ABSP Association of British Scrabble Players.
AGGREGATE SCORE Cumulative game score during a tournament. This statistic is sometimes used for ranking players having equal wins in place order during tournaments. cf. SPREAD, MARGIN.
ANAMONICS Mnemonic phrases (often idiosyncratic) used to group the add-on letters for combos. For example, if you want to remember all the letters with which the stem INMATE combines, think of the phrase INMATE - RELAXING BY HIS CELL DOOR. That tells me that INMATE plus R forms a legitimate word so my memory is triggered to find MINARET and RAIMENT, then INMATE plus E (MATINEE, ETAMINE) etc.
ASPA Australian Scrabble Players Association.
BINGO The term used in North America for a bonus word.
BLOCKED GAME A game which canít be continued because there are no more legitimate moves possible. The game is deemed over and the players deduct the value of the tiles on their racks from their current score.
BLOCKER A word which canít be extended or which is difficult to build on: e.g. VLY
BMSC British Matchplay Scrabble Championship. The major ABSP organised competition
BONUS A word which uses all seven tiles on a playerís rack in one go gaining a 50-point bonus.
CHALLENGE The verbal indication to your opponent that the word they have just played may be wrong.
CHESS CLOCK The device used for timing total time taken by each player during a game. Generally, any fraction of a minute over time costs the player 10 points PLUS each further minute over time attracts an additional 10-point penalty.
CLUB KO The National Scrabble Club Tournament.
COMBINATIONS Letter groups that fit well with other letters to provide a selection of useful bonus words, memorable because of the common combination.
CLOSED BOARD A board situation which offers no openings for bonus words and yields few scoring options.
COLLINS SCRABBLE TOURNAMENT AND CLUB WORD LIST A listing of allowable words derived from Collins Dictionary used for adjudication in the United Kingdom (and elsewhere).
DOUBLE-DOUBLE A move which spans two Double Word Squares in one go earning four times the value of the word played. Also called FOUR-TIMER.
DOUBLE CHALLENGE A rule (not in UK Scrabble) of play whereby the challenger forfeits a turn (or incurs a points penalty) if his or her challenge proves to be incorrect. Double Challenge is practised in clubs and tournaments in North America, New Zealand and Israel.
DUMP or DUMPER A word which allows you to unload awkward letters for a low score with a view to creating a more balanced rack.
DUMPING Making a low scoring move which rids the rack of awkward letters.
DWS (abbrev.) Double Word Score
ENDGAME The last few moves of the game in which counting and positional finesse can determine the outcome.
EXCHANGING The act of forgoing your turn to discard lousy tiles for better ones OR to discard lousy tiles for even lousier ones.
FISHING Throwing out one tile in the hope of picking up a specific tile to make a bonus word:
e.g. discarding the R from the rack Q-U-E-T-R-A-L in the hope of picking up the Z to make QUETZAL.
FLOATER A letter available for playing through to form an 8-letter word.
FREE CHALLENGE Same as SINGLE CHALLENGE
GOING OUT Playing the last move in the game and emptying your rack.
HIGHSCORE A style of play (primarily and formally in the UK) where emphasis is to get high scores and high game aggregates rather than winning.
HOOK A letter which forms a valid new word when added to the front or back of a word already on the board, e.g. the W-hook in WHELPING
KNOCKOUT Playing the game to win rather than to obtain high scores. Same as MATCHPLAY.
MATCHPLAY Playing the game to win rather than for high scores - mainly used in the U.K. in contrast to OPEN or high-scoring Scrabble which was popular in Britain in the 1980ís.
NASC North American Scrabble Championships.
NATIONAL SCRABBLE CLUB TOURNAMENT A national Club team tournament played as straight kockout each year. Loosley and incorrectly known as Club Knockout.
NEUTRALISING THE CLOCK In tournaments when pressing the clock buttons such that neither clock is going, as required when words are challenged or when there is a dispute.
NINE-TIMER A move which links two Triple Word Scores
scoring nine-times the value of the word played.
