Bitcoin and cryptocurrency speak have arrived as counter-cultures as they take their place in an official dictionary.
Bitcoin is among a host of new words in the Merriam-Webster Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, even though the term won a place in the mainstream American language edition in 2016.
The word is now worth 11 points in the game – although the score could be much higher if the tiles are laid across bonus point squares on the board.
As a seven-letter word laid on a triple word score, Bitcoin would score 83 points.
Bitcoin is among 300 new words in the Scrabble dictionary – and the publishers had to go to the North American Scrabble Players Association for approval to include the word.
New Scrabble words
The new roster also includes:
- Bestie – meaning best friend
- Ew – an expression of disgust
- Twerk – a buttock-shaking dance popularised by singer Miley Cyrus
- Cakehole – A British slang term for ‘mouth’, used like ‘shut your cakehole’
- Fintech – short for financial technology
- Bizjet – a small aircraft used by businessmen
- Qapik – a unit of currency in Azerbaijan. Many players will favour this word as being one of a few with a ‘Q’ not followed by a ‘u’
- Arancini – a cooked ball of rice
- Zomboid – meaning zombie-like
- Beatdown – an overwhelming defeat
- Frowny – to wear a frown on the face
Popular usage wins place in dictionary
“It’s important to remember that new words are added to the dictionary only when they have already been used by many people—often initially by specialists or subcultures,” said a Merriam Webster spokesman.
“Then, gradually, a word’s use spreads to the rest of us. Every word moves at its own pace; there is no average speed for a word’s acceptance into the language, the culture, and the dictionary. The dictionary’s job is to report that usage as it enters the general vocabulary.”
Merriam Webster is the official American language dictionary referred to by schools, colleges and publishing houses as the definitive place to find spellings and meanings of words.
The dictionary compilers have a reputation for quickly picking up new alternative culture words as soon as they find everyday language acceptance.
However, one late arrival to the Scrabble party is ‘OK’ that only won inclusion this time around, despite being part of modern parlance for almost 200 years.