In 2014, Merriam-Webster released the fifth edition of The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (OSPD). The release was heralded by news stories touting some of the buzzworthy new playable words, like BROMANCE, CHILLAX, MOJITO and YUZU.
And sometime in 2015, Scrabble clubs and tournaments in North America will begin using the updated Official Tournament and Club Word List (OTCWL). Many online Scrabble programs are already using the new OTCWL.
One Game, Two Dictionaries
Here’s an interesting fact: the OSPD and the OTCWL are not identical. Every word in OSPD is in OTCWL, but the latter includes about 200 playable words not in the former. Why the difference?
(This might be a good point to pause and mention that “Scrabble” refers to Scrabble® Brand Crossword Game, owned by Hasbro, which doggedly guards its trademark.)
The OSPD, the version you can buy in bookstores, is the cleaned-up, family-friendly and PC-friendly word list. The OTCWL is the unexpurgated word list, which includes the bad words, the dirty words, the offensive words. Here’s a basic history of how and why the two word lists split off. Here’s a humorous account of complications arising from the split dictionaries. Serious Scrabble players generally prefer using the unexpurgated list, and most online Scrabble games use the unexpurgated OTCWL.
After the previous dictionary updates circa 2006, some enterprising free speecher compiled and circulated a master list of playable OTCWL words excluded from the mass-market OSPD. This list came to be known as “the POO list”.
The offensive words on “the POO list” mostly belong to two basic categories: (1) slang terms for body parts, bodily functions and sex acts; and (2) hateful epithets for people of a particular race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
Some of these offensive words are so dated or obscure or tame that their exclusion seems comical, like BOHUNK, BOINK, BOOBIES, FATSO, GADJO, LIBBER, NOOKIE, or WILLIE. You might be slightly embarrassed to play BLOWJOB or JISM in polite company, but I doubt any reader of this blog finds the words offensive. Some of the hateful slurs still have the power to hurt and offend, mainly those referring to black people, like … well, browse the list and you’ll find a few.
Count me in the group that prefers the unexpurgated word list when playing Scrabble. It’s possible to abhor racism and embrace a univeralist worldview yet still think that sanitizing the dictionary is a misguided approach.
The 2014-2015 updates have widened the gap between the two lists. A few dozen dirty words have been added to the new OTCWL but not to the OSPD. If you bought a hard copy of the OSPD (fifth edition, red cover), you won’t find these words. But if you play Scrabble online or at a club (nerds!) using OTCWL, these words are legal and playable.
For the benefit of pervs, nerds, free speech absolutists and slang connoisseurs — I like to think Daze Reader appeals to all these groups — here is a list (incomplete and unofficial) of new dirty words you can play in Scrabble® Brand Crossword Game as of 2015.
New Dirty Words: Body Parts, Bodily Functions & Sex Acts
ARSEHOLE | ARSEHOLES
That’s ASSHOLE in Downtonese.
BALLOCKS | BOLLOCKS
Slang for testicles. Neither is good without the S at the end.
BAZOOMS was in the old Poo List, now the singular form is good too.
BUMWAD | BUMWADS
Slang for toilet paper.
CLIT | CLITS
Short for CLITORIS. Took them long enough to find it.
COCKSMAN | COCKSMEN
What’s the big deal? I don’t get offended when everyone calls me this.
CUMS | CUMMING
CUM was always good, since it has a non-dirty meaning (“combined with” or “serving two functions”). Now the dirty meaning is good too.
Abbreviated form of FUCKING, as in “no effing way”.
FISTING was a legal word already, the gerund of the verb “to fist”, which has the non-sexual meaning “to hit someone with your fists”. Now the sexual meaning of FISTING is good, and apparently it can be pluralized as FISTINGS.
FUCKFACE | FUCKFACES
FUCKHEAD | FUCKHEADS
FUCKWIT | FUCKWITS
MINDFUCK | MINDFUCKS
Lots more ways to play FUCK.
GOOLIE | GOOLIES | GOOLY
Slang for testicles.
JIZZ | JIZZES
Variation of JISM. This won’t come up much, since you would have to use a blank as the second Z.
MOFO | MOFOS
Very useful four-letter word. Short for MOTHERFUCKER. Hard to believe this wasn’t good before.
MUTHA | MUTHAS
Slangy soundalike for MOTHER, but considered obscene because MOTHERFUCKER is implied.
NUMBNUTS | NUMBNUTSES
Did you know that NUMBNUTS could be pluralized as NUMBNUTSES? Did one Stooge ever call the other two Stooges “numbnutses”? I’m gonna try to work this word into my vocabulary sometime soon.
