Redneck Scrabble: It’s fun unless you had to do it for real


In response to my story about creative-spelling Scrabble, some people volunteered their own personal variations, like Plausible Scrabble or Rude Word Scrabble.

One variation my friends and I sometimes play is Redneck Scrabble. All words must be spelled the way a redneck might spell it. We enjoy playing it, except for my schoolteacher friend for whom it brought back horrible memories of her training, when she was assigned to assist in teaching elementary school in a rural part of the country.

This Web site has some other variations. I haven't played Any Language Scrabble, but one of my college friends did; they called it International Scrabble. The game was even crazier than it sounds because that particular circle of friends consisted of people who loved learning foreign languages, so pretty much anything was in play! (I don't know if anybody in the group spoke Czech, but if so, they would have totally cleaned up.)

Comments (16)
  1. ex-scrabbler says:

    Czech? Surely a collection of nerds should be able to come up with a weighting algorithm, so that a Z would be worth much less in Czech or German.

  2. asdf says:

    Would Ebonic Scrabble be offensive?

  3. asdf says:

    What about Negro [sic] Di'lec' [sic] Scrabble?

  4. Mott555 says:

    Can we see some example words from Redneck Scrabble? I live in redneck territory in rural Missouri and so I'm wondering how you think rednecks spell words ;-)

  5. Mark W says:

    One thing to note is that international versions of Scrabble have different letter frequencies and values already; see en.wikipedia.org/…/Scrabble_letter_distributions for example.

    It'd be interesting to use international Scrabble and re-weight every word based on its language of origin. So if you made a word in Czech or German, the Z would only be 2 or 3 points, respectively. With words that exist in multiple languages – pick whichever gives you the better score.

  6. Mordachai says:

    wut wurd u talkin bout?

  7. Brian says:

    My favorite variation on scrabble is to apply a multiplier to the number of words which you connect.  In other words simply adding "S" to the end of a word only nets you a 1x score multiplier, but building a word which connects to 3 others will net you a 4x multiplier.  This simple rule goes a long way to encouraging "prettier" boards.

  8. No One says:

    @Mark W, I guess with a loanword you'd have to make it scored as its origin.  But that gets funny when you go back one or two hundred years.

  9. Aaron says:

    I would be interested in IPA scrabble.  The words can be from any language, or an agreed-upon subset of launguages, but instead of letters they are spelled with phonemes, and the phonemes are given points based on how frequently they occur in the whole of human language and on the rarity of the particular allophone being played.

  10. James Schend says:

    Aaron: it might be pretty tough to find a second human being also interested in playing that. :) Aren't there thousands of phonemes?

  11. Thomas Winwood says:

    Nah, there's a hundred or so. There's an infinite number of phones, because the human vocal apparatus is a continuous region.

  12. Anonymous says:

    If you have a language with characters outside of the range from 'A' to 'Z' (as in ASCII or Unicode 0x41 to 0x5a), I could see it being an issue determining what encoding of these characters to use, even in Western languages with diacritics, to say nothing of ones that don't use the Latin alphabet.

    I know I've played "escrabble" in Spanish, and they have separate pieces for Ch, Ll, Rr, and Ñ.

  13. David Jones says:

    I think redneck Scrabble requires that you play GUDE, ENUF, NITE and LITE.

    All of which are acceptable in OSPD4. Which is gude enuf for me. (Yes, that's what GUDE and ENUF mean.)

  14. Mikael Vejdemo-Johansson says:

    Aaron et.al.: mikael.johanssons.org/…/ipapet.pdf

    Construction team? Me, my linguist wife, and her linguistics class mates.

    Construction method? Mostly blind fiat.

    Most amusing thing done with it so far? Combining Swedish and Pashtu on the same game board.

  15. Worf says:

    What about Protocol/RFC Scrabble? The only words are literals/commands used in protocols.

    E.g., from SMTP – EHLO/HELO, MAILFROM, RCPTTO, DATA

    HTTP: GET, POST

    POP: USER, PASS, LIST, RETR

    FTP: SYST, PORT, TYPE

    SSL: STARTTLS

    Though I bet someone would propose a gobbledegook RFC just to win.

    Oh, and to claim a multiplier (double/triple words/letter score, etc), you have to name the RFC it's from. Either the base, or one that supercedes it.

  16. Worf says:

    And by gobbledegook RFC, I mean a real protocol. Probably full of long strings with Q/Z in strategic areas…

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