Showing posts with label Scrabble. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scrabble. Show all posts

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Cool Scrabble Word: ASEA

I would have thought this was obvious. I've known ASEA for as far back as I can remember the concept. But, in a recent Scrabble game, ASEA was nearly challenged. So I'm going to set the record straight: ASEA is a word, and totally cool.

being at sea;
on the ocean;
on a boat on the ocean;
in the direction of the ocean

Why it's useful: This is a "vowel dump." When you have too many vowels, look for vowel dumps, to get rid of as many useless vowels as you can.

Why it's cool: Not only is it good to use when speaking of nautical friends, ASEA can be a metaphor for intense feelings. How many times have you been asea on an ocean of doubt and dismay? If I had a nickel...

Check this sentence out, pulled from a search in Google Books:
Both in politics and economics he is "asea"; he shows the political acumen of a
Yahoo when it comes to grasping where conservatives stand on New Deal issues...

So there is a sense of helplessness with this word. Asea, you are tossed from one wave to the next. You are not altogether in control. This sense, I assume, comes from the time when sailors were gone for long periods of time, and their wives had no idea, really, where they were.

"Where is your husband?"
"He is asea, sir."

Use ASEA whenever you are adrift, and don't quite know which way to go or what to do. Your listener will hopefully throw you a line.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Cool Scrabble Word: VUG

I'm combing the list of Three-Letter Words, but it's hard to say that many are cool. They are either commonplace or obscure. This word is obscure, but it suits a purpose I didn't even know existed, but now that I know the word, I plan on using it.

A small cavity in a rock or vein,
often with a mineral lining of different composition
from that of the surrounding rock.

"The word vug was introduced to the English language
by Cornish miners, from the days when Cornwall
was a major supplier of tin.

Why it's useful: V, U, and G are unhelpful letters that don't go with other letters very well. Best to get rid of them quickly.

Why it's cool: Whenever you see a rock that has an opening with crystals inside, you are looking into a vug. Here are many examples of what I'm talking about. But you can use the word to describe any opening in a rock. Verdict: cool.

Cool Scrabble Word: PAWKY

I've been thinking of doing some posts for cool Scrabble words. There are certain words that Scrabble players find immensely useful. ZAX, for instance (a tool for cutting roof tiles). ZAX has the Z, which is 10 points, and the X, which is 8. Plus, it's made of at least two two-letter words, ZA (pizza) and AX (alt. spelling of AXE). Highly useful in Scrabble, but not very useful in everyday life. Unless you're a roofer?

But Scrabble is a great game which can teach you many English words. To this end, I will post words that are useful in Scrabble and useful in life. And, hopefully, cool.

First word.

sly, shrewd; dryly humerous
(from Scottish pawk, a trick)

Why it's useful: P(3)+A(1)+W(4)+K(5)+Y(4)=way more than just WAY. Also, PAWKIER, PAWKIEST, and PAWKILY are all bingos.

Why it's cool: You can now call someone who tricks you a "pawky bastard." Or you can tell the jokester to stop being so "pawky." It's a great synonym for clever with the added connotation of deceitfulness or tricks.