To the article

Words that start with Z and 8 fun facts about Scrabble that will surprise you

Scrabble is a game with such a rich history and so many language versions that theses, doctoral theses and even collective scientific studies are created about the game in a whole world. Of course, not all of this information may interest the average literary player, but among them there will be a few flavors that can really amaze…Or help make a good impression at a party or on a first date. For example there are exactly 601 words that start with Z and only 152 words that start with X in Scrabble dictionary.

1. The unemployed man invented Scrabble trying arrange words that start with Z

What words that start with Z can be arranged? If you currently do not have a job and you think that you have lost your chance, you can go ahead and take an example from Alfred Mosher Butts. At the beginning of the 30’s the man could not find himself on the American employment market. By education he was an architect, but he did not find a suitable job in the profession. However, he did not give up. Analyzing the rules of board games, he came up with the idea of creating something new. The after-sales were difficult because many companies rejected his idea. In the end, however, he found someone who would invest his own money in the project. I guess it’s hard to deny that it was one of the better investments of the interwar period.

2. The author of the game earned $50,000 a year from copyright

If we are already with the author of Scrabble, it’s hard not to mention his earnings. Of course, they were high, but from the perspective of today’s profits of Matel and Hasbro, it may seem not so satisfying. 5 cents from a sold unit that’s not much, even if we take into account the huge amount of Scrabble units sold. Besides, the copyright already expired in 1974. Butts didn’t have to worry about the daily living but he certainly counted on more.

3. The game sells 100M copies, and only until 1993

Subsequent language editions appeared gradually over several decades. Before the Second World War, the game was selling mainly on the American market, in Poland it reached its peak of popularity after 1989. In the last dozen or so years, the market of online Scrabble equivalents has also started to have a huge importance, and finally, a huge amount of money began to earn mobile applications. This is a topic for a separate discussion. Quite to say, that today all the clones ( official or not ), both in the traditional and electronic version, including dozen million are sold…annually.

4. There is a variation of the game that completely eliminates the elements of randomness

Although Scrabble is a game in which case is much less important than in other similar board games, there is also an element of randomness here. However, there is a variant of the game in which it does not occur at all. It is called “Belgian”, is a game in which players use the same set of tiles, so they have exactly the same chances of achieving the best possible result. Although the gameplay is then fairer, it becomes less spectacular therefore it has a much smaller group of fans.

5. In Armenian language you play with 146 tiles

In different languages the number of tiles differs slightly. In most cases it oscillates around 100 ( polish-100, English- 100, French – 102, etc..). In the Armenian language, however, there are many as 146. “Soaps”, i.e. empty plates can be found in amount of 3. The field is bigger also – it’s 17X17 tiles. Still, it is not the biggest Scrabble though…

6. In one of the Scrabble varieties you can form 25 – letter words that start with Z

Yes, that’s not a mistake. In the rarely used unofficial version of Scrabble, the board has a size of 25 by 25 fields which makes it theoretically possible to arrange even a word consisting of as many letters as possible. In many languages this is a purely hypothetical possibility. In Polish, English, or French, such words do exist, but they are linguistic monsters that are difficult to put together, among other things, because of the inaccessibility of the name, in the end, you would need at least four moves to put them together. It would be easier to do it in German language, but here too, 25 letter words are a real rarity, even in this Scrabble variety.

7. The first championship was played in 1972 in France

Specific of the game requires that competitions be held only in a certain language. For this reason, there can be he held world championships in English, world championships in Italian, Russian, Dutch, Polish, etc.. However, the first competition of this rank was not organized in the USA or Great Britain, but in France. And already in 1972. English- speaking players can compete since 1991 and Spanish players since 1997.

8. Scrabble and arranging words that start with Z is a game of US presidents, actors and tennis players

Among the Scrabble players coping with high- level gameplay, there are representatives of almost all professions in the world. Actress Jennifer Anniston or Richard Burton were passionate about Scrabble game , also president Nixon, or the television personality Oprah Winfrey. Martina Navratilova, the award – winning tennis player, is also doing very well in Scrabble. The legendary Czech likes to win not only on the tennis court, but also on the Scrabble board. There are just one 4 letter words that start with X and 13 5 letter words that start with X in Scrabble dictionary.