NON-GO A promising combination of letters that doesnít make a bonus word. e.g. I-R-E-L-A-N-D
NSC National Scrabble Championships. An annual event run by J.W. Spear & Sons (a subsiduary of Mattel Inc.) since 1971 consisting of regional finals and a semi and grand final.
NZASP New Zealand Association of Scrabble Players.
ONWORDS The Scrabble Enthusiast's Magazine - published five times a year by Allan Simmons.
OPEN BOARD A board with openings for bonus words and offering good chances for a high-scoring game.
OPEN GAME A form of the game in which both players attempt to achieve high scores rather than win the game. Popular in the U.K. in the 1980ís but has now been almost completely replaced by MATCHPLAY
OPEN SCRABBLE A variation of the game in which all letters are placed face up and are visible to both players. This format is used in Postal Scrabble.
OSPD Pronounced Oh-Ess-Pee-Dee, this is the familiar abbreviation of the American's official word authority Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary published by Merriam-Webster.
OSW Pronounced O-Ess-Double-U, this is the familiar abbreviation of Official Scrabble Words - a listing of allowable words derived from Chambers Dictionary previously used for adjudication in the United Kingdom (and elsewhere).
OSWI Pronounced O-Ess-Double-U-Eye, this is the abbreviation of Official Scrabble Words International - a listing of allowable words derived from Chambers Dictionary and OSPD.
OVERDRAWING Taking too many tiles from the bag.
PARALLEL PLAY A word played parallel to another word. Example: With MAR on the board, LATE is a parallel play
M A R L A T E
PASSING Passing your turn by neither making a move nor exchanging tiles.
PHONEY, PHONY An unallowable word - which sometimes escapes a challenge.
PREMIUM SQUARE Any square on the board that doubles (or triples) the face value of a tile (or word).
PROTILES Scrabble tiles with a smooth face so the blanks can't be identified by touch. Often required in tournament play.
PSC Postal Scrabble Club.
Q, BEING STUCK WITH THE Picking up the Q at the end of the game and having no place on the board to play it.
RACK LEAVE Whatís left on your rack after you make your move.
SASPA South African Scrabble Players Association.
RACK MANAGEMENT Playing moves which leave a healthy balance of vowels and consonants.
SETUP A move which sets up a hook for a specific letter.
SINGLE CHALLENGE A rule of play whereby the challenger does not forfeit a turn if his or her challenge proves to be incorrect.
SOWPODS The use of both OSPD and OSW combined as a source of adjudication - as occurs in the World Scrabble Championships. Most countries outside North America currently play according to this combined lexicon.
SPREAD The arithmetic difference between two players scores is the GAME SPREAD (i.e. MARGIN). Cumulative game spreads for a tournament form the TOTAL SPREAD (or just SPREAD). This is the most common statistic used for ranking players having equal wins in place order during tournaments.
STARTS AND REPLIES Used in tournament pairings to decide who goes first or second in the game. During the course of the tournament the starts and replies should roughly end up the same.
SUM OF OPPONENTS SCORES The total number of wins a player's opponents had as a measure of strength of opposition and thereby of use in splitting ties.
TILE-TRACKING The practice of marking off letters as they are played on a tracking grid or letter frequency list. This can give the astute player an advantage as the game progresses. Careful trackers can deduce opponent's rack after there are no letters left to draw. By tracking the player can often block opponent's best plays or set high-scoring plays that an opponent can't block. Players are allowed to play with their own Preprinted Tracking Sheet alongside their Score Sheet.
TLS (abbrev.) Triple Letter Score
TRIPLE-TRIPLE See NINE-TIMER
TURNOVER The total number of tiles played in a turn.
TWS (abbrev.) Triple Word Score.
WSC (abbrev.) World Scrabble Championships, first held in 1991 for leading players around the world of Scrabble in English. Peter Morris from the USA became the first ever winner. Wesbite click here
WESPA (abbrev.) World English Scrabble Players Association.
WYSC (abbrev.) World Youth Scrabble Championship, first held in 2006. David Eldar of Australia become the first ever winner. Wesbite click here
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