15 Made Up Words Real Enough for Words With Friends

made up word bromance

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People have all sorts of opinions about what constitutes a “real word.” Does it have to be in the dictionary? If so, which dictionary? The truth is made up words become as much a part of daily conversation as so-called “real words.” Many neologism examples show up as slang, informal, or nonstandard. But, perhaps the true test is whether you can play them in word games like Words With Friends. Here are some of the best made up words you can lay down for a big score.


WWF Points: 18 

A portmanteau is when you combine two (or more) words together to form a new word. An informative commercial is an “infomercial.” A romantic comedy is a “romcom.” You get the word “bromance” when you combine “brother” and “romance.” Worth a cool 18 points in Words with Friends, BROMANCE is a loving, platonic relationship between two heterosexual males. Think Chandler and Joey in the hit TV series Friends


WWF Points: 7

Speaking of platonic terms of endearment between two male friends, “bruv” is a British slang term. Short for “brother,” BRUV can be used interchangeably with similar terms like “mate” and “friend.” The plural form of “bruv” is BRUVS, which you can also play in Words With Friends. Curiously, BRUV is technically short for “bruvva,” which isn’t playable in WWF. But, you can play “bruvver” for 19 points. The popularity of “bruv” skyrocketed after the year 2001. 


WWF Points: 14 

Continuing with British slang terms, BUMF is one of only two valid words in Words With Friends that ends with the letters -MF. The other is EMF, an abbreviation for electromagnetic field. “Bumf” is also an abbreviation, originally short for “bum fodder,” referring to toilet paper. In a more modern context, “bumf” can refer to pamphlets and other printed information that’s considered useless, unwanted or unimportant. Figuratively speaking, it’s good for nothing other than wiping your bottom. Junk mail is a great example of “bumf.”


WWF Points: 13

made up word chortlemade up word chortle

Many made up words you can play in Words With Friends aren’t completely made up. Often, as you might have already noticed, they’re either abbreviations or portmanteaus (or both). CHORTLE is one such neologism example. Coined by Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll, “chortle” combines “chuckle” and “snort.” It describes a kind of joyful, somewhat muffled laugh. Pretty funny, huh?


WWF Points: 14

How well do you know your rap words and hip hop slang? If you’ve ever listened to hip hop artists like Lil Jon, then you probably already know about the CRUNK subculture in the American South. The exact origin of the term is unclear. It could be a combination of “crazy and “drunk.” It might also be the past tense form of “to crank up,” as in to “crank up” at a party. To be “crunk” is to be excited and energetic. Get “crunk” in Words With Friends for 14 points. Our Scrabble word finder confirms it's a valid play in that game too. Yeeeah. 


WWF Points: 14

The bad news is that you won’t be able to play “wockets” or “woozles” in word games anytime soon. That doesn’t mean, though, that all those wonderful Seuss-isms are completely off the table (or virtual game board)! When he’s not too busy stealing Christmas, the GRINCH is playing it up for 14 points in Words With Friends. Random House originally published How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss in 1957. These days, “grinch” can also describe anyone who is especially mean-spirited or spiteful.


WWF Points: 16

Many so-called language experts are quick to dismiss IRREGARDLESS, saying it’s not a real word. They’ll tell you to say “regardless” instead. As it turns out, “irregardless” is actually acceptable, irregardless of what these experts might be telling you. It’s just a “nonstandard” synonym for “irrespective” or “anyway.” If you’re writing in a more formal setting, you’ll probably want to stick with “regardless.” But, if you’re playing Words With Friends and can play this 12 letter word, enjoy those 16 points. 


WWF Points: 38 (sort of)

Normally, proper nouns are no bueno in Words With Friends. This means brand names like Nike, Microsoft and Toyota aren’t valid. And JACUZZI is the trademark name for a specific brand of large, whirlpool bath. So, while it seems like you shouldn’t be able to play it, you totally can. It’s theoretically worth 38 points, except there’s only one Z tile in the bag. You’ll have to use one of the blank tiles in place of the second Z. So, JACUZZI would then be worth 28 points. As an aside, when a brand name becomes a common noun, that’s called a proprietary eponym or a genericized trademark. Curiously, you can play JACUZZI, FRISBEE and XEROX, but you can’t play KLEENEX, TEFLON or BANDAID. It all seems rather arbitrary. 


