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'Culchie' set to be banned as Scrabble players root out racism

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'Officials who govern Scrabble tournaments in Britain are discussing whether to follow suit.' Stock photo: Yui Mok/PA

'Officials who govern Scrabble tournaments in Britain are discussing whether to follow suit.' Stock photo: Yui Mok/PA

'Officials who govern Scrabble tournaments in Britain are discussing whether to follow suit.' Stock photo: Yui Mok/PA

Scrabble looks set to ban the use of hundreds of slurs and other offensive words in professional tournaments in the United States, amid a reckoning on racism.

The North American Scrabble Players Association is preparing to vote this week to remove some 226 "offensive" words from its official lexicon for judging and believes the move has enough support to pass.

The game, sold by Hasbro which owns the rights to Scrabble in North America, has not included the slurs in its dictionary since 1994. However, the players' association continued to allow them as they are "part of the English language".

The offensive words have been separated into seven categories: slur, anatomical, political, profane, prurient, scatological and vulgar.

The N-word and other racial epithets are included on the list likely to be banned. "Fatsoes", "lesbos", "Jews", "jailbait" and ageist terms such as "greybeard" and "wrinklies" also feature, as does "haole", a word used by Hawaiians for people not from the US state, and "culchie", a pejorative term for someone from rural Ireland. Several transphobic words are also slated for removal.

The decision will probably impact online versions of the game too. Officials who govern Scrabble tournaments in Britain are discussing whether to follow suit.

The debate comes amid anti-racism protests by the Black Lives Matter movement following George Floyd's death at the hands of white police officers in Minneapolis.

Twitter recently announced it was dropping the words "master", "slave" and "blacklist", widely used in computer programming, in favour of more inclusive terms. (© Daily Telegraph)

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