We've all been there. You scramble to find a word to play with your remaining tiles in Scrabble, which are conveniently as random as they come, perhaps a Q, K, I, D, X, O and H. Finally, you just give in and put down whatever you have, hoping that your opponents won't notice. However, they almost always do, and you end up getting into a huge fight over the word that only ends with you exchanging your letters for new ones and skipping your turn.
But don't lose hope. Merriam-Webster recently announced that its official dictionary for everyone's favorite word game Scrabble is getting an update, and maybe your nonsensical, seemingly made-up words made the cut. Most notably if you are a fan of 21st century vernacular, since Merriam-Webster has added contemporary words, such as "selfie," "hashtag" and "bromance," to the fifth edition of The Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary. The fast-paced world we live in now, driven by the Internet, has accelerated the appearance of words such as these in the English language.
"In the case of these terms, they've come very quickly and have been added to the dictionary," said Peter Sokolowski, editor at large for Merriam-Webster, to the New York Daily News.
This is the first major update to Scrabble's official dictionary in nearly a decade, adding more than 5,000 words acceptable for gameplay. To land a coveted spot in this dictionary, a word must be found in a standard dictionary, can't be an abbreviation, capitalized word or contain a hyphen or apostrophe, and must be between two to eight letters in length.
"Geocache," which is a verb describing the act of going on a GPS-led scavenger hunt for hidden items around the world, has also been added to the Scrabble dictionary. It is the first word voted in by fans of the game.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary regularly makes headlines for new words added every year. Words such as "catfish," "turducken" and "tweep" were either added or had their definitions altered in the dictionary this year.
Before you feel the urge to cry "Challenge!" in what seems like another step towards the decline of the English language, just remember that language evolves all the time. While dictionaries can be official sources on words and their meanings, nothing is set in stone. Scrabble wouldn't be nearly as fun if we weren't able to play words we actually use. So just "chillax," which is also a new word in the Scrabble dictionary.