Hold on to your tiles, people. Scrabble has changed its rules. Starting in June, if you buy a new Scrabble board, proper nouns will officially be fair play in the classic word game. A Scrabble spokesperson explained that this is to “introduce an element of popular culture into the game.” They continued, “This is one of a number of twists and challenges included that we believe existing fans will enjoy and will also enable younger fans and families to get involved.” It’s the first change in the game’s rules since 1948. [BBC]
So what names, places, and brand names should you start playing? After the jump, a handy cheat sheet.
- Jay-Z will get you 23 points—69 if you have the good luck to play him on a triple word score.
- Even better? Go for Xzibit for a whopping 24 points.
- Paxil, anyone? The happy pill will net you 14 points, or 28 on a double word score.
- Need a quick way to throw down a “z” on a triple letter score? Try Zoe, as in Saldana, for 32 points.
- Spanx don’t feel great, but they’ll get you 14 points.
- Sigh, Javier Bardem. Your first name is worth 16 points, or 48 on a triple word score.
- Xavier University will also pull in 16 points.
- The highest value word we can think of? Zovirax. Heals your cold sores, and nets you 30 points—60 on a double word score.
- Zach, as in Galifianakis, is worth 18 points. Ditto for Zahara Jolie-Pitt.
- Bratz dolls are annoying, but the brand name gets 16 points.
- Zhang Ziyi hasn’t been in a movie for a while. But her first name is worth 18 points and her last is 16 points.
Scrabble purists will be happy to know they’ll still be able to buy the classic version, where proper nouns are still anathema. But what’s next? Text message language allowed? Luckily, “LOL” is only worth three points.