We’ve been feeling pretty lucky lately over here on the The Nostalgia Diaries. For the past few weeks, some fun, nostalgia-inducing holidays have been falling on Thursdays, which means they were just begging for us to highlight them on #throwbackthursday. Two weeks ago, we had a colorful #tbt with National Crayon Day, and last week we had the pretty sweet opportunity to enjoy National Twinkie Day.
And then we couldn’t believe our luck when we discovered that today was National Scrabble Day—it’s like we hit a trifecta of Throwback Thursday goodness!
Trifecta, in case you were wondering, is the highest scoring word you can create if you have the letters F,R,C,T,E,I,T, and A on your Scrabble rack. It comes in at 13 points, whereas the other words you can create with those seven letters—ATTRETIC, CATTIER, CITRATE, and FATTIER—will get you at most 10 points. So plop those letters down on the board, make sure one of them falls on a triple word score, and you’ll have a true trifecta of goodness and a total of 36 points (even more if you play off another word or create a new one in the process!).
But we digress…
Scrabble—a game where “Every Word Counts”—has been winning over hearts and twisting words since American architect Alfred Mosher Butts created it back in the 1930’s. And, considering the board game is popular in over 120 countries and is found in one-third of all American houses, we’re betting that we’re not the only ones nostalgic for this famous, family-friendly pastime.
Heck, people love Scrabble so much that they’ve even come up with other ways to use those perfect little wooden letter blocks instead of just building words. You can find them (or some version of them) in jewelry, home decor, and artwork (Corey even has some hanging around her place). The massive success of the Scrabble app and other word game apps such as Words With Friends also prove the popularity—and staying power—of this simple, classic game.
So in honor of this locution-filled holiday, we’ve rounded up 7 of our favorite Scrabble fun facts:
- What’s in a Name? Mr. Butts created the game as a variation on an earlier word game he invented called Lexiko. It was then referred to as Criss-Cross Words during the 30’s and 40’s and wasn’t trademarked as Scrabble until 1948.
- Hey! No Cheating! Feeling the surface of a tile when your hand is in the bag— otherwise known as “brailing”—is forbidden in Scrabble play.
- How Many? There are 187,632 words on the official Scrabble tournament and club word list.
- It’s Official! In 2014, 5,000 new words were added to the official Merriam-Webster Scrabble Players Dictionary. Some of the new words included pop-culture mainstays such as selfie, hashtag, mixtape, frenemy, and chillax.
- Bingo! When a player uses all seven of their Scrabble tiles to make a word, it’s called a bingo. Yell it out and your opponents might get confused as to what game they’re actually playing.
- 1782 Wasn’t Just a Year! It’s also how many points competitive Scrabble player Benjamin Woo won with just ONE word. The word was OXYPHENBUTAZONE, and he played it across the top of the board, hitting three Triple Word Score squares while making seven crosswords downward. Talk about an over-achiever…
- Nostalgia for the Win (Maybe…)! Playing NOSTALGIA on the board will score you only 10 points, so try to find a bonus spot to up your total.
So go on . . . get playing, and good luck!
Tell us: Are you a Scrabble fan? What other classic “board games” do you remember playing? Monopoly? Life? Risk? Sorry? Clue? Yahtzee? What was your favorite? Do you still play board games?
P.S. We also think this might be the coolest Scrabble board ever…
At the The Nostalgia Diaries, our goal is to help you simplify, enhance, and engage your lives by focusing on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.