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Go Forth And Pwn For Shizzle, Word List Guardians Tell Scrabble Players

A new batch of 6,500 words are now available to Scrabble players, after publishing house Collins updated its widely used Official Scrabble Words list Thursday. The list includes tech jargon and slang, such as pwn, twerk and shizzle.

Also added: aji (the pepper), coqui (the frog) and the more old-fashioned ixnay and zowee. (See a longer list at the bottom of this post.)

With more than 276,000 words, Collins says its Official Scrabble Words reflects how English is used around the world, with words gleaned from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the U.K., and the U.S. The word list takes up 1,216 pages in hardback; it's also an app.

If you're a Scrabble player who uses online word checkers to make sure words are kosher, Collins' head of language content, Helen Newstead, says their online word checker "will be updated when the wordlist is officially adopted by WESPA at the beginning of September 2015."

WESPA stands for the World English-Language Scrabble Players Association. Here in the U.S., there's NASPA — the North American Scrabble Players Association — which says it will also adopt the new words for its Collins Scrabble Words list in September.

"About 10 percent of North American players enjoy playing with the larger CSW lexicon," says NASPA Copresident John Chew. Some of those players want to compete in other countries, he says, and some want to play less defensive, high-scoring games that result from having more options.

Chew says the North American TWL (Tournament Word List) lexicon overlaps the international list in many cases — and sometimes anticipates it.

"Many of the new words," he says, "are the result of Collins adopting words that were added to the North American lexicon last year, so those of our players who play in both lexicons will be relieved that they have fewer lexical differences to memorize."

For example, Chew mentions checkbox and cakehole. Other words in the new list include hacktivist, onesie, and geocache, along with the slang terms ridic (for ridiculous) and wuz (alternate form of was). Obvs, newbs have lotsa catching up to do. But now they can also just say yeesh, or even the Charlie Brownish augh.

Are you not bumbazed?

We learned that word from Craig Beevers, the world Scrabble champion, who welcomes the new words today in a column for The Guardian. Meaning to bamboozle or perplex, bumbaze is on Beevers' list of favorite Scrabble words.

Beevers admits that he's never heard of some of the new additions, and he says others could be outdated within years. But he notes that words reflect culture — and culture keeps changing.

"There will always be words people don't like, but all you can ask of a dictionary is consistency," Beevers says. "Language continues to evolve and so Scrabble and its word bible must keep up too."

To learn new words and practice Scrabble skills, Beevers and many other players use Zyzzyva, a free online tool maintained by NASPA. The organization's Chew says a date hasn't been set yet to update Zyzzyva.

Here are more of the words highlighted by Collins today:

Featured New Words — Full Definitions and Points

Slang Words and Modern Society

BEZZY best friend (18 points)

CAKEAGES charges in a restaurant for serving cake brought in from outside (15 points)

CAKEHOLE mouth (17 points)

DENCH excellent (11 points)

DEVO short for devolution (8 points)

GEOCACHE search for hidden containers using GPS as a recreational activity (16 points)

LOLZ laughs at someone else's or one's own expense (13 points)

LOTSA lots of (5 points)

NEWB newbie (9 points)

OBVS obviously (9 points)

ONESIE one-piece garment combining a top with trousers (6 points)

PODIUMED past tense of podium, finish in the top three places in a sporting competition (14 points)

RIDIC ridiculous (8 points)

SHIZZLE A form of US rap slang (18 points)

SHOOTIE type of shoe that covers the ankle (10 points)

SHOUTOUT public greeting, esp one broadcast via television or radio (11 points)

THANX thank you (15 points)

TUNEAGE music (8 points)

TWERKING type of dance involving rapid hip movement (16 points)

VAPE to inhale nicotine vapour (from an electronic cigarette) (9 points)

WUZ nonstandard spelling of was (15 points)

Technology and Electronic Communications

FACETIME talk with (someone) via the FaceTime application (15 points)

HACKTIVIST person who hacks computer systems for political reasons (22 points)

HASHTAG (on Twitter) word or phrase preceded by a hashmark, used to denote the topic of a post (14 points)

PWN defeat (an opponent) in conclusive and humiliating fashion (8 points)

SEXTING practice of sending sexually explicit text messages (15 points)

SHOWROOMING practice of looking at an item in a shop, using a smartphone to compare its price elsewhere, then

buying it online (20 points)

TWEEP person who uses the Twitter website (10 points)

WARBOT any robot or unmanned vehicle or device designed for and used in warfare (11 points)

WEBAPP an application program that is accessed on the internet (15 points)

Highest Scoring and Useful Words

CAZH casual (18 points)

CHECKBOX small clickable box on a computer screen (28 points)

CINQ number five (15 points)

COQUI type of tree-dwelling frog (16 points)

EMOJI digital icon used in electronic communication (14 points)

IXNAY nix (15 points)

OXAZOLE type of liquid chemical compound (23 points)

OXIC involving oxygen (13 points)

PACZKI round filled doughnut (23 points)

QAMUTIK sled with wooden runners (22 points)

QUINZHEE shelter made from hollowed-out snow (29 points)

SCHVITZ to sweat (24)

WOJUS (Irish) of a poor quality (15 points)

ZEDA grandfather (14 points)

ZOWEE interjection of surprise (17 points)

Onomatopoeic Interjections

AUGH interjection expressing frustration (8 points)

BLECH interjection expressing disgust (12 points)

EEW exclamation of disgust (6 points)

GRR interjection expressing anger or annoyance (4 points)

WAAH interjection used to express wailing (10 points)

YEESH interjection used to express frustration (11 points)

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Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.