Scrabble - A Fun Family Night Idea

For years, the Scrabble word game has been played and enjoyed by many board game lovers. The roots of the Scrabble board game actually date back to 1931, but the pastime, as we know it today, began its climb to fame and fortune in 1938. Come with me as we discover the history behind this famous word game.


Scrabble Word GameCredit: Southerngirl09

History of the Scrabble Word Game

This crossword game was invented in 1931 when an unemployed architect named Alfred Mosher Butts invented a game called Lexiko, a.k.a., Lexico. His game was a combination of crossword puzzles and anagrams. The following quote from the National Scrabble Association, History of Scrabble Brand Crossword Game, explains how his design came about.

To decide on letter distribution, Butts studied the front page of The New York Times and did painstaking calculations of letter frequency. His basic cryptographic analysis of our language and his original tile distribution have remained valid for almost three generations and billions of games played.[1]

Unable to sell Lexiko, Butts reconfigured his unsuccessful product into a new game called Criss-Cross Words. Even with the changes, Alfred Butts was still not able to sell it to the major game companies. While he did make a number of games himself, he was unsuccessful in gaining a large following.

However, one of his Criss-Cross Words followers, James Brunot, acquired the right to produce the game in 1948. This agreement provided that a payment would be paid to Alfred Butts for each of the games sold. James Brunot changed the name to Scrabble. He began producing the Scrabble word game in a small operation, but he, too, would lose money. What happened next is best explained in the following quote from Wikipedia:

According to legend, Scrabble's big break came in 1952 when Jack Straus, president of Macy's, played the game on vacation. Upon returning from vacation, he was surprised to find that his store did not carry the game. He placed a large order and within a year, "everyone had to have one."[8] In 1952, unable to meet demand himself, Brunot sold manufacturing rights to Long Island-based Selchow and Righter (one of the manufacturers who, like Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley Company, had previously rejected the game). Selchow & Righter bought the trademark to the game in 1972.[9] JW Spears began selling the game in Australia and the UK on January 19, 1955. The company is now a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc.[5] In 1986, Selchow and Righter sold the game to Coleco, who soon after went bankrupt. The company's assets, including Scrabble and Parcheesi, were purchased by Hasbro.[9][2]

Selchow & Righter Scrabble - A Crossword GameCredit: Southerngirl09

Thank you Alfred Mosher Butts (1899-1993) for your devotion and determination to make the Scrabble word game. You have given much pleasure and hours of enjoyment to many of us.

Scrabble Word Game - A Great Way to Spell Fun

 Scrabble Spells FunCredit: Southerngirl09

How do you spell fun? If you, too, spell fun – SCRABBLE – then you are one of millions who enjoy playing this board game. After all, you can have fun, and learn new words at the same time, when you play the Scrabble board game.

At my house, when the family gathers, and after the dinner table has been cleared, then it’s Scrabble time. And it isn’t just for families, either; invite in some friends, and enjoy a night of board games. Or, turn date night into Scrabble night; intelligence is always attractive in a prospective mate. Whoever you’re playing, there’s sure to be challenges, so have your Scrabble Dictionary close at hand to settle the spelling and word disputes.

The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary
Amazon Price: $24.95 $14.95 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 29, 2013)

And aside from the excellent mental workout a rousing game of Scrabble provides, it is an inexpensive entertainment for families, friends, and couples. All you need to serve are a few snacks and beverages, and you’re set for an evening of fun. Or, make a meal together by setting up a fun pizza making buffet, and let everyone customize their own pizza before the competitions begin. However you choose to structure your Scrabble night, it’s sure to be a hit.

Give the Perfect Gift - A Scrabble Word Game

 Scrabble Board Game - The Perfect Gift for Family and FriendsCredit: Southerngirl09

And when you think you’ve given that special someone every imaginable gift in the galaxy, then check out what Scrabble has to offer. has a really cool selection of many different themed Scrabble games; they may target different interests, but they all deliver on the fun.

Looking for the Scrabble game in easy to carry cards, then there’s Scrabble Slam Cards.

If your clan includes a foodie, who hopes to become the next Emeril, then they’ll love cooking up new words with Cooking Scrabble.

Cooking Scrabble
Amazon Price: $29.99 $18.49 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 29, 2013)

If you have a family member or a friend who loves anything and everything about Christmas, then the Holiday Scrabble game would make the perfect gift for them. And the best thing about it is they can enjoy Christmas all year long.

Holiday Scrabble
Amazon Price: $29.99 $15.52 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 29, 2013)

If you are in search of a gift for your five to ten year old, that’s both fun and educational at the same time, then you’ll all have hours and hours of fun playing Scrabble Junior.

Scrabble Junior
Amazon Price: $14.99 $7.39 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 29, 2013)

If your mom or dad love to get their hands dirty digging in their flower and veggie gardens, then their green thumbs will love playing with Gardening Scrabble.

Gardening Scrabble
Amazon Price: $29.99 $21.47 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 29, 2013)

And there are other unique Scrabble games like: Major League Baseball Scrabble, Book Lover’s Scrabble, and SCRABBLE: The Beatles Edition, just to name a few.

The Board is Out - So, Lets Play Scrabble!Credit: Southerngirl09

Doesn’t this empty board look sad?

Hey, let’s grab the bag of tiles, the dictionary, and some paper and a pencil for keeping the score, and start a game!


Scrabble Word Game Online

While the focus of this article is about the board game Scrabble, you can also have fun playing this challenging game on your computer, your phone, your tablet, or pad, etc. So, when you find that you have sometime to spare, you can practice your skills, and have fun playing anywhere.

In Closing

Words, language, and communication are the backbone of every relationship, industry, career, and job, and whenever these skills are strengthened, so much the better for all involved. Of course, aside from the educational value of playing Scrabble, the word game is just ‘plain long fun’! So, get a Scrabble word game that bests suits your family, and let the good times spell!