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Scrabble finally acknowledges ‘stan’ is a real word

It’s one of 500 new words added to the game’s official dictionary

A Scrabble board showing a game in play. Letter tiles cover a significant portion of the board, with words that interlock. Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Nicole Clark (she/her) is a culture editor at Polygon, and a critic covering internet culture, video games, books, and TV, with work in the NY Times, Vice, and Catapult.

Extremely online Scrabble players are in luck. Roughly 500 new words have been added to the Scrabble dictionary, including stan, torrent, vibing, subtweet (though who knows how long that one will be relevant), zoomer, and adulting. Now in its Seventh Edition, The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary was last updated in 2018, so there’s a lot of fertile ground to cover.

Here are some of our favorite new words: bae, inspo, yeehaw, sitch (which I am imagining in Kim Possible’s voice), welp, jedi, dox, folx, hangry, spork (how was this not a word before?), convo, vaxxed, thingie, onesie, swole, inspo, and atting (as in the @ symbol), among others.

There are lots of new tasty word additions like matcha, horchata, marg (for margarita), iftar, wagyu, kabocha, and zaatar (which is typically spelled za’atar, but Scrabble rules mean that words with apostrophes, like possessives, aren’t playable). Lots of new compound words have also been added, including deadname and pageview. Pig Latin has also, amusingly, been upgraded from noun to verb forms — previously you could play ixnay, now you can play ixnayed and ixnaying.

If you love Scrabble, then you’ve probably hit your head against the gulf between the official game dictionary and the broader, evolving “dictionary” of spoken language. Maybe you play with nice friends and family who let your word choices slide. But if a competitor formally challenges you as to whether a word is spelled correctly — or whether it exists within the game’s official dictionary — you’re obligated to check. If the challenger is right, and the word doesn’t exist in the Scrabble dictionary, the player loses their points for that round.

Over the years, there have been words that are in some common dictionaries that haven’t made it into Scrabble’s. According to Hasbro’s Scrabble FAQ web page, words “must be found in two of the five most popular American dictionaries” before being added to the Scrabble one. I find it delightful to imagine the people who had to scan multiple dictionaries to establish whether guac was an acceptable way of referring to guacamole.