Scrabble is a world-famous game currently owned by Hasbro, a company responsible for many of our favorite childhood cartoons and board games. It is certainly not difficult to imagine why Scrabble is such a popular game, even with Hasbro’s clever marketing. Whether you consider yourself a language aficionado or would like to learn a new language in a fun way, Scrabble is a great way to practice your skills.
One thing that can really help all players of Scrabble have more fun and win more games, is word-grabber’s Scrabble Word Finder. This tool is designed with Scrabble player needs in mind, like expanding your vocabulary. Can’t decide which word to put down? Use our Scrabble Helper as a list of words to work on with the strategies listed below.
Why expand your vocabulary when you can just memorize the Scrabble dictionary? Well, for one, not everyone is so exceptionally talented at memorizing that merely reading a list of words will be enough to commit them to memory -- much less see them in a jumble of letters. Second, properly expanding your vocabulary with new Scrabble words is the best way to know when is the right time to play them and when another might be better. You will know the word more intimately, allowing you to better see it among a scramble of letters already played or on your rack.
Use the Thesaurus
I mean, don’t be like Joey on Friends and just use the Thesaurus to replace every word in your writing. You will generally have the problem that the meaning and context are inaccurate, just like Joey discovered. The sentence Joey used, for example, was: “their humid prepossessing Homo sapiens with full-sized aortic pumps.” The main issue with this sentence is that most of these words are normally used in the literal sense, not figurative like Joey’s original intention.
Instead, it would be better to take a look at a very simple sentence like “the dog ran over the hill” and focus on the verb or adjectives. That sentence can be a lot less boring, for example, if we knew what kind of dog it was and how it ran over the hill; “the greyhound leapt over the hill.” Already, we have a more vivid image of what is going on and the reader is much more interested in what is happening.
If you don’t write regularly, you can turn to the thesaurus during a conversation or while you are reading. Perhaps the news article you are reading uses the word “apparently” too frequently; don’t be afraid to whip out the thesaurus and see what other words might fit better. The same goes for any book or magazine. The key is to explore and learn!
Much like the reading comprehension activities we had to do in grade school, building your vocabulary is just as much about quizzing yourself as it is analyzing everyday words. It doesn’t matter what you’re reading, be it dialogue in a game you’re playing, a magazine, the news, or an actual book. You should be taking note of any words you don’t know.
I’m currently reading Sous Chef by Michael Gibney, for example, and there was an entire section dedicated to describing the main character’s knife kit. Needless to say, all of them have Japanese names and I had no idea what they were. I had to look up what, for example, a Yo-Deba is. Basically, it’s a really sexy butcher’s knife, meant for chopping open fish or anything with minor bones.
“Yo-Deba” or “Deba” might not be in the Scrabble dictionary (which is silly, because it is just as much a name for a specific kind of knife as “katana” is), but looking it up certainly reminded me of much smaller words I already know, like “minor” or “butcher.” The latter is a great 7-letter word in Scrabble if you can manage to squeeze it onto the board.
Play other Word Games
Of course, the best way to really improve your Scrabble vocabulary is to play other word games. Alphabear or Wordscapes is a great option for this tip, as you can easily tap on words you don’t know or are not sure about and see their definition.
Both Alphabear and Wordscapes teach you, in a much nicer way than Scrabble, how to form words from jumbled letters. You can’t really lose in either game, you just have to keep guessing and building words until you get it right. Don’t forget to take a look at all your options and explore the words that come up. 4 Pics 1 Word is a great game to associate pictures with words you might not know. This game is a lot like vocabulary flash cards, only more fun and with clever puns.
title -- via getstencil for word-grabber.com