PISSY | PISSIER | PISSIEST
PISSHOLE | PISSHOLES
PISS, PISSER and PISSANT were already on the Poo List.
SCHLONG | SCHLONGS
SHLONG | SHLONGS
Yiddish word for PENIS. Some Urban Dictionary contributors say that “schlong” refers specifically to a large penis, while other sources say it just means penis.
SCHTUP | SCHTUPPED | SCHTUPPING | SCHTUPS
SHTUP | SHTUPPED | SHTUPPING | SHTUPS
Triumph the Insult Comic Dog deserves the credit for getting these added.
SHAGGER | SHAGGERS
One who shags, in the Austin Powers sense. Really, that’s considered offensive?
SHITBAG | SHITBAGS
SHITCAN | SHITCANS | SHITCANNED | SHITCANNING
SHITE | SHITES
SHITFACE | SHITFACES
SHITHEEL | SHITHEELS
SHITHOLE | SHITHOLES
SHITTER | SHITTERS
SHITWORK | SHITWORKS
BULLSHITTER | BULLSHITTERS
COONSHIT | COONSHITS
Great big pile of new SHIT words.
At first I suspected COONSHIT might be a racial slur, but apparently it’s a Canadian slang word comparable to BULLSHIT or HORSESHIT, as in the phrase “not worth a pinch of coonshit”.
Variant of STIFFIE, which was already in the Poo List.
SUCKHOLE | SUCKHOLED | SUCKHOLES | SUCKHOLING
One source identifies SUCKHOLING as Australian slang for “seeking favour by flattering influential people”, comparable to American terms “kissing ass” or “brownnosing”. Others say SUCKHOLE is slang for “mouth”. Others say SUCKHOLE is a general insult meaning “jerk”, like ASSHOLE. New to me, but I like it.
YINGYANG | YINGYANGS
As in “up the …” or “out the …”.
New Dirty Words: Epithets & Slurs
BALLBUSTER | BALLBUSTERS
According to the Free Dictionary, “a demanding woman who destroys men’s confidence”.
BAYWOP | BAYWOPS
Insulting epithet for someone from Newfoundland. Part of the larger category of “insults used by city people for unsophisticated country people”.
BUMBOY | BUMBOYS
Gay slur, especially for a dude who likes receiving anal.
BULLDIKE | BULLDIKES
Variation of BULLDYKE, which was already on the Poo List.
BUTCH and BUTCHER both have non-offensive meanings. In the new update, BUTCHEST is good in the “manly lesbian” slang sense.
CHOLA | CHOLAS
CHOLO | CHOLOS
Slang epithet for Mexican-Americans.
CRIP | CRIPS
Insulting epithet for disabled person.
Insulting epithet for old people.
CULCHIE | CULCHIER | CULCHIES | CULCHIEST
CULSHIE | CULSHIER | CULSHIES | CULSHIEST
Irish insulting epithet for country person. Can be either noun or adjective. Again, part of the larger category of “insults used by city people for unsophisticated country people”.
DOGAN | DOGANS
Insulting epithet for Irish Catholic.
Variation on GOYISH, which was already in the Poo List.
NANCIER | NANCIEST
NANCE, NANCY and NANCIES were already in the Poo List as nouns, but now NANCY is an adjective.
PICKNEY | PICKNEYS
Jamaican patois term for child. As far as I can tell, the term is not considered offensive as used in the Caribbean. Maybe North American dictionaries consider it offensive because it’s linguistically related to “picaninny”.
POLACK | POLACKS
Insulting slang for people of Polish ethnicity. But “polock” is still not good.
PONCY | PONCEY | PONCIER | PONCIEST
PONCE was good as a verb meaning “to pimp”. In the new update, the insulting slang sense of “effeminate gay man” has been added, and these adjective variants are newly playable words.
POOFIER | POOFIEST
POOFY was both noun and adjective in the Poo List before, but now the adjective can be modified.
RAGHEAD | RAGHEADS
Insulting epithet for “a Muslim, Arab, Sikh, or member of any group that traditionally wears headdress such as a turban, keffiyeh or headscarf”, per Wiktionary.
SHEMALE | SHEMALES
Offensive porny term for some transgendered people.
SUMBITCH | SUMBITCHES
Condensed version of “son of a bitch”.
VENDU | VENDUS
The best I can figure, this is a Canadian epithet meaning “sell out”, applied specifically to a French-Canadian who has abandoned his cultural heritage.
WRINKLIE | WRINKLIES
Insulting epithet for old person.
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