18 Things You May or May Not Know About Scrabble


Sorry I have not had my usual output of words and thoughts on this blog. You’ll find the reason at the end.


18 Things You May

or May Not Know

About Scrabble

 1) In 1938 New York City architect Alfred Mosher Butts created the prototype of the game that was to become Scrabble. It was not until 1948 that Scrabble was on the market.


 2) The board size of a regulation Scrabble board is 15 x 15 squares.


 3) Scrabble is currently produced in 31 different languages.


 4) The word SCRABBLE means, “To claw or grope about frantically”.


 5) To mark the game’s 50th anniversary in 1998 the world’s largest game of Scrabble took place in Britain’s Wembley Stadium. Each tile measured an  enormous 6 ft square and took two strong men to lift each one. The game is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records.


 6) There is a town called Scrabble in Berkeley County, West Virginia, USA. It would seem likely, but they don’t have a Scrabble club.


 7) Celebrity Scrabble players include: Keanu Reeves, Madonna, Jonathan Ross, Queen Elizabeth of England, Richard Nixon (who played SCRABBLE periodically in the White House during his presidency), Sharon Stone, and possibly Shaquille O’Neal, who played SCRABBLE in an ESPN commercial.


 8) National Scrabble Day falls on April 13. It is also the birthday of Alfred Mosher Butts (in 1899).


 9) The instructions for Scrabble state that any dictionary may be used but the two most common are Merriam-Webster’s The Official Scrabble Player’s Dictionary, (for US, Canada, Israel, and Thailand) and Collins Scrabble Words (for the UK and the rest of the world).


10) The US version contains about 187,00 words while the UK version contains about 260,000 words.


11) Both the US and UK versions of Scrabble have 100 tiles and the same number of letter distributions.


12) There are 9 I’s in a Scrabble set. The high number of I’s are due to Butt’s desire to have 100 tiles in a set and to make the game more challenging. Thus the rise of the occasional three I’d monsters that can creep up on a player’s rack.


13) A player who plays all 7 letters on his rack in one turn is said to have scored a BINGO. A Bingo adds 50 additional points to the score in addition to any other points that are scored.


14) There are a number of different themed Scrabble sets, including Cooking, Gardening, The Hobbit, Book Lovers, Star Trek (Klingon and Spock are acceptable).


15) Despite claims that Scrabble does not allow foreign words, there are many foreign words that are acceptable. This is mainly due to (1) coincidence (like ROT – German for the color red, ONCE- Spanish for the number 11) or of which there is no English equivalent (KARATE, TABOO, ZEPPELIN).


16) The first World first Scrabble World Championship took place in London, in 1991.


17) A word played on the board that is not acceptable in Scrabble is known as a “phony”.


18) SuperScrabble, a larger version of the original Scrabble game, is played on a 21 x 21 board with 200 tiles. It takes approximately 2 hours to play.

I have recently updated my Scrabble book. It is now almost 300 pages in length and in its 10th edition.


To view the book, or to purchase it, please click on the link below =)






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