"THAT's a word?"
If you play Words With Friends and are frequently demoralized by opponents scoring very big points using very small words, this list will help you up your game. If you don't play Words With Friends, perhaps you can work these into conversation.
Aa – Noun of Hawaiian origin describing volcanic rock consisting of angular blocks of lava with a very rough surface.
Ae – A Scot adjective meaning “one.” (The game appears to have an affinity for the Scots.)
Ag – An informal noun, short for “agriculture,” or an informal adjective, short for “agricultural.”
Ai – An “ai” is one of four species of three-toed sloth. They are native to Central and South America and one-degree toeier one than two-toed sloths.
Ar – The most likely definitions of “ar” that this could represent: a variant of “are,” or the spelling of the letter ‘R’ (see “ef” below for further commentary).
Aw – An interjection expressing sympathy, tenderness, disapproval or disbelief. (As in, “Aw, a rookie player unfamiliar with the fact that ‘qi’ is likely to be used in all our games. Poor thing.”)
Ay – An archaic adverb meaning “always” or an archaic interjection used as an expression of sorrow.
Ba – A noun referring to an aspect of the soul in Egyptian religion represented as a bird with a human head. Also, the second letter of the Arabic alphabet.
Da – From the Italian and Portuguese, a preposition meaning “from” or “of” – we see this mostly in names like Leonardo Da Vinci.
De – A French, Spanish, and Portuguese preposition meaning “from” or “of,” often used in surnames – we also see this in names like Danny DeVito (a fellow Renaissance Man).
Ed – An informal shortening of “education,” as in “driver’s ed.”
Ef – The spelling of the letter “f.” (As in, “Why the ef would they accept the spellings of letters?”)
Eh – An interjection expressing questioning surprise or seeking the repetition or confirmation of a statement or question.
Em – The spelling of the letter “m”
En – Another letter spelling (If your opponent employs all of these, you can tell him or her to go straight to aitch.)
Er – An interjection used to represent a pause, hesitation, or uncertainty. (The second-most popular word in Public Speaking 101, right after “like.”)
Et – Not sure if the game is accepting “et” as the nonstandard past tense of “eat” used primarily in the North Atlantic, South Midland and Southern United States or as a noun suffix having a diminutive force (as in “tablet”) Either way, weird.
Ex – Short for "excluding."
Fa – The syllable for the fourth tone of the diatonic scale (A.K.A. "A long, long way to ruuuun.")
Fe – No idea why this is accepted, but it is the symbol for iron.
Gi – A two-piece garment, usually white in color, worn by barefooted martial arts participants consisting of pants and a wraparound jacket with a cloth belt – short for keikogi or dogi. (I am not sure what they call it when the individual slips on some shoes.)
Hm – They are actually accepting this as an interjection expressing thoughtful absorption, hesitation, doubt, or perplexity. I always thought it had many more ‘M’s.
Ho – An interjection used as a call to attract attention (as in “Westward, ho!"), to exclaim delight or surprise. Or to tell a horse to stop.
Id – The Freudian component of consciousness that seeks satisfaction according to the pleasure principle. Probably the reason you are playing Words With Friends in the first place.
Jo – A Scot word for “sweetheart.” (As in, when the Jersey Shore cast does Season 12 in Scotland, Sammi will be “Sammi Jo.”) Its plural, “joes,” is also accepted.
Ka – A spiritual entity that is part of an individual believed to live within the body and survive after death.
Ki – The Earth goddess in Sumerian mythology.
Lo – An interjection meaning “look!” or “see!” Usually used as a part of the expression “lo and behold.” (Lo! Look how many two-letter interjections there are!)
Mi – The syllable for the third tone of the diatonic scale (A.K.A. "A name I call myself.")
Mm – I am not sure why this is accepted but it sure is handy to know. Maybe it's like “hm,” but used to express that something is yummy. I also thought this word had more ‘M’s.
Mu – The 12th letter of the Greek alphabet.
Na – Appears to be accepted as a variant of “no.”
Ne – I'm not sure exactly why "ne" is accepted. But it is. I swear. I saw it. It's the symbol for neon and the abbreviation for Nebraska, but neither appears to be the reason it's allowed.
Nu – The 13th letter of the Greek alphabet.
Od – A hypothetical force formerly believed to pervade all nature and be manifested in magnetism, mesmerism, chemical actions, etc. Also known as vital energy or life force. (“May the od be with you” may be a fun new joke to test out among your Star Wars-loving friends. Let us know how that goes.)
Oe – In addition to being the abbreviation for Old English (both the language and the malt liquor), oe is an interjection of Scottish origin used to express dismay, pain, annoyance, or the like. Along with “oi” (also accepted), it is a variant of “oy” (also accepted).
Oi – See above.
Om – The supreme and most sacred syllable in Hinduism and Buddhism believed to be the spoken essence of the universe.
Op – As far as I can tell, this is a shortened form of the word “optical” used in the phrase “op art,” which describes a style of abstract art where lines, forms, and space are organized in a way that creates optical illusions of an ambiguous nature. It is also listed as an abbreviation of “opus.”
Os – A plural noun that can mean a bone or a mouth/orifice.
Oy – se “oe” and “oi” above.
Pe – The 17th letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
Pi – 3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816
Qi – Noun variant of “chi.” (This word appears to be used in upwards of 100% of games played, much to the dismay of newbies who are unfamiliar with the term.) The plural, “qis,” is also accepted.
Re – The syllable for the second tone of the diatonic scale (A.K.A. "A drop of golden suuuun.")
Sh – An interjection used to urge silence.
Se – It’s the symbol for the element selenium but I can't tell you why it’s accepted. That was just a fun fact.
Ta – The third letter of the Arabic alphabet. Also a British slang interjection used to express thanks.
Ti – The syllable for the seventh tone of the diatonic scale (A.K.A. “A drink with jam and breeeead.")
Ut – The syllable once used to express the first tone of the diatonic scale, now most frequently referred to as “do.” “Ut” is not considered to be another term for a deer, a female deer.
Wo – An alternate form of the archaic noun “woe” meaning grievous distress, affliction or sorrow.
Xi – The 14th letter of the Greek alphabet.
Xu – An aluminum coin and monetary unit in Vietnam, worth 1/100 of a dong.
Ya – An alternate form of the pronouns “you” and “your” and the 28th letter of the Arabic alphabet.
Za – An American slang abbreviation for “pizza” and the 17th letter of the Arabic alphabet.
Note: While there are 105 total two-letter words accepted in the game, we figured 55 was just plenty for now. Baby steps.
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Words With Friends accepts more than 173,000 words and uses as the basis for its vocabulary list the Enhanced North American Benchmark Lexicon (ENABLE), which calls itself “the most researched, and therefore the most authoritative word list available.”
The Words With Friends website does indicate that they have added some of their own words, such as “zen” and “texting,” and players have the opportunity to suggest additional words here. I already checked—“poo” is already accepted; I am out of suggestions for the time being.