Two Letter Scrabble Words A to Z

Leave a Comment
In this awesome post you will learn a lot about two letter scrabble words cheats and guru tricks. It's no big secret that one of the first steps to becoming better at Scrabble (and for that matter, Ban-anagramsDiddlerUpwards, Words with Friends, and similar games) is to know your two-letter words really well. Playing a short-to-medium length word parallel to an opponent's word, forming a whole slew of secondary two-letter words is my favorite thing to do in life. It racks up loads of points even with low-value tiles, and tends to not give away high-scoring opportunities to your opponents. Indeed, according to some guy on the internet, 75% of Scrabble words played are between two and four letters long, and 50% of points earned are from those 2-4 letter words. Memorizing all the three- and four-letter words in the English language is a pretty daunting task, but memorizing the TWO-letter words is not hard at all-- there aren't that many-- and once that's done, learning the two-make-three words (meaning the three-letter words that can be made from existing two-letter words) would probably be a good next step. That, and learning the three-letter words with J, Q, X, or Z.
2 Letter Scrabble Words

But lets not get ahead of ourselves. Step one is to learn the official two-letter words.  The official Scrabble app on Facebook has a convenient built-in list of two-letter words-- just one of the many reasons why the real Scrabble app is better than Words With Friends-- but I don't like lists of words without definitions, so I put together a list of all the valid two-letter words along with definitions, random comments, digressive rants, and a few mnemonics for some of the harder-to-remember words. Enjoy.

Two Letter Scrabble Words!

AA - Aa (pronounced "ah-ah") is a type of lava, the rocky, "extra chunky" kind... as opposed to the smooth, extra creamy type of lava known as "pahoehoe". (Pahoehoe is also a valid Scrabble word, but I don't imagine it gets played quite as often as aa). Aa can also be validly pluralized as "aas", though I don't know how much sense it makes to refer to lava in the plural. It's acceptable in Scrabble though.

AB - What do you get if you have six-pack abs and subtract five of them? You're left with one ab. No, I'm not making that up.

AD - Ads are the annoying things on TV people used to watch before they all got Tivos and DVRs.

AE - Scottish for "one", as in, "tha' sassenach's ae bonnie lass". The Official Scrabble Dictionary is kind of inconsistent as far as including Scottish/Welsh/etc words. Thus, "ae" and "cwm" are arbitrarily considered valid words, but "ch" and "crwd" arbitrarily aren't. Ch! Bludy sassenachs!

AG - short for agriculture. For some reason, the plural of this word, "ags", is acceptable. Actually a pretty good rule of thumb is that you can almost always pluralize a noun in Scrabble, even if it would make little or no logical sense to do so in any conceivable actual sentence.

AH - as in, "ah, finally you played a word". It turns out that "ahs" is also valid (think "oohs and ahs"), as is "aah" and "aha"... BUT "ahh" is invalid; if you have two H's, don't try to play "ahh" or "ehh" like a noob; see if you can play "pahoehoe" and post a picture of it on Facebook.

AI - Ai, pronounced like "AH-ee", is what they used to call the three-toed sloth before they decided it was too confusing, but the words "ai" and "ais" are still acceptable for Scrabble purposes.

AL - The al is a type of tree that grows in India. It is more commonly spelled "aal", which is also a valid Scrabble word. Both spellings can be pluralized with -s.

AM - as in, "I am not going to explain this word".

AN - as in, "an easy word that I'm also not going to explain".

AR - the spelled-out name of the letter "R". No, I'm not joking. All Enlgish letters have official spelled-out names that you can use in Scrabble, though some are more useful than others. The most interesting letter names are probably ar, es, ef, em, en, ex, cee, zee, and zed (the British say "zed" instead of "zee" for the letter Z).

AS - as in, "as in, 'as in, «as in,...»'". If I had infinite styles of quote marks I could make this definition infinitely recursive.

AT - as in, "where you at, foo'?"

AW - as in, "aw, shucks". Note that "aww" is NOT acceptable.

