Scrabble Adds 300 New Words, Like ‘Sheeple’ And ‘OK’

Scrabble Adds 300 New Words, Like ‘Sheeple’ And ‘OK’

Four years after its last update, the official Merriam-Webster Scrabble Dictionary is having around 300 new words added to the ranks.

As AP reports, 20 of those start with Q, like “Qapik”, which is “a monetary unit of Azerbaijan, equal to 1/100 of the Azerbaijani manat”. Also added are some Asian culinary treasures, like “bibimbap” and “sriracha”, while Italians get “arancini”.

“Zen” is included, notable because it’s weird it wasn’t already, which you could also say for “OK”, since I swear I’ve been using that for years.

The internet has predictably played a big part too, with words like “botnet”, “facepalm”, “hivemind”, “emoji” and “sheeple” making the cut.

Of all the new words added lexicographer Peter Sokolowski, editor at large at Merriam-Webster, has a favourite: “macron”, not for its scoring ability, but because “I just like what it means.”


  • OK wasnt used in the past, because it was seen as an acronym rather than a complete word. This year they recognised that the lower case use is as prevalent as anything else, so basically see it as a word now.

    And in the scrabble community, its going to be divisive, and game changing. K was used to block various letters, because it sucks so much, but now the more common O gives an out. And 2 letter words are the most important ones in scrabble, so a new one that also utilises a sucky letter, gives quite a few opportunities.

    I dont play scrabble, just repeated what I’ve read elsewhere on this amazing story.

    • The reason I disallow OK is that you can spell it ‘okay’.

      Mind you, I have sneered at the Official Scrabble Dictionary for years. It is a tool designed for competitive players, pure and simple. It has little to no bearing on what normal speakers of the English language would expect to be allowed. I mean, Azerbaijani currency units? Bibimbap? Why not just allow romanised spellings of every single foreign word?

      • On the rare occasions I play, I couldnt care less to be honest 🙂 If it sounds alright, its fine by me, and that would usually mean OK would be okay as well. If someone didnt want it, I wouldnt argue about it though. I’d more likely wonder how the hell they knew what a bibimbap was…

        My comment was about the competitive scene though. From what I’ve read, this is going to create controversy as players get used to it being an option. Personally, I find it amusing that such a simple term can be so divisive.

        • Mate, competitive Scrabble players are brutal! A lot of them memorise the entire frickin’ official dictionary.

  • Apparently macron is a mark to symbolise a long vowel.

    Fascinating….i guess.

    I thought it was going to refer to the French president, but then aren’t proper names banned?

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