15 Scrabble Trivia Facts to Annoy Your Friends In-Game

April 13th is National Scrabble Day which, if you’re playing Scrabble, means you’re now realizing how terrible you are at Scrabble. Even if you identify as someone who has a particularly good vocabulary, you might find yourself losing to someone who played like “za” or some other weird Scrabble-valid thing that isn’t how words work in real life. Anyway, have you tried annoying the heck out of your competition with random trivia, getting so far into their heads that they can no longer properly form words, allowing you to win by default? No? Well here are some Scrabble trivia facts anyway.


Scrabble Trivia Facts

1. Scrabble was invented by an architect in 1931 by a guy named Alfred Mosher Butts. 

2. “Scrabble” didn’t get the name until 1948. Up until then, Butts called it “Lexiko” and later “Criss-Cross,” in 1938 before a guy named James Brunot resold it as “Scrabble.” “Lexiko” was a play on the word “lexicon,” which refers to one’s vocabulary.

3. Also, Lexiko didn’t have a board, there were only tiles.

4. It also wasn’t very popular with companies when seeking widespread distribution. 

5. But you can thank Macy’s for getting Scrabble off the ground. Jack Straus (Macy’s president at the time) became enamored with the game and placed a big order to sell it on shelves in 1952. 

6. Even if languages share alphabets, different editions come with differing numbers of tiles. They’re also distributed differently, and have different point values. This is a fact that probably isn’t surprising if you think about it for about 10 seconds. 

7. In English Scrabble, about 42% of tiles are vowels. So uh… Feels bad when your entire hand is just “T’s” and “H’s.”

8. There’s a Scrabble TV show. It went on for seven seasons on NBC. 

9. Scrabble Day is April 13th because it’s Aflred Butts’s birthday.

10. Nigel Richards doesn’t speak French, but he’s also the world champion of French Scrabble. 

Nigel Richards, seen here at a Scrabble tournament last winter, won the French-language Scrabble championships Monday. He began studying the French Scrabble dictionary in May.

11. “Oxyphenbutazone” is theoretically the highest scoring Scrabble play with 1,782 points (including bonuses). You’re probably never going to get to see it in a game naturally though, since it all but requires the cooperation of the other players. 

12. Letters become more and less common as language changes, so you’d imagine that the point values of letters might change over time to accommodate the “Scrabble meta.” They don’t, though, and it’s kind of a hot debate. 

13. “Bingo” is a valid Scrabble word, so enjoy yelling that out to mess with people. 

14. French Scrabble is on average higher-scoring, since it’s a lot easier to just slap an “E” or “S” at the end of somebody else’s play to mooch points than other languages.

15. If you play Scrabble at a high-enough level, you will find that the tiles are perfectly smooth so you can’t feel out the letters. 


See if you know what countries would give you a lot of Scrabble points here.

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