Learning the 2-letter WordsSteve Trussel
96101 acceptable 2-letter words!
Update! OSPD4! There are now 101 acceptable 2-letter words...
with the addition of
The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary Fourth Edition (OSPD4) was published in 2005, with "4,000 new entries". Among these are five new 2-letter words, FE, KI, OI, QI, ZA, of major importance in the game. These changes should revolutionize scores, making the Q and Z much easier to play. [2/14/06]
OSPD3 listed 97 2-letter words, but [7/21/99] - Although the OSPD3 lists 97, Dan Brinkley, Director of Columbus Ohio Scrabble Club #494 has informed me that "DA" is no longer acceptable in tournament play, (being regarded as foreign), bringing the number down to an easy-to-remember 96! I've therefore removed "DA" from the lists below. (The "s-form" of "DE", "DES", is also no longer accepted.) TWL has replaced OSPD3 as the tournament "bible". see note at end.
There is no question but that you must know all 101 if you want to play competitive Scrabble®. Not just to use them yourself, but to recognize whether your opponent is in fact using a legal word.
The table below shows them all, along with which ones can take the addition of "-s". (It doesn't necessarily mean that it's the plural form of the word - only that adding "-s" makes a legal word.)
26 of them are in gray, as they are common words which don't have to be learned:
[am, an, as, at, ax, be, by, do, go, he, if, in, is, it, me, my, no, of, on, or, ox, so, to, up, us, we]
(However, many of these are uncommon when "-s" is added, so they'll have to be studied later. )
The 101 2-letter words
s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s
Added in 2nd Added in 3rd Added in 4th DA (and DEs) were removed after OSPD3 new -s forms: AGs, AHs, BEs, EDs, GOs
There are no 2-letter words with C or V.
There is a 2-letter J-word: sweetheart (that doesn't take an -s).
And there is an important set of 5 X-words:
, , , , .
It's important to remember that
has a plural form , but has no -s form.
There are two 2-letter K-words: , ,
and both take -s: , .
It should be easy to remember the 3 new valuable words,
, and . They all take -s:
5 words have no consonants:
s, , s, s, and (& ),
and 3 have no vowels:
, and (& s, )!
Organizing the "hard words" by meaning
8 high value words with J K Q X Z
sweetheart (no -s!) s Egyptian spirit s the vital force in Chinese thought s the vital force in Chinese thought -es,
to cross out s Greek letter Vietnamese money (no -s!) s pizza
7 Notes of the Musical Scale
Though DO and SO are too common to think about, they're also among the
7 common names for the notes of the scale, and they all take "-s":
s s s s s s s
8 Letters of the English Alphabet
8 are names for letters of the English alphabet, (a f l m n r s x). (You can make a mnemonic sentence for this, like "A film lover may need really strong xrays" or something similar you can call on to help you remember.) Except for EX (which naturally requires "-es") they all take "-s":
(Thanks to Nikki Wei for adding the letter "L", (EL) to this letter list. OSPD only lists ELL with the meaning 'the letter L', using 'elevated railway' for EL, below, but OSPD only shows one meaning per word.)
A F L M N R S X s s s s s s s
2 Mom & Pop
2 words are "mom and pop" (the third,
DA. which just sounds like one, is no longer acceptable):
18 are interjections. You may not think of them as "real words", but the OSPD does. These may take a little memorizing:
s s s s s
3 of these have no vowels: HM, MM, SH.
4 end in -H: AH, EH, OH, UH.
11 are reversible: AH/HA, EH/HE, ER/RE, OH/HO, OW/WO, OY/YO, TA/AT, UM/MU
(13 if you count AA and MM)
9 Shortened Forms
s abdominal muscle s education s advertisement s moment s agriculture s op-art s bi-sexual s elevated railways s pizza
2 Oldish English
interj. s you
5 slightly slangy
s s pal one no ate you
4 names of Greek letters
s s s s
2 psychological words
s psyche part s mantra
5 with no consonants
s lava one s sloth s whirlwind interj. of dismay or pain
Only these 12 hard "foreign" words to memorize
s Asian tree s Egyptian spirit from s Hebrew letter s Chinese measure nee, born s natural force bone s Hebrew letter s note of scale s note of scale s woe
Looking at it this way, you ought to be able to remember the 101 2-letter words with just a few minutes practice each day for a week.
How to practice? Study these charts, take a pencil and paper and try to write out the 101 words! Keep doing it till you can.
"Guaranteed" to add an average of 50 points to your game!
Next step: learn which ones take -s!
What do these 2-letter words have in common?: AH, AL, AS, BA, BO, BY, IN, IS, IT, LA, MA, MI, MU, NA, NE answer
from Steven Alexander's Scrabble FAQ:
As of March 1998, club and tournament play in North America use an unexpurgated lexicon, including all two- to nine-letter words and inflections, titled "Official Tournament and Club Word List" (but generally known as "TWL" or "TWL98"), sold only to members of NSA. Send $9.95 plus sales tax for AR, CA, MA, OH or WA, specifying membership number, to
P.O. Box 281
Springfield, MA 01102
(800) 201-5029 x100
(413) 734-3134 x100
or $13.95 CAD in Canada, to
Thomas Allen & Son, Ltd
390 Steelcase Rd E
Markham, ON L3R 1G2
What do they have in common?
AH, AL, AS, BA, BO, BY, IN, IS, IT, LA, MA, MI, MU, NA, NE
along with DO, GO, HA, ID, PE, RE, SH, WE, YE
all make 3-letter words starting with A!
RevolverMap added Nov. 9, 2009