Aussie Scrab­ble may leave purists feel­ing a bit devo

Nelson Mail - - WORLD -

AUS­TRALIA: A new ver­sion of the fam­ily favourite word game Scrab­ble has been launched in Aus­tralia, with a glos­sary that al­lows col­lo­qui­alisms such as ‘‘cozzie’’, ‘‘flanno’’ and ‘‘schnitty’’ to be played legally.

The game even awards bonus points for the plac­ing of an Aus­tralian­ism.

If you are a Scrab­ble purist, and feel a con­nip­tion com­ing on, might we sug­gest not wast­ing your ‘‘arvo’’ be­ing a ‘‘wowser’’ over the change - be­cause it only ap­plies to lim­ited-edi­tion Scrab­ble sets sold in Aus­tralia.

To avoid any chance of a ‘‘biffo’’, the Aus­tralian Scrab­ble Play­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion was con­sulted over the new ver­sion.

Scrab­ble’s rule­mak­ers up­date its word bank every three years or so, based on changes to the Collins dic­tio­nary. In 2015, new ad­di­tions in­cluded ‘‘lolz’’, ‘‘bezzy’’ (best friend) and ‘‘shootie’’ (a shoe that cov­ers the an­kle).

The Aus­tralian ver­sion - which is be­lieved to be the first coun­tryspe­cific Scrab­ble in the game’s 69-year his­tory - comes af­ter David El­dar, 27, from Mel­bourne, who works as a real es­tate agent in London, beat Sri Lankan-born Har­shan Lam­abadusuriya to win the World Scrab­ble Cham­pi­onships.

Jac­inta White­head, Scrab­ble pro­ducer Mat­tel’s Aus­tralian mar­ket­ing man­ager, said her favourite lo­cal slang ad­di­tion was ‘‘biffo’’, which would earn a player 23 points, in­clud­ing the bonus.

‘‘Only Aussies can make a fight sound friendly,’’ White­head said.

The top-scor­ing Aus­tralian slang word is ‘‘prezzy’’, which would have most play­ers lick­ing their lips, es­pe­cially as a sin­gle con­ven­tional Scrab­ble set con­tains only one ‘‘z’’ tile. The word is worth a princely 39 points - al­though that would be mag­ni­fied if it were placed on a dou­ble or triple word score.

The 250 new words were cho­sen af­ter a so­cial me­dia cam­paign that en­cour­aged 20,000 Aus­tralian fol­low­ers and fans of the game to sug­gest their favourite Aussie slang. The most pop­u­lar made it into the new ver­sion of the game, which was launched in Aus­tralia in con­junc­tion with Jet­star. The low-cost air­line will make the game avail­able to its pas­sen­gers.

‘‘A lot of fil­ter­ing was re­quired, as there are a lot of al­co­hol and gam­ing ref­er­ences in Aus­tralian slang,’’ White­head said.

The Aus­tralian ver­sion also in­cludes ‘‘strewth cards’’, which al­low play­ers to pick up ex­tra tiles for an ex­tended play.

If you get tricked into a game of Aussie Scrab­ble while on hol­i­day, chances are you would stand a fair chance.

Many of the new words fea­tured are used across the English­s­peak­ing world, such as ‘‘moolah’’, ‘‘sickie’’, ‘‘lippy’’, ‘‘wuss’’ and ‘‘stonkered’’. Fur­ther­more, clas­sic Aus­tralian words like: ‘‘Gday’’, ‘‘strewth’’, ‘‘footy’’, ‘‘ocker’’ and ‘‘bar­bie’’ won’t trou­ble most play­ers.

While most new en­tries can be eas­ily de­ci­phered - such as ‘‘prezzy’’, ‘‘footy’’, ‘‘Straya’’ - some of the lingo might con­fuse. For in­stance, ‘‘Ekka’’ refers to the an­nual Bris­bane show, ‘‘devo’’ is a short­ened ver­sion of dev­as­tated, and a ‘‘flanno’’ is a wo­ven shirt.

An ‘‘ambo’’ is an am­bu­lance driver, a ‘‘uey’’ is an about-turn, and ‘‘Salvos’’ is lo­cal slang for the Protes­tant Chris­tian church and global char­ity the Sal­va­tion Army. Sim­i­larly, ‘‘Vin­nies’’ refers to St Vin­cent de Paul, the Catholic vol­un­tary or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Aussie slang words that score big on the Scrab­ble board in­clude pash (kiss, 19 points), biffo (fight, 23), relo (fam­ily mem­ber, 14), Straya (Aus­tralia, 18) and nuddy (naked, 20).

Scrab­ble was orig­i­nally con­ceived by an out-of-work New York ar­chi­tect, Al­fred Mosher Butts, in 1948. - Tele­graph Group

PHOTO: IN­STA­GRAM

Pop star Selena Gomez, right, has re­ceived a donor kidney from her friend, ac­tress Fran­cia Raisa.

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