What game am I playing today?

January 20, 2014


The game Scrabble has a history dating back to at least 1938, when a board game based on Lexiko (which had no board) was designed by Alfred Butts, an architect living New York. Butts did an analysis of the frequency of letters in the English language to determine how many tiles of each letter should be included in the game.  Here is his tally sheet.

scrabble1(from Wiki)

The game passed from company to company, and varied in design.  It had been around in the US for a while, but was sold for this first time in Australia and the UK on January 19, 1955.

Scrabble remains a popular game, now with on-line versions available.  The game is available in 31 different languages including Afrikaans and Croatian.  The tiles below represent neither of those languages.

scrabble 5

Scrabble has been the influence for a number of different products over the years, such as those below:


scrabble 8

scrabble 7

scrabble 6


  1. Scrabble ALMOST resulted in broken friendships for me. I remember one particularly violent argument that ensued when I tried… unsuccessfully… to play the word “yurt.” Like all good Scrabble players, my friends and I had agreed to use Webster’s Scholastic dictionary (the only one we had) as our arbiter and to my BITTER dismay “yurt” wasn’t in that dictionary. I upset the board in anger and stalked out of the room. It was rather frosty between us for the next couple o’ weeks and peace was only achieved after (a) I apologized and (b) my friends acknowledged that yurt was indeed a valid word.

    • Ah, Scrabble can be a harsh mistress! I am sticking with Banana-grams!

  2. Lick, I mean like the chocolate scrabble! Oh and the hot chick. Fun and informative post Anne 🙂

    • Thanks!

  3. Yurt is a valid word. It’s what Mongols live in. I just wonder about why they give us so many easy letters when the game would be over in about 10 seconds if they just gave us x, y, q, v.
    Bananagrams is way better!

    • Oh you are just a big qvyx!

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