(Written by Carla Rea)
April 13 is National Scrabble Day! Exciting, right?!
Scrabble was invented in 1931 by an architect named Alfred Mosher Butts. He invented the game in an attempt to create a word game that combined anagrams and crosswords, which involved luck, chance, and a lot of skill.
Back in 1931, the original name for Scrabble was ‘Lexico‘, before becoming ‘Criss-Cross Words‘ and eventually ‘Scrabble‘, in 1938. Alfred Butts decided on the frequency and distribution of the letter tiles through analyzing the front page of the New York Times.
The game is sold in 121 countries and comes in 31 different languages, and over 150 million copies of Scrabble have been sold worldwide. During the pandemic, it became more popular than ever.
Not unlike Lego, in sofas, underneath carpets, eaten by vacuums – and children and pets – somewhere in the world, there are over a million missing Scrabble tiles.
Scrabble has quite a celebrity following, those celebs who play include Sting, Keanu Reeves, Moby, John Travolta, Carol Burnett, Jimmy Kimmel, Tom Cruise, Kate Hudson, and HRH, Queen Elizabeth II!
If all the Scrabble tiles ever produced were lined up, they would stretch for more than 50,000 miles!
The highest-scoring single word? That word is Oxyphenbutazone. To get those points, competition player Benjamin Woo played it across the top of the board, hitting three Triple Word Score squares while also making seven crosswords downwards.
By the way, if you use all of your tiles at once, it’s customary to yell “BINGO!”
And now, a little help. Some words to memorize, to help you win every time! Ok – maybe…
Muzjiks: A Russian peasant
Qi: The energy of life flowing through the body
Qat: A shrub that grows in the Middle East and Africa
Xi: Letter in the Greek alphabet (You already know ax, ex and ox…)
Xu: Coin that used to be minted in South Vietnam
Beziques: A card game played with a pack of 48 cards
Caziques: Black-and-red or black-and-yellow orioles of the American tropics
Oxazepam: A tranquilizing drug used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and alcohol withdrawal
You’re welcome. Now go kick some Scrabble butt!