Bonza! Scrabble launches Aussie slang edition

Bonza! Scrabble launches Aussie slang edition


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Australians are now able to use words such as "bonza" and "g'day" in one of the world's most popular board games.  Photo: Joe Armao

Australians are now able to use words such as "bonza" and "g'day" in one of the world's most popular board games. Photo: Joe Armao

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Word nerds can now officially use Australian English's more colourful words to rake up high scores.

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Onya, Scrabble. 

Word nerds can now officially use Australian English's more colourful words to rake up high scores.

Mattel, the company that distributes the popular board game, unveiled its highly-anticipated Australian edition of Scrabble on Thursday.

"It's a fun twist on the classic game of Scrabble," the company's marketing manager Jacinta Whitehead said. "It allows you to use Aussie slang words on the board and you actually get bonus points for every slang word you use with your tiles."

However, embracing Aussie slang created a problem for those devising the rules for the new-look board game: how to spell a word that isn't often written down? For example, is the slang word for breakfast "brekkie" or "brekky"?

Sometimes, both variants are acceptable. For example, the Macquarie Dictionary has both "exy" and "exxy" as acceptable substitutes for "expensive". 

Mattel sidestepped this linguistic puzzle - and the controversy surrounding whether or not it's "potato cake" or "potato scallop" - by deciding the most common way to spell a word would win the day. The list of acceptable slang words was drawn up from around 20,000 submissions. 

"The words were crowdsourced from all over Australia," Whitehead said. "A really interesting one was the shortened version of schnitzel, which for me is 'schnitzy' but for others it's 'schnitty'." 

Some of Whitehead's favourite words allowed in the new game include "stonkered" - which means perplexed or to fail at something - and "biffo", which refers to an argument or brawl. 

"Only Aussies can make a fight sound friendly," she said.

Some of the words allowed in Aussie Scrabble include:

  • arvo
  • ambos
  • barbie
  • brekkie
  • cozzie
  • dipstick
  • ekka (the annual Brisbane show)
  • footy
  • g'day
  • heaps
  • journo
  • lippy
  • moolah
  • nuddy (naked)
  • ocker
  • pash
  • pav
  • prezzy
  • rapt
  • salvos
  • sickie
  • strewth
  • straya
  • tinny
  • togs
  • uey (a U-turn)
  • vinnies (St Vincent De Paul's)
  • wowser
  • xing (an animal crossing)
  • yabby
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