WWF Points: 18

made up word lightsabermade up word lightsaber

“Do or do not. There is no try.” Listen to wise Master Yoda as he wields what George Lucas originally wanted to call a “laser sword.” The now iconic LIGHTSABER made its debut in 1977 with Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. Obviously, the term combines “light” and “saber” to form a compound word. It’s a powerful light in the form of a sword blade. If you’re wondering, LIGHTSABRE is also valid in Words With Friends. Canonically, though, LIGHTSABER is the preferred spelling across the Star Wars universe. 


WWF Points: 13

Back to Lewis Carroll and Alice in Wonderland we go. More specifically, MIMSY combines “flimsy” and “miserable.” It describes something that’s underwhelming, feeble or ineffectual. Carroll introduced the term in his 1871 poem “Jabberwocky.” He also included it in Through the Looking-Glass, the sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.


WWF Points: 16

Jim Henson invented the term MUPPET some time in the 1950s. The colorful cast of characters would go on to star on such shows as Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock and The Muppet Show. Some people say that “muppet” is a portmanteau of the terms “marionette” and “puppet,” since the characters combine elements of both. This claim is supported about as often as it is refuted. Since the 1950s, “muppet” has also become a British insult describing a dimwitted or incompetent person.


WWF Points: 10

made up word okaymade up word okay

OK is not okay, but OKAY is OK. Does that make sense? The exact origin of OK is a contentious topic at best. Some people say it’s short for “oll korrect” (from comical misspellings of the early to mid 1800s) or “Old Kinderhook” (Martin Van Buren’s nickname). In many cases, OK is an initialism, whereas “okay” is a “regular word” in its own right. Either way, OK and OKAY might mean the same thing, but you can only play OKAY in Words With Friends. 


WWF Points: 9

These days, most people will think of TFW as an internet acronym for “that feeling when.” As a relatively modern invention, TFW appears on social media and memes, describing everyday and less common situations. The hope is that the reader can empathize with the feeling the writer is experiencing. Generally speaking, you can’t use abbreviations in Scrabble and Words With Friends, but there are exceptions. Did you know BAE, BFF, FOMO and LOLZ are all valid words in Words With Friends?


WWF Points: 23

Again, you’ll find that many made up words are really just combinations of existing words. While “workahol” isn’t a “real word,” WORKAHOLIC is totally fair game in Words With Friends. Someone who is a “workaholic” has a compulsive and unrelenting need to work. They feel compelled to work excessively. American psychologist and religious educator Dr. Wayne E. Oates created the term in 1971 when he published Confessions of a Workaholic: The Facts about Work Addiction. Soon after, Oxford added the term to its dictionary.


WWF Points: 23

If you were online during the 1990st, then YAHOO likely reminds you first of the once-popular search engine and web portal. Jerry Yang and David Filo, who were Stanford University students at the time, founded Yahoo! in 1994, a company that Verizon Communications has owned since 2017. But, the history of YAHOO goes all the way back to 1726 when author Jonathan Swift wrote about the fictional beings in Gulliver’s Travels. According to Swift, the human-like Yahoos were brutish, filthy beings. 

More Neologism Examples From the Real World

People invent so-called “made up words” all the time. While these neologism examples may have started out as nonstandard, they’ve become real enough for your favorite word games. What is language if not a means of communication? If other people can understand you, that’s pretty real. 

For more examples, familiarize yourself with an essential list of New York slang words. Do you know what it means if someone wants to schlep over and cop a schmear from the bodega?

Michael Kwan is a professional writer and editor with over 15 years of experience. Fueled by caffeine and WiFi, he's no stranger to word games and dad jokes.


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