AX - like a hatchet, but bigger. Obviously, "axe" is also acceptable. Fun fact: if you have an X and at least one of any vowel (not counting Y), you can get rid of your X easily: ax, ex, ox, xi, xu... all valid words. Playing an X in such a way that it spells two two-letter words, e.g. "ax" one way and "xi" the other way, will score the eight-point X twice-- an essential move to have in your Scrabble arsenal. So now you'll be happy to see that X in your tray instead of annoyed. You're welcome. ;)

AY - acceptable variant spelling of "aye". Also, ays (as in, "the ays have it") is acceptable.

BA - No, not the sound a sheep makes. That's spelled "baa" (which is also a valid word). The ba is an aspect of the soul in ancient Egyptian mythology. Can be plural, "bas". (See also: KA for more about Egyptian mythology).

BE - as in, "why you be trippin'?" Incidentally, "bes" is a valid Scrabble word, but not because it's plural of "be". Bes is an alternate spelling of the Hebrew letter bet/beth. (see FE below for more about Hebrew letters). (Note [9/13/2012]: "Bes" is not a valid WWF word, though it is a valid Scrabble word.).

BI - short for bisexual. If you play "bi" against your 78 year-old grandmother, you will probably have to explain what it's short for-- and possibly you may then have to explain what the long version means also, and then explain how, when, and why you learned such a word. If you are not comfortable doing this, just remember those immortal words attributed to Vince Lombardi: "winning isn't everything; it's the only thing." And then watch in horror as she back-hooks your "bi" with the plural form "bis" and says "in yo face, young whippersnapper".

BO - acceptable variant spelling of "beau", a fancypants word for boyfriend. Both words are pronounced the same way and both are valid Scrabble words. Bo can be pluralized as "bos", and beau can be pluralized as either "beaus" or "beaux" if you are REALLY pretentious.

BY - think of this as an alternate spelling of "bye", as in, "there are only seven teams in the tournament, so one will get a by." If you think of it that way, you'll remember that the plural form "bys" is also acceptable.

DE - meaning "from", like the French word. I can't explain why some French loan-words like "de" and "qua" and "beaux" and "cirque" made it into the Scrabble dictionary while other at-least-as-equally well-known French loan-words like "moi" and "cheri" didn't. I guess "moi" and "cheri" just don't have that je ne sais quoi.

DO - as in, "do I have to explain this one?". Also we have "do" as in, "do-re-mi", the musical scale song from "The Sound of Music". All the do-re-mi music note names are valid Scrabble words: do, re, mi, fa, so, la, and ti/si, and all can be pluralized, since you might have to sing several "dos" in a row (especially if you sing bass). Note that the do-re-mi semitones like "ri" and "le", etc, are NOT considered valid, however.

ED - as in, "special ed".

EF - the letter F (see AR above for explanation).

EH - The E on my car's fuel gauge stands for "Eh, there's still a little bit left."

EL - an elevated train, like they have in Chicago. Also, the letter L.

EM - the letter M.

EN - the letter N.

ER - British for "uh". No doubt much popularized by Harry Potter, who said it a lot in the books.

ES - the letter S. Can also be spelled "ess".

ET - variant of "ate", as in, "I reckon I done et up some cheesy grits, y'all", which is something Mitt Romney might have said while he was campaigning in Alabama and Mississippi not too long ago.

EX - the letter X, or could be short for ex-spouse, etc.

FA - a long-long way to run. (See "DO" above for notes about the do-re-mi musical notes).

FE - a Hebrew letter which also can be spelled "feh". It may surprise you to know that all the Hebrew letters are valid, and many have multiple official variant spellings and can help you get rid of annoying tiles like Q, K, P, or V, which makes them worth knowing. Some other particularly useful Hebrew letter names are alef/aleph, beth/bet/bes, tav, vav/vau/vaw/waw, pe/peh, and qoph. And as if that weren't enough, all these can be pluralized.

GO - in addition to the verb-- which I would hope everyone knows already-- there is also the ancient Japanese game of "go", which-- being a noun-- can be pluralized as "gos".

HA - as in, "ha! I bet you didn't know 'gos' was a real word."

HE - the male personal pronoun, as in, "he didn't know that 'he' and 'she' can also be considered nouns in the sense of 'that's not a «he»; that's a «she»,' and thus can be pluralized as 'hes' and 'shes', respectively".

