Is NOK a Scrabble word?

As an SEO writer, I will provide quick answers to questions in the opening paragraphs. NOK is not an accepted Scrabble word according to the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary published by Merriam-Webster. However, it is an abbreviation that Scrabble players may use during games to indicate a “no score” play.

What does NOK stand for in Scrabble?

NOK is an abbreviation players use in Scrabble to indicate “no score.” When a player places letters on the board that do not form a valid word, it is called a “no score” or “zero score” play. The player would write NOK next to the play to show it does not earn any points.

Is NOK in the Official Scrabble Dictionary?

NOK is not an official word in the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary published by Merriam-Webster. This dictionary contains all acceptable words that players can use during Scrabble games.

The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary is the standard reference for Scrabble words in English-language tournaments and club games. Any word not found in this dictionary is not considered valid for scoring purposes.

What words are acceptable in Scrabble?

The only words acceptable for scoring in Scrabble games are those found in the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary. This dictionary contains over 100,000 words of 2 to 15 letters.

In addition to dictionary words, the Official Scrabble Dictionary also includes inflected forms of words, such as plurals and verb conjugations. For example, if “run” is in the dictionary, then “running” would also be an acceptable word.

Proper nouns are not allowed in Scrabble unless they also have another meaning as a common noun. For example, “Texas” is not allowed but “canada” is allowed because it also means the plant goosefoot.

What reference works determine official Scrabble words?

The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary is the main reference used to determine valid words in English-language Scrabble. This dictionary is published by Merriam-Webster and contains over 100,000 words.

In addition, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition, is used to arbitrate any appeals or challenges to words. If a word is found in the Collegiate Dictionary but not the OSPD, it will be added to the next update of the OSPD.

Scrabble rules also allow the use of four-letter words found in a standard college dictionary. This includes words like ZA, QAT, and XI.


In summary, NOK is not an accepted Scrabble word according to the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary and official tournament rules. It is simply an abbreviation players may use to indicate a “no score” play. Only words found in the Official Scrabble Dictionary or Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary are valid scoring words in English-language Scrabble games.

History of the Scrabble Dictionary

The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary has evolved over time to reflect changes in language usage and vocabulary:

  • 1948 – First SCRABBLE® crossword game published by James Brunot
  • 1976 – Official Scrabble Players Dictionary published, containing around 63,000 words
  • 1991 – OSPD2 published with around 73,500 words
  • 2005 – OSPD3 published with around 95,000 words
  • 2014 – OSPD4 published with over 100,000 words
  • 2018 – OSPD5 published with over 100,000 words

The dictionary is updated periodically to keep pace with new words entering popular usage. The word list is developed by Merriam-Webster lexicographers based on a statistical word frequency analysis of modern text resources.

Rules for Adding New Words

For a new word to be added to the Official Scrabble Dictionary, it must meet the following criteria:

  • It must have sufficient occurrence and distribution in print resources
  • It must be a general term, not a trademark or brand name
  • It must have significance as an independent lexical unit (cannot just be an inflected form of an existing word)
  • Foreign words must have become common loanwords in English

The editors use a formula that weighs word frequency and distribution across different texts to determine if a new word has enough valid usage for inclusion.

Challenges and Appeals Process

During tournaments and club games, players can appeal if they want to challenge the validity of an unfamiliar word played. Here is the usual process:

  1. Player challenges the word, and play stops while validity is checked
  2. Reference materials (OSPD, Collegiate Dictionary) are consulted
  3. If the word is not found, it is removed from the board with no score
  4. If the word is verified, the play stands and challenger loses their next turn
  5. If a word is later found to be invalid, that play is canceled from records

Rulings by designated tournament dictionary officials are considered final. But word challenges can lead
to revisions in future OSPD versions.

Fun Scrabble Facts and Statistics

Here are some interesting facts about the history and modern gameplay of Scrabble:

  • Scrabble boards have 225 squares (15 x 15)
  • Approx 170,000 possible words can be formed on a Scrabble board
  • Q, Z, X, J are the four highest scoring Scrabble tiles (10 pts each)
  • Highest possible single-word score is 392 points (QUARTZY)
  • Highest tournament game score was 830 points (Michael Cresta, 2006)
  • Around 4,000 new words added in latest OSPD5 (2018)
  • Shortest words in Scrabble – A, I, O, and variants like AA, AI
  • Longest word in OSPD5 – QUINZHEE (Inuit snow shelter)

Scrabble continues to evolve as new words enter the language and new slang and domains emerge. The official dictionary helps maintain the integrity of the game by ensuring accepted, well-established words are used for scoring.

Strategies for Learning New Words

Good Scrabble players continuously expand their vocabulary. Here are effective strategies for studying and memorizing new words:

  • Read often – Books, newspapers, magazines to build general vocabulary
  • Learn word roots – Latin, Greek roots help decode meaning of unfamiliar words
  • Study word lists – Spend time learning words like QI, ZA, XU specifically for Scrabble
  • Use flashcards – Make cards for high-value or unusual words to memorize
  • Play practice games – Use new words in practice games to reinforce them
  • Study definitions – Don’t just memorize words, understand their meaning

With commitment and regular practice, competitive Scrabble players can master the Official Scrabble Dictionary and achieve high game scores.


In conclusion, NOK is not an accepted word in Scrabble play. It is simply an abbreviation players use to indicate a “no score” move when invalid words are played. Mastering all the words in the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary takes dedication for competitive players. But learning new vocabulary is a fun and rewarding process that enhances language skills.

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