   n. pl. -S   (pron. PAH-zi-gram)   A potential play that should be remembered as either positively good or positively not good, but which a player cannot recall due to distracting influences surrounding the establishment of its validity.   Ex. Not recalling that FOGBOWS is good and that FOGHATS is not good.   (Coined by Lawren Freebody.)

PROTILE   n. pl. -S   A type of tile having larger than standard letters and made (typically of plastic) with a smooth face so that blank tiles cannot be distinguished from tiles containing letters.   (Coined by Bob Schoenman.)

SCRABBATICAL   n. pl. -S   1. A sabbatical in which a person schedules travels so that a maximum number of Scrabble® Crossword Game sessions can be played by visiting clubs, tournaments, and individuals along the way.   2. A planned, extended absence from Scrabble® Crossword Game play, particularly in clubs and tournaments.   (Coined by Stu Goldman.)

SNAPBACK   n. pl. -S   1. A retort of more than 50 points to a first turn "JQXZ" five-letter play by the opponent consisting of extending the word to the triple-word square, particularly during the first few turns of a game.   Ex. COTQUEAN, BANJOIST, VERJUICE      2. Any other single-turn extension from an initial play that extends to a triple-word square including an eight-letter bingo from or to the letter on the starred center square.   (Coined by Mohan Chunkath.)

SOWPODS   n. (pl. but sing. in construction)   A combination of British and North American word sources for use in some international Scrabble® Crossword Game tournaments.   The word comes from a combination of the letters in OSPD, an acronym for the Official Scrabble® Players Dictionary (the former North American word source) and the letters in OSW, an acronym for Official Scrabble® Words (the British word source).     (Coined by Joe Edley.)

THREE-PERCENTER   n. pl. -S   Any tile with a frequency of 3 or greater (ADEGILNORSTU).   They are the 1- and 2-point letters and account for 75% of all tiles.   A three-percenter bingo is one which contains such letters, with the additional requirement that the frequency with which any such letter may be repeated in the word is as follows: A-3, D-1, E-4, G-1, I-3, L-1, N-2, O-2, R-2, S-2, T-2, U-1 (with the exception of the S, this represents the number of possible triads of each letter in a full bag).   Ex. ANESTRI and ADAGIOS are three-percenter bingos while DUODENA and UNUSUAL are not.   (Coined by Mike Baron.)

TRONGLE   n. pl. -S   A seven-letter combination that, despite looking like it "should" produce at least one eight-letter word, actually produces no eight-letter words whatever.   (TRONGLE is itself such a null stem.)   (Coined by Daniel A. Goodwin.)   see also: NONGO def. no. 2

UNRECOGNITIS   n. pl. -ES   A temporary inability to recognize a common word sometimes resulting in an embarrassing challenge.   Ex. Thinking that APPLY is being played as the comparative of APPLE or that DOOR is being played as a noun meaning "a person who does something".  (Coined by Stu Goldman.)   see also: PHONIA

UNWORD   n. pl. -S   A word known and used by a player for some length of time which, for some arbitrary reason, is illegal in Scrabble® Crossword Game play.   (Coined by Jude Shipman.)

ZINGO   n. pl. -GOES or -GOS   A triple-triple-triple play, that is, a word that covers three triple-word-score squares simultaneously.   (Coined by Jude Shipman.)   see also: HUMONGO

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As I mentioned above this is a "work-in-progress".   As I get new information I will make corrections and adjustments.   If there is disagreement as to credits, I may temporarily remove items (or credits) until such time as I can obtain reliable information.   However, any errors or omissions are, of course, my responsibility.   The date at the top of the page should indicate the last significant changes.

Please contact me at: pate_jim@hotmail.com or jpate@eudoramail.com (links below)
pate_jim@hotmail.com

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