Something a little different this time. Thanks to some of my opponents, I’ve been witness to an all-you-can-eat buffet of pretty amazing words when playing Zynga’s “Words with Friends”. You know the kind of words I’m talking about, right? Things like “beton”, “modi” and “feria”. I’ve lost many a game to such skilled minds.
The truth is, my opponents don’t know what these words mean but playing them is strategic because it can be hard for others to play off of them, can clog the board and will often score big points depending on the placement.
My personal rule, based on principal, is never to play a word consisting of 4 tiles or more that I can’t truthfully use in a sentence. Three letters or less, I don’t care. It’s whatever sticks to the board. But six letters – I want to know the word, not just plop down letters and hope I strike oil.
I do not hold my opponents to that rule. It’s purely optional. And exceptionally challenging for me. So in the spirit of fair play, I thought I’d post 55 really special words that you’ve never heard of, but probably played before.
hadj, haj, or hajj – the pilgrimage to Mecca, which every adult Muslim is supposed to make at least once in his or her lifetime: the fifth of the Pillars of Islam.
hadji, haji or hajji – an honorific title given to a Muslim person who has successfully completed the Hajj to Mecca.
Skein(s) – 1. a length of thread or yarn, loosely coiled and knotted. A tangled or complicated arrangement, state, or situation. “the skeins of her long hair”. 2. a flock of wild geese or swans in flight, typically in a V-shaped formation.
Quoin(s) – (quoined) – an angle at the outside corner of a building. You can call the corner itself a quoin, or use the word for the special stones or bricks that reinforce corners of brick or stone buildings.
Nolo(s) – a type of legal plea.
Mien(s) – a person’s look or manner, especially one of a particular kind indicating their character or mood.
Feria – a weekday of a church calendar on which no feast falls.
Lexis – the full vocabulary of a language, or of a group, individual, field of study, etc.
Vide – Latin for “see or refer to” and is used to direct a reader somewhere else. An example of vide is the author of a book wanting readers to see a definition for a word on a page.
Coho(s) – a comparatively small salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), native to the N Pacific Ocean and now widely introduced as a game fish into fresh waters of the N U.S.. also coho salmon
Grat – (form of “greet”) – to weep.
Gelid – Very cold; icy: gelid ocean waters.
Negus – a hot beverage made from wine, hot water, and lemon juice, sweetened and spiced.
Wurst – sausage: usually used in combination with bratwurst, knackwurst, etc.
Spue (spuing, spued, spues) – spit. 2. expel or eject (saliva or phlegm or sputum) from the mouth; “The father of the victim spat at the alleged murderer”.
Feod – a fief.
Fief – a piece of land held under the feudal system.
Etna – a container for heating liquids.
Soma – leafless East Indian vine; its sour milky juice formerly used to make an intoxicating drink.
Gunny (gunnies) – a coarse fabric, like burlap. A “gunny sack”.
Shul(s) (also schul) – a synagogue.
Spurge – any of numerous herbs, shrubs, or trees of the genus Euphorbia, characteristically having milky juice and a cluster of small unisexual flowers that are surrounded by a cuplike structure composed of fused bracts. Also called euphorbia.
Weft – the horizontal threads interlaced through the warp in a woven fabric; woof. 2. yarn used for the weft. Woven fabric.
Skint – British slang – having little or no money; broke
Jagg – to jag, which is to cut teeth into, often unevenly. 2. make a jagged cutting edge.
Decury (decuries) – (historical) A set or squad of ten men under a decurion.
Aroid – any of various perennial herbs in the family Araceae, having tiny flowers crowded in a spadix that is subtended by a spathe and including houseplants such as anthurium, dieffenbachia, and philodendron.
Spathe – a large, leaflike part or pair of such parts enclosing a flower cluster (esp. a spadix)
Spadix (spadices) – the fleshy axis of a spike often surrounded by a spathe.
Subtends – to extend under or be opposite to in position: each side of a triangle subtends the opposite angle. 2. (Botanically) to enclose in an angle, as between a leaf and its stem
mestizo(s) (also mesteso) – a person of mixed racial ancestry (especially mixed European and Native American ancestry).
Aculei – an insect sting or a prick. An example of an aculei is a bee’s sting.
Phloem – the vascular tissue in vascular plants that conducts and distributes sugars and other dissolved foods from the places where the food is produced to the places where it is needed or stored
Koji(s) – a fungus used to start fermentation
Traduce – to say untrue or malicious things about; defame; slander; vilify. 2. to make a mockery of; betray.
Roque – a variation of croquet played with short-handled mallets on a hard court that is bounded by a concrete wall against which a ball may rebound and be retrieved.
Lout – an awkward, ill-mannered person; boor
Beton – a type of concrete
Raphe (also rhaphe) (raphae, rha·phae) – a seam-like line or ridge between two similar parts of a body organ, as in the scrotum. 2. the median groove of a diatom valve.
Quey – (Scotland and Northern England) A heifer
Whee – interjection – used to express delight
Purl – to move in ripples or with a murmuring sound. to move in eddies; swirl.
Binate – occurring in pairs: binate leaves
Cloy (ed, ing, cloys) – to cause distaste or disgust by supplying with too much of something originally pleasant, especially something rich or sweet; surfeit. 2. verb – to be too filling, rich, or sweet.
Hern – (dialectal or poetic) heron.
Modi (also modus) – a mode.
Rani (also ranee) – in India, the wife of a rajah or a woman who is a queen or princess in her own right.
Brin – a rib of a fan.
Cham – an ethnic group living in Cambodia and Vietnam. 2. the Malayo-Polynesian language spoken by these people. Pertaining to the Cham people or their language.
Tarn – a small mountain lake, especially one formed by glaciers.
Unai – two-toed sloth. 2. a sloth of Central America that has two long claws on each forefoot and three long claws on each hindfoot.
Peal – a deep prolonged sound (as of thunder or large bells).
Aboon – (UK dialect) – above.
Gowd (akin to gold) – a precious metallic element.
Toquet(s) – a small, plumed hat worn by men and women in the 16th century. 2. a woman’s small, round, closefitting, usually brimless hat. 3. a traditional, white chef’s hat, typically tall or with a baggy crown.
Happy Words with Friendsing!