HI - as in, "hi there".

HM - as in, "Hm, I don't have any vowels on my tray so I guess I can't play a word this turn... OH WAIT". Also valid is "hmm", which is a surprisingly useful word in Bananagrams (more so than in Scrabble). But "hmmm" and "hmms" are NOT valid-- have to draw the line somewhere I guess.

HO - as in, "westward ho!" Unlike most interjections, you can back-hook this one with an S (i.e., "hos"). But that's because ho is also a noun, as in... ahem... "bros before hos". I wish you luck explaining "hos" to your 78 year-old grandma. Go for it! Vince Lombardi!

ID - The id, together with the ego and superego, comprise the psyche, according to Freud. All three parts of the psyche are valid words, as are their plural forms: ids, egos, and superegos.

IF - as in, "if you learn all the official two-letter words, you will improve your Scrabble game greatly". Also: "ifs", as in, "no ifs, ands, or buts" is valid. "Ands" and "buts" are valid words too, by the way.

IN - as in, "In the beginning...". And note that in this case "ins" is acceptable too since "in" can in fact be a noun, as in "I know the ins and outs of Scrabble".

IS - as in, "who dat is?" Note: "dat" is not considered a valid word for some reason.

IT - as in, "I hope you know what it means".

JO - Scottish for sweetheart. "Jo" is probably the most useful J-word to know in Scrabble, and furthermore, jo can also be spelled "joe", which just happens to be the second most useful J-word. Note that "jos" is invalid; the correct plural for both is "joes".

KA - another aspect of the soul according to Egyptian mythology. The ka is said (by to survive after death, so I guess that means the ba doesn't survive death? Man, I need to brush up on my ancient Egyptian mythology-- there might be more useful Scrabble words to discover. Right now all I got is "ba(s)", "ka(s)", and "ankh(s)".

KI - variant spelling of qi. (See QI below and prepare to have your mind BLOWN). "Kis" is the plural.

LA - a note to follow "so". (See DO above).

LI - a unit of length used in China, about a third of a mile. "Lis" is valid, even though the Chinese languages don't have plural inflections like English.

LO - as in, "and lo, I am with you alway". (Note that "los" is NOT valid). Incidentally, "alway", the old-timey King James variant of "always", is a valid Scrabble word too. Other fun King James words to try to use include such classics as betimes, aright, howbeit and of course thou/thee/thy/thine. While I'm on the subject, at least one KJV-style finite verb, "doeth/doest", is valid but most, e.g. "goeth/goest", "availeth", etc, are not considered valid.

MA - short for "mother", like Ma Beagle from Duck Tales.

ME - a name I call myself. Note that "mes" is NOT valid. There's only one me.

MI - a name I call myself (when singing the do-re-mi song). Note that "mis" IS valid. Also see "DO" above for notes about the do-re-mi notes.

MM - as in, "mm, tasty". "Mmm" is also valid. But don't get too crazy-- "mmmm" (with four or more M's) is not valid. That would just be ridiculous.

MO - short for moment, as in, "I'll be there in a mo". "Mos" is valid also.

MU - the Greek letter. Just as the spelled-out names of English and Hebrew letters are considered valid (see AR and FE above), so too are the spelled-out Greek letters. By far the most useful of these are mu, nu, pi, xi, tau, and eta. But if you can drop "omicron" on your opponent, go for it. Feel free to pluralize any of them.

MY - belonging to me.

NA - meaning "no". Interestingly, "yesses" and "nos" are valid, but "nas" is not.

NE - acceptable variant spelling of "nee", the word used before a married woman's maiden name.

NO - opposite of "yes".

NU - the Greek letter (see MU above for more about that).

OD - "Od" is an antiquated scientific term, like "phlogistons" or "choleric", today known only to certain eccentric word-mavens. If you're curious, in times past, od was thought to be a force pervading the universe that manifested in both magnetism and hypnotism, and presumably other ways. It is pronounced the same way as "odd". And although it doesn't make sense to speak of more than one od, since there isn't even one in existence, let alone more than one, "ods" is a valid word also.

