Words that will change your life - at least on a Scrabble Board!

There are few things that have as much potential to change a life as the power of the mind; thus, it's prudent to be familiar with some of the words that characterize the vast and flummoxing realm of human thought. Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that some of these words can be especially helpful on a Scrabble board!

Having a hard time concentrating on your letter tiles? You may feel like you're cursed with bad linguistic karma, perhaps as a result of splitting infinitives or dangling participles in a past life. To fix this, it's time to consider channeling your Qi. According to ancient Chinese practices, this integral life force can be harnessed and directed, allowing one to reach the zenith of his or her mental and physical potential - and perhaps allowing a struggling word-gamer to come up with winning combinations!

But maybe you like to think about things from an emotional standpoint, in which case you might try a little empathy. Understanding the thought processes of others can give you an idea of the words they might try to form, allowing you to plan a strategy and not be so prodigal with your own precious letters! So whatever way your mind works, check out some of the words below. By mastering these thoughtful terms, you'll start your path to Board-Game Nirvana - and maybe even get some new perspective on life in general.

  • Flummox: An interesting verb which means to thoroughly baffle or confuse. It is a light-hearted word that conveys a sense of bemusement, as in being stumped by a tricky puzzle. If you say it fast enough, flummox almost conveys its meaning through the way it sounds. On the Scrabble board FLUMMOX is a point-rich bingo word. Plus, when your opponent plays a simple word like FLU or OX, you can totally spin their heads by playing FLUMMOX!
  • Zenith: Originating from Arabic roots, "Zenith" literally means "the path overhead," describing the highest magnitude or position that something attains. It is also used in astronomy to refer to the Sun being directly overhead in the sky. Make use of the "Z" to reach your zenith on the Scrabble board - or better yet play the plural ZENITHS to get the bonus 50 points!
  • Nirvana: Originating in traditional Eastern belief systems, especially Buddhism, "Nirvana" refers to a transcendental state of inner harmony that one can reach through meditation and practicing a life of selflessness. Colloquially, the improper noun version of "nirvana" is used to mean any state of bliss or complete satisfaction. Any player who aligns these tiles is sure to be in Board-Game Nirvana!
  • Empathy: Have some empathy for your fellow Scrabble players - remember when you didn't know all of these cool words either? "Empathy" describes a person's capacity to truly experience and understand the feelings or situations of others. "Empathy" is especially important for helping others to feel like they belong and for helping them to get through tough times. Of course, with M, P and Y, plus the possible bingo bonus, EMPATHY can be useful in more ways than one on a Scrabble board.
  • Qi: Pay close attention, word-game aficionados: "Qi" is one of those rare words that contains a "Q" without a "U," making it a quick and easy way to score big in your next Scrabble game. "Qi" comes to English from ancient Chinese philosophy and medicine; it describes an inner "life-force" or energy that is found in all living things and is vital to maintaining health and wellbeing. Many traditions hold that one's Qi can be harnessed and directed through practices like meditation, focused movements, and acupuncture. You'll be sure to waffle your opponent's Qi if you can somehow manage to both place your Q on a triple letter word and make it count twice.
  • Prodigal: Is it generosity or just wastefulness? That might be a troubling concept for someone who is prodigal. This word is an adjective that describes a person who frequently squanders valuables, especially money. It can also refer to something that is overly expensive or extravagant. Plus, PRODIGAL is a high scoring play in Scrabble, if you're lucky enough to get the letters; just remember not to be too prodigal with your consonants!
  • Prudent: On the opposite end of the spectrum is "prudent," which means to show good judgement or intelligent planning in regards to the future. Usually, it implies a sense of shrewdness and insight. Don't rely on chance alone to net high-scoring Scrabble plays. By being prudent with your letters, you'll be able to control your fate and make any word you please!
  • Karma: Wondering how you got to where you are in life? It could have something to do with your karma, a term that describes a cosmic influence that skews our fortunes based on the nature of our actions. Playing KARMA on the Scrabble board can be a knockout punch to other players, if you're willing to accept your fate!