Boys and Girls Playing Scrabble

Last week’s list about words with MEN and WOMEN got me thinking about the possibilities with BOY and GIRL. There is one classic in this category – egilnrsw. Most people will automatically try to make an –ing word with swerling, which is, of course incorrect. The real answer is much harder to spot - NEWSGIRL. This is the only bonus word that I can remember ever playing with BOY or GIRL. I should consider this possibility more. Look at all the possible bonus words:

For those of you that like a quiz the last part of the lists below is 8 letter words ending in GIRL. Imagine that GIRL was the first word played and the L was in the middle of the board. You could score 39 points by starting on the triple word score and making NEWSGIRL. There are 8 other words that you could use in the same spot and 5 of those would score more than 50 points. How many of those 8 words can you think of.... particularly the 5 high scoring ones?

BATBOYS Minds baseball equipment

BUMBOYS Homosexuals

BUSBOYS Assistant waiters

CARBOYS Large green bottles cased in wicker

COWBOYS Ranch workers

DAYBOYS Attends boarding school, but doesn’t live there

FANBOYS Obsessive enthusiasts

FLYBOYS Pilots

LAMBOYS Kilted flexible steel plates worn like a skirt

LOWBOYS Low chests of drawers

POTBOYS Collects empty glasses n a tavern

TARBOYS Applies tar to the skin of sheep in Australian shearing

TOMBOYS Girls who behave like boys

ATTABOY Interjection, a shout of encouragement

BALLBOY Ball retriever

BELLBOY Pageboy in a hotel or club

BOSSBOY Black African foreman of a gang of workers

CALLBOY Calls actors on stage. (callgirl is no good. Two separate words)

COPYBOY Office boy

DEADBOY Steel plate used as a belaying point by mountaineers

FOOTBOY An attendant

GOWNBOY A scholarship pupil supported by school funds who wears a gown

HAUTBOY An old fashioned name for an oboe

HERDBOY A boy who acts as a shepherd

HIGHBOY A tall chest of drawers

HOMEBOY A male member of a youth gang

LADYBOY Transvestite

LIFTBOY Someone employed to operate a lift

LINKBOY Employed to light the way along dark streets

NEWSBOY Delivers newspapers

PAGEBOY An attendant

PLAYBOY A man devoted to pleasurable activities

PLOWBOY A boy who guides the horses for plowing

POSTBOY Carries mail

SANDBOY Someone who is proverbially happy

SHOPBOY Employed in a shop

TALLBOY A tall chest of drawers

BEACHBOY Beach attendant

BILLYBOY Flat bottomed river barge

BLACKBOY Australian tree, also known as YACCA

BULLYBOY Ruffian hired to beat someone

CHOIRBOY Sings in a church choir

CHOREBOY Hired to do odd jobs

DOUGHBOY A boiled dumpling, or an American infantryman

HOUSEBOY Male servant

MACCABOY A type of snuff

MACCOBOY A type of snuff

PAPERBOY Delivers newspapers

PENNYBOY An employee with menial duties such as running errands

SMALLBOY Deputy steward in a European household in West Africa

BATGIRL Girl who minds baseball equipment

BUSGIRL Assistant waitress

COWGIRL Female ranch worker

DAYGIRL Attends boarding school, but does not live there

FANGIRL Enthusiastic devotee of something

ATTAGIRL Interjection, a shout of encouragement

BALLGIRL Retrieves balls

COPYGIRL runs errands in a newspaper office

HOMEGIRL Female member of a youth game

NEWSGIRL Sells or delivers newspapers

PLAYGIRL A woman devoted to pleasurable activities

SHOPGIRL Employed in a shop

SHOWGIRL Chorus girl

WORKGIRL Employed in manual labour

There are plenty of anomalies here that wouldn’t have occurred to me without having looked at these two lists together. For example it seems sexist that there is a WORKGIRL, but not a workboy and I certainly wouldn’t have guessed that call girl has to be two words, particularly as CALLBOY is correct. Maybe the compilers of our dictionaries will address some of those issues in the future.

Only one word can't be pluralised with an S, but there are 3 points of interest:

  1. ATTABOYS is allowed. Strange, as interjections don’t normally take an S

  2. ATTAGIRL means the same thing, but does not take an S. Why not?

  3. LAMBOYS is not a word without the S.

Getting to play any of these words will be quite difficult, but there is bound to be a chance sometime. I must think twice before playing FLARING. It would be much cooler to play FANGIRL and might even be worth an extra 5 points for a challenge.

Happy Scrabbling Patrick

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