X is for Ex, Xi, Xu

“I box in yellow Gox box socks.” – Dr. Seuss


I used to play the board game SCRABBLE a lot when I was a child, especially with my great aunt Deana. The goal isn’t to make the longest, or best words, but rather, to get the most points. So, here are acceptable two-letter words that one can use in the English-language edition utilizing the letter X. Getting an X – worth 8 points, same as the J, and more than any other save for the Q and the Z (10 points each), can be eXhilarating or eXhausting, depending on the words on the board and the other letters in your tray.

Knowing these short words will help, especially when building words in two directions. (BTW, there are sets available in several different languages, and these examples may not apply.)
AX (oh, you knew that one)
EX the letter ‘x’ (spelling letters can be useful; ar, ef, el, em, en – the latter two also printers’ measures)
OX (you had that one, too)

XI the 14th letter of the Greek alphabet (other Greek letters in this category: mu, nu, and, of course, pi)
XU a minor currency of Vietnam, 100 xu = 1 dong

“Knowing which words are acceptable – even if you have no idea of their definitions – is a perfectly legitimate strategy, and all expert players have memorized all the two-letter words and often the three-letter words as well.”

Here are the three-letter words that use the letter X:
AXE BOX COX DEX FAX FIX FOX GOX HEX KEX LAX LEX LOX LUX MAX MIX NIX OXO OXY PAX PIX POX PYX RAX REX SAX SEX SIX SOX TAX TUX VEX VOX WAX XIS ZAX

Some of these I know, though others, not so.

But wait! I recognize one of these words from literature.
Specifically: “I box in yellow Gox box socks.”
— Dr. Seuss (One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish) c. 1960, 1988

Is gox a REAL word?

Apparently, YES! It means “gaseous oxygen”. (Which really confuses me because I thought oxygen usually WAS a gas. It seems to me that it’s rather like saying “liquid water”, instead of “water”, to differentiate it from ice or steam.)
***
The peculiar thing about this particular post is that I wrote it nearly six months ago! I KNEW I’d need a good idea for X, and I didn’t want to waste it! Thus my accidental use of the badge for Round 6, rather than the badge for Round 7, which I’ve since corrected.

Also, you’ll note that ABC Wednesday has a new home! For a bunch of technical reasons, the link below is now the correct location.

ABC Wednesday – Round 7

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

37 thoughts on “X is for Ex, Xi, Xu”

  1. X – always a challenging one but people like you certainly come up with fantastic responses! Way to go Rog! Thanks again.
    Denise ABC Team

  2. Fun and interesting post for the X Day, Roger — as always!! I do hope you had a great Christmas! Have a wonderful week and a fun Happy New Year! Enjoy! And thanks as always for your visit to my blog and your comment! Much appreciated!

    Sylvia

  3. As an inveterate Scrabble player (mostly online these days) I love your post! I haven’t got as far as memorising all two- and three-letter words containing the difficult letters, but I do know quite a few … and as you say, not necessarily the definitions!

  4. Great post for the letter x. I always try to get rid of X and Z fast when playing scrabble. I still remember so many Dr. Seuss stories by heart. I hope you have a great year ahead.

  5. Such fun, Roger. I did say “useful for Scrabble” in my heading, but you took it to the limit!
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

  6. Great post, Roger! I can always rely on you for something educational, amusing, or at the very least eXtra-special. By the way, I never saw your last post for the letter X – I’m sure I would have remembered that! It’s now been read for future reference. May I wish you and yours a very Happy New Year! 😀

  7. Ix Wonderful post today. I love playing SCRABBLE, and always made my children and their friends play with me, and anyone else who visited me. I never won, but I never gave up either. Maybe it was best I didn’t win, that way they kept playing with me.

  8. Xtraordinary tricky letter but can really boost a score in the right place. Love the gox in yellow socks. I will have to try and remember some of those X words you have come up with.

  9. You are very clever to have written this in advance, – if I had done so I would probably have misplaced it unless I made a Treaure map and marked the place I put it aside with an X.

  10. So glad for the list – I play online with my granddaughter and we manage to stay fairly even which surprises me because she’s a brainy young woman! It’s been a long time since I’ve played withe the real board and tiles. EXcellent post, as always!

  11. Awesome! This post was truly nostalgia evoking, as I too played a lot of Scrabble when I was younger, particularly with my Mom and my Aunt Ruth. I’m sure this game contributed to my linguistic development, and overall fascination with words.

  12. Now I have more to answer on scrabble and I will not having a hardtime thinking will it be accepted or not.. What a best tip.. Thanks Happy ABC Wednesday

  13. How was your Christmas? My friend is heading to New York from New Zealand via LA, they have just landed in LA and I hope they don’t get stranded there.

    When I played scrabble, EX wasn’t allowed then. now I read that QI is allowed.

  14. I protest ! the word has to start with an X !! So only counts the word Xu ! I would prefer to have dongs in my wallet, that sounds more funny !
    We used to scrabble a lot years ago, now we are too lazy !

  15. Excellent! We were going to play Scrabble on St Stephen’s Day but by the time I’d found it everyone had gone off the idea. I’ll never remember all those very helpful ‘x’ words!!

  16. Dr. Seuss is definitely literature! Your post made me giggle today. Especially the part about “Gaseous oxygen.” I’d never want to play Scrabble with you!

  17. That’s my problem when it comes to Scrabble! I don’t memorize words….I think GOX is a marketing made up word. Yep, I do. Gaseous oxygen indeed! 🙂 Happy New Year!

  18. Ho-ray! I can dig your X samples. Particularly Xu, I understand that quite well as it is one of my native country’s currency. And I think Scrabbles is right to put “8” points on X – it isn’t easy, and agreed the shorter the word the better.

  19. Great post – love how you used X! Love Dr. Seuss especially!
    Have a Happy New Year!

  20. There have basically been only two people I play Scrabble with, although others may then join in, and my mother was one of them. I played Scrabble with her the last evening of her life I was with her. So that leaves one. Yet although I like the game very much, I have never taken the time to learn these little gem words. Nice X post, Roger.

  21. Hey, thanks for the comment on the blog! Just noticed it (I moderate the comments to keep spammers away.) Hope you’re enjoying the podcasts.

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