Association of British Scrabble Players

Culture > Linguistics > Words & Phrases


Now updated for CSW15. New words, if any, and new inflections of existing words, are shown in red.


abracadabra a magic word, used as a charm.
acronym a word formed from the initial letters of other words.
acronymania a craze for acronyms.
acronymic relating to an acronym, a word fabricated from the initial letters of a name or phrase.
acronymically (Adv.) ACRONYMIC, relating to an acronym.
acronymous of or like an acronym, a word formed from the initial letters of other words.
acrophonetic relating to acrophony, the use of a word starting with a letter of the alphabet as the name of the letter.
acrophonic relating to acrophony, the use of a word starting with a letter of the alphabet as the name of the letter.
acrophony the use of a word starting with a letter of the alphabet as the name of the letter.
adage a traditional saying expressing a common observation.
adagial pertaining to an adage, proverbial.
anagram a word or phrase formed by the letters of another in different order; (verb) to transpose the letters of a word or phrase to form a new one.
anagrammatic like an anagram.
anagrammatical like an anagram.
anagrammatise to make into an anagram.
anagrammatism the practice of constructing anagrams.
anagrammatize to make into an anagram.
aphorise to make an aphorism.
aphoriser one who makes aphorisms.
aphorism a pithy saying, orig a medical maxim.
aphorist one who makes aphorisms.
aphoristic relating to aphorism.
aphoristically (Adv.) APHORISTIC, relating to aphorism.
aphorize to make an aphorism.
aphorizer one who makes aphorisms.
apophthegm (Greek) a short, pithy and instructive saying or formulation.
apothegm (Greek) a short, pithy and instructive saying or formulation.
apothegmatic of or like an apothegm.
apothegmatical of or like an apophthegm.
archaicism an archaic expression.
archaism the use of an older or obsolete form.
ayword (Shakesp.) a byword, proverbial reproach.
backronym an acronym formed using the initial letters or syllables of an existing word.
bacronym an acronym formed using the initial letters or syllables of an existing word.
buzzword a word used to impress someone.
byword a well-known saying.
calembour (Fr.) a pun.
cataphor a word that has the same reference as another word used later.
catchcry a well-known phrase associated with a particular group.
catchline a slogan, esp in advertising or politics.
catchphrase a word or expression that is used repeatedly and conveniently to represent or characterize a person, group, idea, or point of view.
cliche (Fr.) a stereotyped expression.
colloquialism a colloquial expression.
concetto (Ital.) an ingenious expression, a witticism.
conundrum (Lat.) a riddle, esp one whose answer is a play on words.
conversationism a colloquialism.
counterword a word widely used in a sense much looser than its original meaning, such as 'tremendous' or 'awful'.
cussword a swearword.
definiendum (Lat.) a word or phrase that is to be defined in a dictionary.
definiens (Lat.) a word or words used in a dictionary definition.
echoism the formation of imitative words.
epitheton an epithet.
expletive filling out (noun) a swearword
expletively (Adv.) EXPLETIVE.
gnomic signifying general truth; relating to aphorisms or proverbs.
gnomical signifying general truth; relating to aphorisms or proverbs.
gnomically (Adv.) GNOMIC, relating to aphorisms or proverbs.
headword a word forming a heading in a dictionary.
hispanicism a Spanish phrase.
holophrase a single word expressing a sentence or phrase.
holophrastic of or like a holophrase, a single word expressing a sentence or phrase.
ideophone a word that is spoken but not written.
idiom a group of words whose meaning cannot be deduced from the constituent words.
idiomatic peculiar to or of the nature of an idiom.
idiomatical peculiar to or of the nature of an idiom.
initialism an acronym formed from initial letters.
interjection a word or phrase used in exclamation.
interjectionary like an interjection.
interjectural like an interjection.
keyword a significant word.
laconic of a person's speech, using few words, terse.
laconical of a person's speech, using few words, terse.
laconically (Adv.) LACONIC, terse.
laconicism a vigorous, brief manner of expression.
laconism a vigorous, brief manner of expression.
lemma (Lat.) a word or phrase defined in a dictionary, glossed in a glossary etc.
lexical of or relating to words or the vocabulary of a language as distinguished from its grammar and construction.
