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30 Little-Known Words That Will Help You Win Scrabble

Memorize these to be a winner every game.

Matthew Cohen/

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—start practicing with this Scrabble set. This is why men tend to be better at Scrabble than women.

Matthew Cohen/

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.

Matthew Cohen/

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 ten-point Q all over again to win Scrabble. Check out these other 10 almost-extinct words you should start using.

Matthew Cohen/

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 20 common words even smart people mispronounce.

Matthew Cohen/

Xi: Letter in the Greek alphabet

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

Matthew Cohen/

Xu: Ccoin 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.

Matthew Cohen/

Phpht: Interjection

No vowels? No problem! Other long consonant-only options to win Scrabble include crwth, byrls, fyrds, ghyll, and xylyl. You probably use these 10 trendy words but have no idea what they actually mean.

Matthew Cohen/

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.

Matthew Cohen/

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. Don't miss these other fancy words that make you sound smarter.

Matthew Cohen/

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.

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