OE - The Scrabble dictionary says this is a whirlwind of the Faroe Islands. I cannot determine if that means that there is a particular type of whirlwind that only happens there called an "oe", or if it's some weird loan-word thing (note that they don't speak English in the Faroe Islands, but Faroese and Danish). Most non-Scrabble dictionaries do not offer a definition for "oe". I assume it's pronounced "oy". The plural form, "oes" is valid.

OF - as in, "you should know the meaning of  'of'". No plural form allowed.

OH - as in, "oh, is it my turn?" Also it is the spelled-out name of the letter O (see AR above), so "ohs" is allowed.

OI - British for "hey", as in, "Oi! What's all this then!?"

OM - "Om" is probably the most well-known mantra used by transcendental meditators. Pronounce it with a long O.

ON - Sure, you know this as a preposition meaning "physically supported by" and an adverb that is the opposite of "off", but did you know that "on" can be a noun too? A cricket field is divided into an on side and an off side, referred to as the on and the off. And since it's a noun, it can be plural: "ons" and "offs".

OP - short for operation, as in "black ops" or "spec ops". And if you are wondering, "spec" is valid also.

OR - Hopefully you know what the conjunction "or" means, but perhaps you didn't know that it can be a noun also. The noun "or" is a heraldry term meaning the color gold, and thus can be plural: "doesn't that coat of arms have pretty ors and argents?" Many other technical heraldry terms are valid, e.g. blazon, gules, crosslet, Dexterguard-ant... but some are not, e.g. chequy, langued.

OS - Now this one is interesting. There are no less than THREE different words spelled "os", and all three are pluralized differently! "Os" meaning "a bone" (pronounce with short O), is pluralized as "ossa". "Os" meaning "an orifice of the body" (also pronounced with short O) is pluralized as "ora" (friggin' Latin plurals, man). And "os" (with LONG O and soft S pronunciation) meaning "a long esker" (an esker meaning "a serpentine ridge of gravelly and sandy drift", thank you is pluralized as "osar" since it is a Swedish loan-word. Alternatively, you can pluralize all three as "oses", which is also a valid word.

OW - as in, "ow, that last word made my brain hurt".

OX - a bull that's been, um, "fixed". Who knew Scrabble could be so racy? Incidentally, both the old-school plural "oxen" and the hip, modern "oxes" are acceptable.

OY - a variant spelling of "oi".

PA - short for father, as in "ma and pa".

PE - a Hebrew letter, also spelled "peh". See FE above for notes about Hebrew letters.

PI - a Greek letter (see MU above). Fun fact: pi, pe, and our letter P all ultimately derived from the same Phonecian letter, and all still represent the same sound.

QI - a term from traditional Chinese medicine/philosophy/martial arts meaning (basically) "spiritual energy". Or maybe just "breath". (Hard to explain, I guess). It's also spelled "ki", "khi", or "chi"; probably the "chi" spelling is seen more commonly, but the qi(s) and ki(s) spellings will be most useful to you as Scrabble words. Fun fact: when "qi" was made an official word in the fourth edition of the Official Scrabble Players' Dictionary (OSPD4), the Scrabble world was thrown into mass chaos with rioting in the streets and people calling for the point-value of the Q-tile to be changed. This is because the existence of "qi" completely changes the dynamics of how you play the Q-tile. I would say for myself, I probably play "qi" at least two-thirds of the time I get a Q in my tray (two ways if possible for huge points, or QI one way and QAT or QOPH the other way for even huger points).

RE - a golden drop of sun (see DO above).

SH - interjection meaning "be quiet". It's another possibility (along with the aforementioned "hm" and "mm") when you have no vowels in your tray. "Shh" is also valid. While I'm thinking about it, there are also a few longer vowel-less words: nth, brr(r), zzz, crwth, cwm. Technically the W functions as a vowel in those last two, but let's not get pedantic.

SI - the original spelling of the do-re-mi note "ti". See DO above. They changed si to ti so the notes could all begin with different letters.

SO - a needle pulling thread, i.e. another do-re-mi note. See DO. Also it's a conjunction of course, but if you think of it as the do-re-mi note, you'll more easily remember that it can be plural: sos.