lexically (Adv.) LEXICAL, pertaining to the words of a language.
literaryism a bookish expression.
loanshift the adaptation of a word from one language to another.
locution a form of expression, a phrase.
logo a small design used as the symbol of an organisation etc.
logodaedalus one skilled in the manipulative use of words.
logodaedaly verbal legerdemain, esp in the imaginative or capricious coining of new words.
logoed having a logo.
logogriph a riddle in which a word is found from other words' letters.
logogriphic like a logogriph, a riddle in which a word is found from other words' letters.
malaprop a humorous misuse of a word.
malapropian relating to malapropism.
malapropism a humorous misuse of a word.
marrowsky a spoonerism; (verb) to utter a spoonerism.
maxim a brief expression of a general truth, principle, or rule of conduct.
metaplasm the alteration of a word by adding, subtracting, or transposing letters or syllables eg saying 'relator' for 'realtor'.
metaplasmic relating to metaplasm.
mondegreen a phrase, often humorous or nonsensical, that results from mishearing the lyric of a song.
motto a maxim adopted as a rule of conduct MOTTOED.
mottoed having a motto.
nayword a proverbial reproach.
negroism any peculiarity of speech among negroes; devotion to the negro cause.
nonword a word that is not a recognised word.
obsoletism a disused word or phrase; an archaism.
palillogy the repetition of a word or word or phrase.
palindrome a word or statement that communicates the same message when the letters of which it is composed are read in reverse order.
palindromic of or like a palindrome.
palindromical of or like a palindrome.
pangram a sentence that makes use of all the letters of the alphabet.
pangrammatist a person composing sentences, verses, etc., containing all the letters of the alphabet.
paragram a play on words consisting in the alteration of one letter or group of letters of a word, esp an initial letter.
paranym a euphemism; a word whose meaning is altered to conceal an evasion or untruth eg liberation for conquest.
parasyntheton a word derived from a compound, eg come-at-able.
paroemia (Greek) a proverb, adage or saying.
paroemial relating to paroemia, a proverb, adage or saying.
paronomasia a play on words, a pun.
paronomastic relating to paronomasia, play on words.
paronomastical relating to paronomasia, play on words.
paronomasy (Obs.) paronomasia.
phraseless indescribable.
phraseograph a phrase for which there exists a phraseogram.
phraseographic of or like a phraseograph.
phraseography the making of phraseographs.
platitude a commonplace or trite remark made as if it were important.
platitudinous characterized by or resembling a platitude.
platitudinously (Adv.) PLATITUDINOUS, characterized by or resembling a platitude.
pluriliteral of more than three letters.
polysemant a word with many meanings.
pun a play on words (verb) to make a pun
pundigrion (Obs.) a play on words, a pun.
punner one who makes puns.
punningly (Adv.) PUNNING, playing with words.
punny involving a pun.
punster one who makes puns.
rebus (Lat.) a representation of syllables or words by means of pictures or symbols; also, a riddle made up of such pictures or symbols.
reiterative repeating (noun) a word formed by reduplication, the second element usually differing from the first eg helter-skelter
reiteratively (Adv.) REITERATIVE, repeating.
retronym a word coined for an existing thing to distinguish it from a new thing.
ruralism a country idiom or expression.
rusticism a rustic saying or custom.
shibboleth (Hebrew) a slogan, catchword; a custom or usage regarded as a criterion for distinguishing membership
siddhuism (Hinglish) any contrived metaphor or simile.
slogan a motto adopted by a group.
sloganeer to invent or make heavy use of slogans.
sloganise to utter or repeat slogans.
sloganize to utter or repeat slogans.
sniglet a humorous word to describe some thing or concept that has no "official" word.
snowclone a kind of cliche in which an existing cliche or pop culture catchphrases is turned into a modern analogy.
spoonerism a transposition of initial sounds of spoken words, eg 'shoving leopard' for 'loving shepherd'.
synonymity the state of being synonymous.
telestic of or pertaining to religious mysteries; (noun) a type of acrostic.
triticism a trite remark.
truism an undoubted or self-evident truth; a proposition needing no proof or argument.
univocal having only one meaning (noun) a word with only one meaning
untruism something not true; a false statement.
word a speech sound that communicates meaning (verb) to express in words