Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Wordy Wednesday - Wordy Game

Helena wanted to play scrabble yesterday. This entailed a visit to Toys 'R' Us, since we only had the Junior version, which she's now grown out of.

Despite playing with an "Open Dictionary" and getting some help, she was unable to beat me. I'm not sure why this came as such a surprise to her, considering that she was playing against someone with 28 years more experience of English.

Anyway, one of the benefits of allowing the free use of a dictionary is that you learn about words that you can't believe exist. Such as:

aa n a type of scoriaceous volcanic rock with a rough surface and many jagged fragments. [Hawaiian]

ee n (pl een) Scots form of eye.

oo 1. n Scots form of wool

oo 2. pronoun a Scots form of we

These Scots have got a lot to answer for. All definitions are taken from the Chambers Dictionary, which is published by a Scottish firm (of Scrabble players?).

Anyway, I'll just about buy the above as plausible, but the following definition, used by Helena to get 12 points, is going too far:

moy (Shakesp) n supposed by Pistol (misunderstanding a Frenchman's moi me) to be the name of a coin.

So now they're putting random nonsense made-up words in the dictionary??? I wonder if it's just because it's Shakespeare, or can anyone join it? If I put some stupid combination of letters in my blog, will it get a mention in the next edition of Chambers? Let's try it and see.

I had a dream last night that at a crucial point in a game of Strip Scrabble, I managed to beat my three gorgeous opponents with a real qycxbez.

qycxbez (BOV) n A massively high-scoring word played during a Scrabble game by a player who fools his less experienced opponents into believing that it's in the official dictionary, which he claims to have learned by heart.

I only once played an allegedly experienced scrabble player, and I'm sure that most of the weird 2-letter combinations he used were qycxbezes. (Note that the plural form of this word does not double the "z", since there's only one "z" in a standard Scrabble set. Note also that it's one of those few handy-to-know words that has a "q" in it, but not a "u").

I bet Shakespeare's turning in his grave, wishing that he were alive now to realise his full potential. Given his capacity for inventing words, he'd have been an unbeatable opponent...

Exercise for the reader:

What's the highest word score you can get for
qycxbez? If you place it in on a triple word square with the "x" on a double lettter, you make 141 points, but I don't know if there's a way to score more.


Bee said...

I hate playing scrabble and all other scrabble-like games.

I can't spell for crap so I never get words right. Also, Andy once scored with the word 'po' I was all "NO WAY CHEESE HEAD!!" and then he got the old rickety dictionary his parents had and guess what?

Po was in there because it's a river in some far off land.

Bee said...

I don't even want to say 'first' because I don't know where jean knee is. (:'o{

Brian o vretanos said...

Po as in the river wouldn't be allowed, because it is spelt with a capital letter. However, "po" as in chamberpot or "po" as a shorter form of "po-faced" is, at least according to my dictionary.

Hopefully Jean Knee will come back soon.

jean knee said...

nearly First!!!

crap, I love made up words

go Brian!

jeanknee said...

I'm in Dallas on a four hour layover to get on a plane for 20 minutes to fly to podunk.


Brian o vretanos said...

Jean Knee:

Hello! Couldn't you have got a bus, or something?

Dan said...

Posting about a word game on a wordy Wednesday, too much words!

Jean Knee said...

I could have taken a bus but then I'd have to take a cab to the bus station. ride to the podunk bus station, then take a cab to pick up my car from the airport.

Brian o vretanos said...


Sorry about that - I'll try to use fewer words in my next post.

Jean Knee:

But I bet that wouldn't have taken four hours...