Farming Words for Scrabble

One of my indoor hobbies is playing Scrabble once a week with my friend Ken, a fellow farmer.  I should say that we play open book and use dictionaries from both sides of the Atlantic. And we love getting high scores but we also help each other by giving suggestions at times.

I’ve been accumulating a collection of farming- and nature-related words. Now the growing season has slowed down, here are some of my favorites. Ignore the tile placements in the photo, I was just showing the words, not playing for high points.


Words using the high-scoring z, x,q, k, j,  tiles:

Fozy – very ripe

Kex – a dry hollow stem, such as from chervil

Extine – (same as exine) – the outer coat of a pollen grain or spore.

Keet (also keat) – a young guinea fowl

Silique – a dry seed pod. (I always get more than my fair share of “I”s, so this is an especially good word!). Siliqua is the same thing.

Zanja – irrigation canal

Zanjero – irrigation supervisor

Zamindar (also zemindar) – (Indian) landowner who(historically) leased land to tenant farmers.

Zamindari (also zemindari) – the system of farm leases explained above.

Zo – Tibetan cow/yak cross. Also spelled zho, dzo, dzho. All pluralized with an s

And building from zo, zoo, zoa, zoea, zoeae, zoeal, zoeas,  zoaea, zoaeae, zoaeas, zooeae, mostly larval forms of crabs.

More words using two i’s:

Sibing – the transfer of pollen between different plants of the same variety.

Siling – pouring with rain.

Piriform – pear-shaped (like some tomatoes)

And some words with lots of vowels:

Haar – sea mist (two a’s!)

Dreich – cold and raining

Palea – the upper bract of the floret of a grass. (Three vowels!)

Elaiosome -fleshy structures on some seeds that contain a sticky substance, which attracts ants. This is a 9-letter word, so you’d only beablee to play it if two or more are in place and you can bridge them. 6 vowels!

Here’s some using “ch”:

Choil – the notch at the end of a pocket knife blade, near to the handle.

Chog – the core of a fruit such as an apple

Chay (also chaya) – plant of the madder family. “The root of the Oldenlandia umbellata, native in India, which yields a durable red dyestuff.” says The Free Dictionary.

Petrichor – that lovely smell of rain on dry earth. 9 letters, though, so the right spot won’t come up often.

Here’s some other ways of including “c”, which sometimes gives me trouble, combined with using an s, useful for scoring from two words at once:

Sanicle – plant of the parsley family with burr-like fruit

Scape – the flower bud and stem of hardneck garlic

Scarify – to damage the seed coating in order to help speed germination

Steckling – the trimmed top of a root crop prepared for storage to replant for a seed crop

Scut – the short tail of a deer, rabbit or hare

Scutum (plural scuta) – the middle of three plates of an insect’s thorax.

Scute -a bony or horny plate covering an animal such as an armadillo

Scutate – having a covering of horny plates

Spica (a useful “s” add-on to Pica) – spike or ear of corn (UK dictionaries, so “corn” = wheat or barley.

Here’s some words from fields of grain:

Awn – the bristle on a cereal grain

Glume – the two bracts forming the husk of the grain

Lemma – the lower bract of the floret of a grass.

Here’s some more botany words:

Anthesis – the flowering period of a plant

Bulbil – a small bulb-like structure, especially in the axil of a leaf. Some varieties of garlic produce these.

Hilum – the scar on a seed marking where it was attached to the mother plant. Hila is the plural, although I’ve also seen Hili (two i’s!) used of bean seed, to describe the color of the scar on soybeans. according to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, hili is the plural of hilus, which is the indentation on a kidney where the plumbing and nerves go in and out. Kidney, kidney bean, I can see why the words cross over.

Pistil – the female organs of a flower (stigma, style and ovary). Two i’s again!

Sybo – scallion or spring onion.

There’s a word that’s eluding me. Barbara Pleasant used it in her Compost Gardening book. It’s a Greek-origin word equivalent to the Soil Food Web concept. If anyone knows it, or comes across it, do send it in. I think it begins “Eu. . . “