TA - The Scrabble dictionary says "an expression of gratitude". I have no idea in what crazy slang or regional dialect they say thank you as "ta". Weirdly, "tas" is also valid even though interjections normally are not allowed to be plural (except when they also happen to be Hebrew letters or whatever, as is the case with "hehs"). Regular dictionaries note that "ta(s)" can be a semitone note on the do-re-mi scale or the third letter of the Arabic writing system, but other do-re-mi semitones and Arabic letters are NOT considered valid Scrabble words. I will have to do more research on this one.

TI - a drink with jam and bread (see DO for explanation).

TO - the preposition, like "toward". No noun or verb form so you can't pluralize it.

UH - as in, "uh, is that really a real word?"

UM - as in, "um, I think so." Note that "umm" is valid too. But no plural.

UN - means "one", as in, "I reckon that's a big un right yonder". Uns (as in "big uns") is acceptable too.

UP - the direction opposite down. It's also a verb: as in, "he ups the ante", so feel free to slap an S at the end.

US - the objective first-person plural pronoun.

UT - the original "DO" on the do-re-mi scale. Before there was "Do: a deer, a female deer / Re: a golden drop of sun", etc, there was "Ut queant laxis / resonare fibris / Mira gestorum /famuli tuorum / Solve polluti / labii reatum / Sancte Iohannes", which I think you'll agree is almost as good a mnemonic song for remembering the major scale as the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic. The note "ut" (pronounced "oot") was changed to "do" so that the notes would all start with a consonant and end with a vowel.

WE - the subjective first-person plural pronoun.

WO - acceptable variant spelling of "woe". "Wos" is also acceptable.

XI - another Greek letter, my favorite. See MU above.

XU - a unit of currency in Vietnam, pronounced like "sue". Besides the xu, Vietnam also has the hao (pronounced "how") and the dong (ten xu to the hao and ten hao to the dong). Fun fact: virtually ALL units of currency, both modern (e.g. dollar, yen) and obsolete (e.g. denarius, doit), are valid Scrabble words. Besides the xu, other useful currencies are the hao, dong, euro, yen, yuan (Chinese currency), doit (a now-obsolete currency in I think the Netherlands), sheqel (can also be spelled with a K) and zaire (yes, the zaire was once the currency of the country Zaire). Many can be pluralized with an S, though xu and hao cannot.

YA - variant of "yeah". Note that "yas" is not valid since there's no noun or verb form of the word "ya".

YE - as in, "ye who are spiritual, restore such a one" (...such a one as plays "bi" against their grandmother, that is).

YO - as in, "yo, the entry for XU totally blew my mind".

ZA - Supposedly, "za" is slang for "pizza". I can't find any documentation for this aside from the Scrabble dictionary though, so I'm not even sure how it's supposed to be pronounced (I prefer "zuh"). But whatever, "za(s)" will serve you in good stead as a Scrabble word, much like QI.

SPECIAL WORDS WITH FRIENDS ADDENDUM: There are an additional four two-letter words in WWF that are considered valid in that game, but that are not recognized in Scrabble. These words are DA, DI, FI, and GI. "Da" is possibly a shortened form of "dad". Less likely, it could be a variant spelling of "dah", a word one uses when speaking Morse code aloud (saying "dah" for the dashes and "dit" for the dots). The latter hypothesis is less plausible to me since WWF does not accept "das" as a word but does accept "dahs" and "dits". A "gi" meanwhile is a karate or judo uniform-- it is a Japanese loanword, pronounced with a hard G and long E sound, i.e. like "ghee" (a word that means "buffalo butter"). I do not know what "fi" or "di" are supposed to mean-- possibly they could refer to do-re-mi semitones, but other semitones like "ri" are still not valid in WWF. Probably they had some other meanings in mind for di and fi, but I do not know for sure. If I had to guess, I might venture that "fi" is back-formed from "re-fi" (short for "refinance") or "hifi" (high fidelity, referring to audio devices) or "wifi" (wireless internet), but I have never actually heard or seen the word "fi" used by itself. As for "di", I have no idea what they were thinking.


Post a Comment