Bitcoin Enters the Scrabble Lexicon

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Bitcoin Enters the Scrabble Lexicon


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To its holders, bitcoin is immensely valuable. Except, that is, for holders of the seven tiles required to spell ‘bitcoin’ on the Scrabble board. The word, which has now been added to the official Scrabble dictionary, is worth a mere 11 points. The significance of its inclusion to Bitcoin proponents, however, is notably greater.

Also read: Bitcoin Glyphs Added to Apple’s Shortcuts Application

Bitcoin Enters the Scrabble Bag

Bitcoin Enters the Scrabble LexiconWhat do twerk, beatdown, zomboid, and puggle have in common? They all number among the 300 new words to have been included in the sixth edition of Merriam-Webster’s Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (OSPD). The reference guide, first published in 1979, is used at official Scrabble tournaments across North America to determine what’s a word and what’s just a jumble of letters. Until now, bitcoin fell into the latter category, deemed too new and niche to warrant admission in the hallowed guide.

That bitcoin has now made its way into the pages of the OSPD is further evidence of the inroads the cryptocurrency has made in permeating popular culture and becoming a household name. This latest miniature milestone comes days after bitcoin glyphs were included in Apple’s Shortcuts application, and weeks after being namechecked in a new Eminem track. Bitcoin’s Scrabble dictionary inclusion also attests to the increasing weighting given to internet-derived terms, which have come to dominate colloquial speech the world over. Recent OPSD additions emoji, facepalm, bestie, hivemind, and yowza all fall under this banner.

Bitcoin Doesn’t Need Permission to Play

Bitcoin Enters the Scrabble LexiconWhile competitive Scrabble players with a penchant for cryptocurrency will be pleased to note bitcoin’s inclusion in the official dictionary, the exercise is largely academic. Bitcoin-lovers who wished to deploy the word in Scrabble games with friends up until now need only reach consensus prior to placing their tiles on the board. Indeed, there is nothing to stop crypto fans from playing their own version of the game, with double points awarded for spelling out such staples as HODL, FOMO, and shitcoin.

As the original permissionless ledger, the only rules Bitcoin observes are those enshrined in its code. Nevertheless, its inclusion in the Merriam-Webster’s Official Scrabble Players Dictionary serves as a small reminder of how far Bitcoin has come in such a short space of time.

What are your thoughts on bitcoin’s inclusion in the Scrabble dictionary – is it a big deal, or nothing much to shout about? Let us know in the comments section below.


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