Scrabble adds 5,000 new words. What does 'yuzu' mean?

Scrabble dictionary will soon include many tech-savvy terms, such as vlog (8 points), texter (13 points), and hashtag (14 points).

By , Staff writer

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    Sixth-grade students at Hazleton Elementary/Middle School, along with their parents, participate in a Scrabble Challenge – designed to build vocabulary, teamwork, strategic planning, and math skills – in Hazleton, Pa. on Friday, May 2.
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The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary will get its first major update in close to a decade. Players can expect more than 5,000 new words, including four new two-letter words and lots of high-scoring neologisms.

The new wordbook introduces many millennial-approved terms, such as texter, hashtag, vlog, selfie, vodcast, and the game's first fan-elected term: geocache.

This fifth edition of the official dictionary will hit store shelves Wednesday. Merriam-Webster will also publish a digital edition for iOS, Android, and Kindle, available later this month.

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"With thousands of new words, this edition will boost scores for players of all levels," says John Chew, co-president of North American Scrabble Players Association, in announcing the new edition. "Tell your opponent how your letters make you feel with AIYEE, MEH, OOF, or YESSIREE, or show off your GAMEPLAY by scoring 401 points for QUINZHEE!"

While it's extremely unlikely that more than a handful of players will ever see "quinzhee" (a shelter made by hollowing out a pile of snow), get ready for a bunch of new two-letter words, including da (slang for dad), gi (a martial arts uniform), po (a chamber pot), and te (the seventh note on the musical scale). 

Merriam-Webster says it takes this process very seriously, which is why we've not seen another major revision since 2005. New words cannot be abbreviations, capitalized words, or terms that include a hyphen. Potential additions must be used widely, become more popular over time, and have a clear definition. Also, the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary bothers to print only words between two and eight letters long. Lengthy words such as "abandonment" are still legal in Scrabble, but the printed list has left that one behind.

Players have plenty of time to study up on the new additions. Fifth-edition words will not be eligible for official club and tournament play until December. The Scrabble app on Facebook, iOS, and Android will start allowing the words "later this year." 

Here is a partial list of the upcoming words:

BEATBOX (v. -ED, -ING, -ES) to sing to the rhythm of rap music

BROMANCE (n. pl. -S) a close nonsexual relationship between men

BUZZKILL (n. pl. -S) one that has a depressing or negative effect

CHILLAX (v. -ED, -ING) -ES to calm down

COQUI (n. pl. -S) a small arboreal frog

DA (n. pl. -S) dad

DUBSTEP (n. pl. -S) a type of electronic dance music

FRENEMY (n. pl. -MIES) one who pretends to be a friend but is actually an enemy

FUNPLEX (n. pl. -ES) a building with facilities for sports and games

GEOCACHE (n. pl. –CACHED, -CACHING, -CACHES) to search for hidden items by using a Global Positioning System device as part of a game

GI (n. pl. -S) a white garment worn in martial arts

HASHTAG (n. pl. -S) a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that categorizes the accompanying text

JOCKDOM (n. pl. -S) the world of athletes

JOYPAD (n. pl. -S) a device with buttons to control computer images

MIXTAPE (n. pl. -S) a compilation of songs recorded from various sources

MOJITO (n. pl. -TOS) a cocktail made of rum, sugar, mint, and lime juice

PO (n. pl. POS) a chamber pot

PONZU (n. pl. -S) a tangy sauce used chiefly on seafood

QAJAQ (n. pl. -S) kayak

QIGONG (n. pl. -S) a Chinese system of physical exercises

SCHMUTZ (n. pl. -ES) dirt, grime

SELFIE (n. pl. -S) an image of oneself taken by oneself using a phone camera

SOJU (n. pl. -S) Korean vodka distilled from rice or sweet potato

SUDOKU (n. pl. -S) a puzzle involving the numbers 1 through 9

TE (n. pl. -S) ti

TEXTER (n. pl. -S) one that texts

VLOG (v. VLOGGED, VLOGGING, VLOGS) to blog video material

VODCAST (v. -CAST or -CASTED, -CASTING, -CASTS) to make video files available for download over the Internet

WEBZINE (n. pl. -S) a magazine published on the Internet

YUZU (n. pl. -S) a sour Japanese citrus fruit

For more on how technology intersects daily life, follow Chris on Twitter @venturenaut.

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