Posted in English 1103, Scrabble, Teaching

ENG 1103: Toponyms, Part I

During our Friday Wordplay Days, some of you have asked whether names of places are playable Scrabble words. If the place name is also a common noun, the answer is yes. The term for such a word is toponym. The list that follows includes toponyms in the first half of the alphabet. Learning these words will broaden your vocabulary and up your game.

  • afghan: a wool blanket
  • alamo: a cottonwood poplar tree
  • alaska: a heavy fabric
  • berlin: a type of heavy fabric
  • bermudas: a variety of knee-length, wide-legged shorts
  • bohemia: a community of unconventional, usually artistic, people
  • bolivia: a soft fabric
  • bordeaux: a wine from the Bordeaux region
  • boston: a card game similar to whist
  • brazil: a type of tree found in Brazil used to make instrument bows (also brasil)
  • brit: a non-adult herring
  • cayman: a type of crocodile, also known as a spectacled crocodile (also caiman)
  • celt: a type of axe used during the New Stone Age
  • chile: a spicy pepper (also chili)
  • colorado: used to decsribe cigars of medium strength and color
  • congo: an eellike amphibian
  • cyprus: a thin fabric
  • dutch: referring to each pperson paying for him or herself
  • egyptian: a sans serif typeface
  • english: to cause a ball to spin
  • french: to slice food thinly
  • gambia: a flowering plant known as cat’s claw (also gambier, which is a small town in Ohio)
  • geneva: gin, or a liquor like gin
  • genoa: a type of jib (a triangular sail), also known as a jenny, first used by a Swedish sailor in Genoa
  • german: also known as the german cotillon, an elaborate nineteenth-century dance
  • greek: something not understood
  • guinea: a type of British coin minted from 1663 to 1813
  • holland: a linen fabric
  • japan: to gloss with black lacquer
  • java: coffee
  • jordan: a chamber pot
  • kashmir: cashmere
  • mecca: a destination for many people

Next Up

Wordplay Day! To up your game and increase your word power, review the tips and tools on the Scrabble website as well as this blog post of toponyms and my other posts devoted to the game.