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30 Little-Known Words Guaranteed to Make You a Scrabble Champ

Memorize the best Scrabble words for a competitive edge at your next game night.

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Oxyphenbutazone: A type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)

This is theoretically the highest-scoring of all the Scrabble words—hooked to the right words, it would earn a whopping 1,778 points, found Dan Stock of Ohio. But it would require perfect placement of eight other tiles, so it’s never actually been played in a real game. (As far as we know!)

If you can memorize that one, try your luck with the hardest words to spell in the English language.

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Muzjiks: A Russian peasant

With this alternate spelling of muzhiks, Jesse Inman earned the record of the highest-scoring opening Scrabble word ever played in 2008.

These slang words from the 1920s are just plain… Weird.

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Qi: The energy of life flowing through the body

When you’ve been holding on to that Q for way too long, just get rid of it with this easy-peasy two-letter word that doesn’t even require a U. Add an S at your next turn to take advantage of that 10-point Q all over again.

Check out these words that don’t mean what you think they do.

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Qat: A shrub that grows in the Middle East and Africa

Q with no U? You’re in luck—“qat” makes it easy to get rid of that tricky letter. When your friends question you, make sure to pronounce it right (“kaht”), and don’t miss these other common words even smart people mispronounce.

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Xi: Letter in the Greek alphabet

You know “ax,” “ex,” and “ox,” but when your only vowel is an I, you’ve got options.

Would you believe these English words have Gaelic origins?

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Xu: Coin that used to be minted in South Vietnam

Don’t get stuck with that X! Short Scrabble words that start with X are hard to come by.

Here’s the real reason Canadians and Americans spell “colour” differently.

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Phpht: Interjection

No vowels? No problem! Other long consonant-only options include crwth, byrls, fyrds, ghyll, and xylyl.

Can you pass this quiz of 4th grade spelling words?

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Zuz: Ancient Hebrew coin

Super Scrabble players curse the days they get two Zs. “Pizza” and “fuzz” are obvious choices, but you can get rid of those pesky letters even quicker with this three-letter word.

Here are more words you never realized are the same backwards and forwards!

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Cwm: Cirque, a half-open hollow on a mountainside

When you’re stuck with all consonants, you don’t have too many options, especially if you don’t have a Y either. Enter cwm to save the day, or even tsk, brr, pht, zzz, nth, or shh.

Every Canadian should know these British words and phrases!

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Beziques: A card game played with a pack of 48 cards (two of each suit for high cards)

This word can get two tricky letters out of the way: Z and Q.

Here are the Latin words you use every day without knowing it!

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Caziques: Black-and-red or black-and-yellow orioles of the American tropics

Impress your Scrabble opponents with this unexpected eight-letter word.

For more practice before game night, try your hand at these word search puzzles you can print for free.

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Highjack: Alternate spelling of hijack

Huh, who knew there was more than one spelling?

We bet you don’t know these words are examples of onomatopoeia!

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Mezquite: Alternate spelling of mesquite

Trick all of your opponents with this perfectly legitimate alternate spelling.

Try your hand at these tricky crossword puzzle clues.

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Oxazepam: A tranquilizing drug used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and alcohol withdrawal

People might not know what this drug is used for, but the important thing is that you know how to win a game of Scrabble with it.

More of a jigsaw person? Check out these pro tips on how to solve a jigsaw puzzle fast.

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Maximize: To make as big or large as possible

This is a word people actually use on a daily basis, but it’s still a great way to score 78 Scrabble points.

Check out these mind-blowing things you never knew about the English language.

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Quixotry: Quixotic action or thought

You probably still have no idea what this means. A quixotic action is one that is unrealistic or impractical.

Check out these adjectives we should really be using more often.

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Jukebox: A coin-operated phonograph, equipped with push buttons for the selection of songs

Turn up the music because this Scrabble word can score you 77 points. However, if you’re sensitive about your age, you might want to think twice before using these old-fashioned words.

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Vizcacha: A burrowing rodent

When you use this winning Scrabble word, you’ll impress your friends while scoring a lot of points.

Science has just discovered the secret to learning a new language.

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Chutzpah: Unbelievable gall; supreme self-confidence

It takes a lot of chutzpah to use this high-scoring Scrabble word.

Find out why some English words have silent letters.

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Quetzals: The basic unit of money in Guatemala; large bird of Central and South America

This word with a double meaning can help to potentially double your score.

Can you define these words containing “P” and “Q”?

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Whizbang: A small high-velocity shell; a firecracker that makes a whizzing sound followed by an explosion

This fun Scrabble word can add 76 points to your score.

Learn the true meanings of these commonly misused words.

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Flapjack: A flat cake of thin batter fried on both sides on a griddle

Another one of the high-scoring Scrabble words that can help you win the game is flapjack.

These English words have totally different meanings in other languages.

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Wheezily: With a wheeze

This top Scrabble word can get you 76 points.

These words from the first dictionary no longer exist!

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Equalize: To compensate; to make equal, uniform, corresponding, or matching

This Scrabble word may or may not equalize the score of the game.

Find out which synonyms and antonyms people search for the most.

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Exorcize: Drive out or attempt to drive out (an evil spirit) from a person or place

It’s what an exorcist does, chiefly.

Check out these fascinating facts about every letter in the English alphabet.

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Zombify: To turn into a zombie

Let’s hope that the only place this word is used is on the Scrabble board and never in the news.

Can you find the missing words in these puzzles? (Fewer than 60 per cent of people can!)

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Squeeze: To grip and press firmly; the act of gripping and pressing firmly

You can squeeze 75 points out of this high-scoring Scrabble word.

Just how big is your vocabulary, anyway? Take our Word Power challenge to test your knowledge of royal terms.

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Jezebel: A shameless, impudent, scheming woman

This is one of the best Scrabble words to use—especially if you’re playing against an impudent, scheming opponent.

Here are the best-reviewed board games to play in self-quarantine.

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Quickly: With rapid movements; with little or no delay

Quickly is one of the less-complex Scrabble words you can use to win. You can quickly win a game by throwing this word down on the Scrabble board.

Discover 18 names for things you never knew had names.

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Zymurgy: The branch of chemistry concerned with fermentation

Fermentation as in making wine, brewing, or distilling. Cheers!

Now that you know the best Scrabble words, see if you can answer these tough dictionary questions from Jeopardy!

Originally Published on Reader's Digest