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View Full Version : Why isn't "QUO" an accepted Scrabble word?


Askia
04-24-2004, 04:40 AM
As in, "Quid Pro Quo" and "Status Quo".

I've been winning word challenges for years by just citing those two phrases -- often without anyone checking the dictionary -- and because I thought it was a legitimate word. Only TODAY, playing against a computer Scrabble game and almost losing -- did I discover 'quo' is not accepted in neither North American nor International Scrabble play.

Like the talking doberman in the Mystery Machine says: "Rut Up Rit Rat, Raggy?"

kellner
04-24-2004, 05:25 AM
I thought the rule of thumb was that foreign words are forbidden unless they are somewhat commonly used like native words. Usually quo is only found in complete Latin quotes like those above. I mean, it's not a word quo you usually form an English sentence.

Paul in Qatar
04-24-2004, 06:58 AM
Use 'QUA' instead.

Queen Tonya
04-24-2004, 07:58 AM
I thought the rule of thumb was that foreign words are forbidden unless they are somewhat commonly used like native words. Usually quo is only found in complete Latin quotes like those above. I mean, it's not a word quo you usually form an English sentence.

That was my understanding as well, until I started seeing words like aa, qat and aalii being accepted, while zen and quo and injustice aren't. :confused:

aerodave
04-24-2004, 08:13 AM
Scooby Doo is a Great Dane, not a Doberman.

sinjin
04-24-2004, 09:13 AM
a'a is hawaiian for a type of lava and it is used frequently in Hawaii which is part of the US so maybe that's why it's acceptable in North America.

Paul in Qatar
04-24-2004, 09:46 AM
I agree.

"Aa" is a real word.

Justin_Bailey
04-24-2004, 09:53 AM
Zen and injustice aren't Scrabble words?

Would anyone actually challenge them?

pulykamell
04-24-2004, 10:04 AM
Zen is not a legal play because it's a proper noun. At least that's how Scrabble treats it, because I think there is good argument these days that "zen" can be used as a common noun.

"Injustice," however, is legal. Who told you otherwise?

"Aa" and "qat" I've seen used natively in National Geographic and other publications. However, "qat" is usually a variant spelling. Normally, I see it as "khat." (Although NatGeo did use the useful q-without-u Scrabble variant.)

Justin_Bailey
04-24-2004, 10:58 AM
"Injustice," however, is legal. Who told you otherwise?


Queen Tonya, a little ways upthread.

pulykamell
04-24-2004, 11:26 AM
Sorry. I was quoting you, but that comment was meant for Queen.

chappachula
04-24-2004, 11:29 AM
Let's face it--us Scrabble buffs use a lot of words that shouldnt really be allowed,just because they've been part of the game for a long time.
WO is a critical word in scrabble, and is used a lot , esp. if the W falls on a triple-letter space.But it's not listed in my Webster's ninth edition.

I've always wanted to play with my own rule on challenges--if you challenge the word, then the person who plays it has to give its definition. Scrabble affectionados pride themselves on "knowing" all sorts of obscure words.But I claim otherwise--"knowing" a word should mean knowing what it MEANS, not just knowing that it appears in the official Scrabble word list.




(but nobody wants to play by my rule......................, so I keep quiet about .Except for right now, when I'm pissed that somebody played "wrent" and I didn't challenge).

Opus1
04-24-2004, 11:36 AM
Quo is not a valid Scrabble word for 2 distinct reasons:

1) It is part of a multi word phrase, and never appears by itself
2) It is foreign

Zen is also a loser on two fronts: foreign and capitalized. It's common enough that it might have lost its foreign status, but the capitalization still keeps it out.

Injustice is good, but the Official Scrabble Player's Dictionary only lists 2-8 letter words, so if you're using that as your only reference source, you won't find it.

