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Will You Celebrate National Scrabble Day?

Will you celebrate National Scrabble Day on April 13? David Bukszpan, author of Is That a Word?: From AA to ZZZ, the Weird and Wonderful Language of Scrabble, will play Scrabble at The Brooklyn Strategist to celebrate the holiday.

The author shared some Scrabble strategies last year on the Morning Media Menu, revealing some literary secrets that GalleyCat readers can use while playing.  Press play at the bottom of this post to listen to the whole interview.

He gave GalleyCat readers a special gift: an enormous list of book-related words you can play in Scrabble.

Words with Books: Using Your Book Smarts to Win at Scrabble by David Bukszpan

(Capitalized words are all playable in Scrabble)

Scrabble, Words With Friends, and Banagrams players know well that proper nouns are not allowed in those games, but sometimes there are playable words that also happen to proper nouns, such as the name Bill and the noun and verb bill.

BIBLIOPHILES may be pleasantly surprised to find that the names of many of their favorite writers and characters are playable. Take for instance MARK (to make a physical designation, or to heed) and TWAIN (a pair).

Below are some of my favorite playable Scrabble words taken from the world of books. And while many of those based on characters are EPONYMIC (like LILLIPUTS), some connections are completely coincidental.

We can start in classical literature, where HOMER’s (a homerun) HOMERIC (large, grand) ILIAD (a lengthy poem) and ODYSSEY (a long, adventure-filled journey) birthed many playable words:

AENEUS: greenish-gold in color

APHRODITE: a type of butterfly

APOLLO: a handsome man

ARGOSY: a large merchant ship

CALYPSO: a style of music

CYCLOPES: a tiny, one-eyed crustacean

HECTOR: to verbally abuse

ILIUM: a part of the pelvis

MUSE: to think about

NESTOR: a wise, elderly man

TROY: a system of weights for gems

A few millennia later, BILL SHAKES PEAR gave us

ROMEO: a lover

LEAR: learning

PUCK: a disc

SHYLOCK: to lend money with a high interest rate

ARIEL: a type of African gazelle

 

CHARLIE DICKENS books give us GAMP, FAGIN, SCROOGE and PICKWICK.

In the States, MARK TWAIN could play TOM SAWYER, HUCKLEBERRY, JOE HARPER, and JUDGE THATCHER against HER MAN MEL VILL(e), who could put down DICK, AH AB, STAR BUCK, FLASK, PIP and DAG GOO

 

Sinclair LEWIS could play BABBIT, but HARPER LEE could beat him with SCOUT FINCH and BOO. JAY DEE Salinger has HOLDEN and ZOOEY, and Vonnegut has BILLY PILGRAM and those two TROUBLEMAKERS, ROSEWATER and TROUT.

JANE Austen could show up with MISS BENNET, HENRY and FANNY DASH WOOD, LADY MIDDLE TON, EM MA WOOD HOUSE, and BILL (William) COLLINS.

Playwright ART MILLER could make WILLY LO MAN play his sons, BIFF and HAPPY.

Meanwhile, JORDAN BACKER, JAY GATS BY, and (almost) NICK CARAWAY (not CARROWAY) could mix it up on EF SCOT(t) Fitzgerald’s board.

Maybe you remember LEWIS CAR ROL(l)’s JABBERWOCKY from A LICE’s adventures in WONDERLAND.

Other characters you could invite to your Scrabble party are JANE EYRE, FAUST, QUIXOTE and LOTHARIO, and HARRY POTTER (but first you’ll have to ask JAY KAY ROW LING).

But watch out—writers are notoriously good Scrabble players. You might want to brush up before you challenge SAUL BELLOW, MARTIN AMIS, JOSEPH HELLER, HART CRANE, MARK STRAND, HA JIN, or even DAN BROWN.

And if you don’t mind getting a little creative, you could also play against

PEARL ES BUCK

NORM AN MAILER

JIMMIE AGEE

RAY CARVER

CHARLIE WRIGHT

ED WARD GIBBON

ED WARD ABBEY
JIMMY TATE

NORM MAILER

TOM HARDY

ROB FROST

ROB PEN(n) WARREN

ANN(e) SEXTON

JOHN BERRY MAN

ED WIN ROBIN SON

EL WYN (E.B.) WHITE

WALLY WHIT MAN

ROB LOW ELL

CARL SAND BURG

THORN TON WILDER

JOHN UP DIKE

EL DOCTOR OW

COLS ON WHITE HEAD

BARBIE KING SOLVER

MIKE CUNNING HAM

JO AN DID ION

JOHN STEIN BECK

RALPH ELL IS ON

STEP HEN KING

CEE ESS (but not Clive Staples) LEWIS

Three of my favorite authors that are oh-so-close are DON DE LI (l) LO, PHILIPIC WROTH, and BE (r) NARD MA LA MUD. Maybe someone should write a letter to NO AH WEBSTER!

Press play below to listen to the whole interview.

 

David Bukszpan is the author of IS THAT A WORD? From AA to ZZZ: The Weird and Wonderful Language of Scrabble. He blogs at isthatascrabbleword.com. No, his last name is not playable in English language Scrabble. Though it works in the Polish language version.

 He’ll be speaking at PowerHouse Arena in DUMBO this Thursday, December 13, at 7pm.

Here’s the With Or Without U book trailer.

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