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Is Za a Word in Word Games?

playing za as a word in words with friends

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Two-letter words are some of your most powerful options in word games like Scrabble GO and Words With Friends. It’s even better when your two-letter words contain a high-value letter. It’s doubly better when you get to double-dip with that high-value letter a horizontal and a vertical word at the same time. But, is “za” a word you can actually play for big points? That “Z” is awfully tempting!

Can You Play Za in Scrabble GO?

Let’s get this one right out of the gate. Yes, “za” is a valid Scrabble word, so you can play “za” in Scrabble GO. It’s worth 11 points: 10 points for the Z and 1 point for the A. 

The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (OSPD) tends to be rather strict about what words are allowed in the game. Even though the newer Scrabble GO app is more dynamic and modern in its presentation, the game still follows its more traditional dictionary. And “za” is a word in the OSPD. It’s a shortened slang version of the word “pizza.”

Is Za a Word in Words With Friends?

The official Words With Friends word list tends to be less strict than its Scrabble counterpart. Some words -- including slang, abbreviations and even certain proper nouns -- are perfectly valid in Words With Friends, but not in Scrabble. On the flip side, most Scrabble words are a-okay in Words With Friends.

So, it should come as little surprise that “za” is a word in Words With Friends too. Just like in Scrabble and Scrabble GO, “za” is worth 11 points in Words With Friends: 10 points for Z and 1 point for A. Look for opportunities to play it on bonus squares for even more points. If you manage to get the Z on a triple letter score and form ZA twice, that’s 62 points! 

Short and Valuable Za Words

Now that we’ve established that “za” is a word you can play in word games, how can you extend it just a touch further to make it more versatile? 

Behold! Here is a list of 3-letter and 4-letter words containing “za” for your next big play. For reference, the first number is how many points you’ll get for that word in Scrabble; the second number is for Words With Friends. 

  • ZAG (13/14): A sharp change in direction

  • ZAP (14/15): A sudden effect with a dramatic impact, particularly of sound or energy

  • ZAS (12/12): Plural form of “za,” multiple pizzas

  • ZAX (19/19): A tool similar to a hatchet used in roofing

  • AZAN (13/14): The Muslim summons to prayer

  • CZAR (15/16): A male emperor, particularly relating to Russia before 1917

  • IZAR (13/13): Part of Ihram clothing worn during the Islamic Hajj

  • TZAR (13/13): Alternate spelling of “czar”

  • ZANY (16/16): Something or someone silly or unusual

  • ZARF (16/16): A holder or sleeve for a hot coffee cup

Longer Words With Za to Play

When you look at Words With Friends letter tiles and Scrabble letter values, note that both games only contain a single Z tile in their letter bags. To play a word containing more than one Z, you’ll need to use a blank tile… which scores you precisely zero points compared to the 10 points you get with a Z.

Just as with the previous list, the numbers next to these Z-words represent how many points you’ll score in Scrabble GO and Words With Friends accordingly. 

  • AZALEA (15/16): A variety of flowering shrub 

  • BAZAAR (17/18): A shopping district or market

  • ZADDIK (21/21): The spiritual leader of a Hasidic community

  • JEZAILS (23/26): Long-barreled muskets with curved stocks

  • TZARINA (16/17): An empress of Russia

  • ZACATON (18/20): A type of wiry grass from the southwest United States

  • KAZACHOC (28/29): A Slavic dance where the squatting dancer alternately kicks out each leg

  • CALABAZAS (22/25): Alternate form of calabash, an evergreen tropical tree

  • QUETZALES (27/29): Colorful birds with iridescent green plumage

Zip, Zap, Zoom! Word Lists Go Kaboom!

Extra long words with lots of letters might look fancy, but shorter words with high-value letters go much further in word games like Scrabble, Word Chums and Words With Friends. Is “za” a word you’ll play in your next game (since “qa” is not a valid word in Scrabble)? For more opportunities for big time plays, refer to our extensive list of word lists. These are the words you’ll want to keep in your back pocket to trounce your opponent.


Michael Kwan is a professional writer and editor with over 14 years of experience. Fueled by caffeine and WiFi, he's no stranger to word games and dad jokes.

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