Words With Friends [Free] became one of the early ambassadors of mobile gaming when it launched 8 years ago, finding its way to the phones of many who wouldn't call themselves "gamers" at that point in time. To celebrate its 8 anniversary, Words With Friends continues its growth but this time around we are getting pop-culture inspired words that might make the language purists among you (or the older ones among you) cringe. We are getting words suggested by other players or ones that you hear about often, so expect to earn points for words like Delish, Queso, Bae, Bestie, Hangry, Smize, BFF, and many other ones most often seen on Instagram and Twitter rather than dictionaries. We can start debating what makes a word a word or whether TFW should be in a Scrabble-like game, but the fact is these words are extremely popular and are slowly making their way into official dictionaries. So, I think they are fair Words With Friends game.

In addition to adding all these new words, Words With Friends released some pretty crazy stats that demonstrate the game's popularity over these 8 years. For instance, in 2017 alone an estimated 57 million active games are being played around the world at any given time, with 6.5 billion matches completed each day. Ever since its launch in 2009, 555 billion letters have been played. And, in case you were wondering, the most played word of the game is QI. The new Social Dictionary words are available starting today, so go play with your Bestie or BFF (or even Bae), unless you're getting too Hangry ATM.

  • Hiraether

    Yes, children should dictate new language. Most of these aberrations of monkey mouth noises will be discarded as quickly as they were defined. If we would have had twitter language in the 90s by the same logic Ebonics would be the 1337 speak. Let kids make up their words. Don't put them in the dictionary for crying out loud. One could but imagine if this was possible in the 60s how many more groovy words we would have had. It's extremely postmodern and those whom speak proper English will naturally be in a more powerful position culturally. Almost like reinforcing a lower class language with misinformation in care systems, it will sociologically trend toward those using more new words will be less successful, taken less seriously, and mocked as stupid. Most people hear these new words and instantaneously think you're less intelligent because, frankly it's like someone who curses often; there isn't much real communication going on linguistically and one must resort to reading body language or other cues. Perhaps the language would help you get work for a teenage pop star. But short of that long shot, the skills gained by speaking in slang are not culturally advantageous unless one is within a niche.

    Slang is experimental language & it does not belong in a word game. Then one has to allow onomatopoeia which can have variant vowels based on time. Things like comic book sound effects ruin gameplay. Not to mention destroying the educational value.

    Bae is a word. In Danish it means poop.
    Or to add insult or injury.

    Congratulations Words with Fiends, you just Baed yourselves on your 8th birthday.



    • http://adamsimmersive.com Adams Immersive

      The official Scrabble TWL includes "Za," slang for Pizza, which I put in exactly the same category. It annoys me, but a game needs an agreed-upon word list and I'll play anything that's in there. The TWL doesn't include "zen," which it should. Pretty arbitrary.

      Since WWF is just a game, anything goes: let the creators do what they choose. I'm not even sure pandering to young slang users isn't a fine way to encourage their interest in word and language games. If they use "hangry" in a term paper, get out the red pen!

      From a communication standpoint, new words DO communicate, same as any other. If they communicate a different nuance than older words, then they even add richness and nuance to communication. "Hangry" and "selfie" annoy me, but they're effective language. And there will always be a difference between formal and informal communication.

      (But if the change is just a corruption that LOSES meaning, I'm sorry to see it. Example; "advanced" has a totally different meaning from "advance," but Nintendo has people using the wrong one.)

      From a gameplay standpoint, it's good to have predictability/consistency of rules. Many of these new words are acronyms, and if only SOME acronyms are allowed that's poor design. If ALL are allowed (from an agreed dictionary) that sounds even worse!

    • HelperMonkey

      Words With Friends is a popular, casual game. It's never been intended as an arbiter of formal verbal etiquette. As with any game, it has its own rules, scoring, strategies, and quirks. Being a product of pop culture, I see no issue with it drawing upon some of the linguistic vagaries tied to pop culture. It's just for fun, you know?
      As long as the average person is aware that the proper usage of language is dictated by its context, and they know how to adjust their usage accordingly, the world will survive.

      • HelperMonkey

        (BTW... My average classic game score is 407, my average move score is 25.7, and I generally swear like a ghetto pirate... in the right company, of course.)

  • AppStore Cowboy

    I hate that this bothers me. I don't need more reminders that I'm turning into an old man. Won't be long before I'm eating tapioca pudding and yelling out Jeopardy answers...during Wheel of Fortune.

  • Hiraether

    We should mock Zynga for using the rhetoric of children is all I'm asking.