Chillax: Scrabble dictionary gets an update

SARAH THOMAS
Last updated 05:00 07/08/2014
Scrabble

CHILLAX: Allowable Scrabble words get updated to reflect modern vernacular.

Relevant offers

Books

I had a child with a major drug dealer How to speak money Books about the surveillance state Winemaker takes top NZ literary prize Mary O'Hagan's memoir of madness Journey to a Hanging would be a great novel Vintage reads: The Call of the Wild Sports author turns to Kiwi crime fiction Auckland stories in line for prize Musings about the 2014 Booker shortlist

Hey, chillax! Let's not be frenemies, let's smash a mojito, take a selfie and vlog about it later #awesome!

Anyone who speaks in the above manner and in such a heinous affront to the English language does, of course, deserve to be beaten, ostracised from normal society and, worse, have all their social media privileges removed immediately and permanently.  

But, rather unfortunately, the above vernacular crimes are now legitimate apparently, having been authenticated in the first big update in The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary in a decade. 

The Ellen DeGeneres selfie broke Twitter records when she posted it at the Oscars in March.

The Ellen DeGeneres selfie broke Twitter records when she posted it at the Oscars in March.

These words, along with mixtape, beatbox, buzzkill, bromance and schmutz, are among 5000 which will be added to the updated tome, compiled by publishers Merriam-Webster.  

The marketing boss of Hasbro (makers of Scrabble), Jonathan Berkowitz, said the new dictionary included favourite words from the past decade, "making game play even more entertaining and relevant."

He added that the game-makers were particularly excited about the inclusion of geocache (a treasure-hunt activity using GPS navigation). which won the Scrabble Word Showdown competition to find the newest playable word earlier this year. 

There's plenty of inscrutable new inclusions for Scrabble nerds, too, such as aiyee, oof, quinzhee, qigong and soju. The rules for additions include that words must be between two to eight letters in length, cannot be abbreviations or have hyphens or apostrophes. 

The dictionary will be published today (August 6) in the US and Canada, with digital versions to follow later this month. 

Word up: Our guide to some of the new Scrabble additions

1. Selfie 

The involuntary affliction rendering people incapable of so much as buying a carton of milk without holding phone aloft, pointing chin down, pulling a suggestive duck face and posting it on Instagram immediately. The most famous selfie, of course, is Ellen DeGeneres's A-list spectacular taken at the Oscars in March - 3.4 million retweets and counting. But other popular selfie staples include Kim Kardashian's arse, Justin Bieber being a dickhead and rugby league players' genitals. 

2. Chillax

Invented nonsense used by people who stump up new vocabulary to make their jobs sound more complex than they are, such as marketing executives, management consultants and real-estate agents. If anyone uses this word, walk away and unfriend. Immediately. Do not hide scorn, either. 

3. Frenemy

Kim Kardashian gets a reference again - this term was coined by gossip mags about 10 years ago when she and other Hollywood halfwits such as Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie were having well-publicised spats. Sigh. Like, whatevs. 

Ad Feedback

4. Hashtag

Having mutated from social media's use to mark trends and discussion points, it's now heavily embedded as a verbal tic in everyday conversation, emphasising and summarising points of consternation, excitement or exclamation. #annoying #pointless #unnecessary #repetitive #shutupalready

5. Mixtape

Hmm, this is an odd, rather outdated one, but can be defined as a compilation of favourite tracks pulled together, most often by teens attempting to win the attention/affections of other teens - or a mournful declaration of unrequited or lost love. Or a collection of pumping party-starters, which is a much more positive use, one would agree. 

6. Beatbox

Again, another oddly ancient chunk of popular culture's history. In the 1980s, hip-hop churned out a bunch of people, like Doug E. Fresh - pass me my high-tops - who could mimic drum machines by making a bunch of pumping sounds using only their mouths and throats. It's an impressively consistent form of percussion in that it's fun for about 30 seconds, then becomes really annoying and also sounds exactly the same every time. 

7. Vlog

YouTube is responsible for people becoming multimillion dollar social media empires for doing things like giving make-up lessons from their bedroom. Bethany Mota, 18, has 6.5 million YouTube subscribers following her fashion tips which she does from her parents house in California - earning about $US40,000 a month for her trouble. Nice work, indeed. 

8. Bromance

A close non-sexual relationship between men. See Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. 

9. Dubstep

Annoying noise masquerading as dance music, which had its commercial heyday in the early 2010s. Fortunately, Madonna got on board with the genre with her 2012 album MDNA and effectively killed it off. 

10. Mojito

Yes please.

- Sydney Morning Herald

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content