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Ideas

The Word

Smeat, gorn, and other phony words of Scrabble

They’re not real—until you’re playing to win.

My friend—let’s call him Bob—was playing to win. The game: Words With Friends. His opponent: his wife. His weapon: the alphabet. He saw his chance. He made his play: smeat.

Smeat? Bob’s wife objected immediately. Smite, smote, smear, she told him, but definitely not smeat. How did he get through medical school with that vocabulary? she asked. Though smeat was a made-up canned meat brand in the movie “Waterworld,” according to the Urban Dictionary, you will not find it in a traditional dictionary. It’s not a word. But it does kind of sound like one.

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