Scrabble Dictionary Adds New Fan-Voted Word

By ABC News

Apr 10, 2014 8:12am

The makers of the popular board game Scrabble have added a new word to the official player’s dictionary.

Geocache beat out 15 other nominated words in the Scrabble Word Showdown to become the winning word that will be included in the upcoming fifth edition of Merriam-Webster’s “Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.”

The winning word, revealed today on “Good Morning America,” marks two firsts for the longtime board game.  Geocache is the first time the Scrabble dictionary has ever included a word that was voted on by fans and it’s the first major update to the Scrabble dictionary in nearly a decade.

Hasbro, the game’s maker, along with Merriam-Webster – which publishes the “Official Scrabble Players Dictionary” – announced last month that they would be updating the publication in order to reflect the changes in technology, trends and pop culture so the game would remain relevant for fans.

“English is an evolving language,” Peter Sokolowski, editor at large at Merriam-Webster, said in a statement. “The fact is, words enter common usage before they enter the dictionary. We’ve been watching geocache for some time.”

Hasbro invited fans to go to its Hasbro Game Night Facebook page to nominate their favorite new word for inclusion into the update. Thousands of nominations were narrowed the field to 16 choices, before arriving at the final four:  zen (a movement based in Buddhism which seeks religious enlightenment), ew (an expression of disgust), booyah (an expression of elation) and geocache (a type of treasure hunt where player use GPS to find an object that’s been buried).

The last edition of the player’s dictionary was published in 2005.

Hasbro officials said geocache will be immediately available as an eligible word for Scrabble players.  The new word will be playable in time for National Scrabble Day on April 13, the National School Scrabble Championship in April and the National Scrabble Tournament in August.

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