Futile Gesture
04-24-2004, 12:12 PM
Zen is also a loser on two fronts: foreign and capitalized. It's common enough that it might have lost its foreign status, but the capitalization still keeps it out.
I guess we should all be a bit more zen (http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=103584&dict=CALD) about this. And perhaps zen (http://www.realdictionary.com/computer/Computer/Zen.asp) it out later.

guiness
04-24-2004, 04:28 PM
A'a seems to have an apostrophe, or is there a variant with no apostrophe popularized by USA-ian scrabblers?

ataraxy22
04-24-2004, 07:29 PM
[QUOTE=chappachula]I've always wanted to play with my own rule on challenges--if you challenge the word, then the person who plays it has to give its definition. Scrabble affectionados pride themselves on "knowing" all sorts of obscure words.But I claim otherwise--"knowing" a word should mean knowing what it MEANS, not just knowing that it appears in the official Scrabble word list.
QUOTE]

Well, the not-so-secret fact is that Scrabble is really a mathematics game with a huge number of rules too learn to play well (each word in the lexicon) and not a word game.

BTW, computer simulations show that "qat" is the most commonly played word in computer vs. computer games.

dtilque
04-25-2004, 12:38 AM
A'a seems to have an apostrophe, or is there a variant with no apostrophe popularized by USA-ian scrabblers?
The Official Scrabble Dictionary was compiled by taking the qualifying words from 5 college-sized dictionaries. Aa is found without apostrophe in Webster's New World Dictionary if not others. You can also find it used in various books on vulcanology where it is frequently used without apostrophe.

So why don't Scrabble players ever play pahoehoe, the smooth kind of lava?

Chronos
04-25-2004, 12:52 AM
I've always wanted to play with my own rule on challenges--if you challenge the word, then the person who plays it has to give its definition. Scrabble affectionados pride themselves on "knowing" all sorts of obscure words.But I claim otherwise--"knowing" a word should mean knowing what it MEANS, not just knowing that it appears in the official Scrabble word list.Amongst my aunts, who play rather cutthroat, this is not a formal rule. However, if you attempt to play a word which you cannot define, they will collectively pummel you.

And ataraxy22, if you're going to consider it a mathematical game with a large list of arbitrary valid strings, then why not also consider a game with a large list of ordered pair of strings, with the second of each element being the definition, to be mathematical?

Askia
04-25-2004, 01:15 AM
Thanks for the corrections and clarifications. I'm going to start using "quo" as a slang word at school. (i.e.,"Can't crack the quo." and "The quo never dies." Use in place of 'life' or 'the game'.)

Join me, please, in this worthy endeavor that will make a new three-letter Scrabble word with an 'o' vowel. Go, my children! Spread the good news!

- - - - before I forget - - -

Are there words ending in 'q' or 'j' that can be used in Scrabble?

Also -- any words ending in 'z' besides topaz and quartz?

Ranks. Ralso, rye rever rew Rooby ras a Rate Rane. Ree Hee Hee Hee.

dtilque
04-25-2004, 02:18 AM
Are there words ending in 'q' or 'j' that can be used in Scrabble?

suq
tranq
umiaq

hadj
haj
raj
svaraj
swaraj
taj

Plus hajj, if you use one of the blanks.


Also -- any words ending in 'z' besides topaz and quartz?

Lots of these. A sampling:

blitz
ersatz
hertz
kibitz
quiz
schmaltz
spritz
waltz
whiz

Even more if you use a blank: buzz, fizz, fuzz, jazz, etc.

RM Mentock
04-25-2004, 06:23 AM
Even more if you use a blank: buzz, fizz, fuzz, jazz, etc.
And pizzaz. :)

twickster
04-25-2004, 08:28 AM
To say nothing of "fez."

OxyMoron
04-25-2004, 11:28 AM
And ataraxy22, if you're going to consider it a mathematical game with a large list of arbitrary valid strings, then why not also consider a game with a large list of ordered pair of strings, with the second of each element being the definition, to be mathematical?Ataraxy22, Chronos, bless both of you. A couple of years ago I went to a Scrabble night at the local community center, thinking "I like words, and I especially like crosswords - might be a nice way to meet other lexical types." I was appalled when the best player that night sniffed that "A real Scrabble player doesn't care about definitions."

At that point I realized that the fact that the tiles had letters on them was utterly irrelevant - this was an elaborate mathematical game that tested players' abilities to memorize code permutations. Very disappointing.