Logo of the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto
Ludus Scrabularum
apud Centrum Studium Mediaevalum Universitatis Torontonensis


Scrabble..in Latin!

Latin Scrabble follows all the same rules as regular (English) Scrabble (no proper nouns, &c.), except as modified by the following rules.

  1. Any Latin word may be used in any legitimate morphological form. The fact that a morphological form is not specifically attested does not disqualify it from being used, so long as it is correct and the word is not explicitly defective. The passive voice used for an intransitive verb in the third person singular is grammatically correct, but in no way opens up the use of the passive voice for otherwise normal intransitive verbs. A Latin grammar (e.g. Kennedy) should be used to judge any special forms and to judge the correctness of any form that is in doubt.
  2. Lewis and Short's dictionary is the official arbiter of whether a word is acceptable, with two caveats:
    • All forms of leo, lere are inadmissable. This is an incorrect etymology found in Priscan, not an actual word.
    • 'Omega' will be admitted, as it is used prominently in the Vulgate, and it is confusing that 'alpha' is acceptable and 'omega' isn't. No other greek letters are allowed, though 'mu' is also a Latin exclamatory, 'beta, ae' is a beet, etc.
  3. Medievalisms ((-e for -ae/-oe, h appearance/dissapearance, c for t, etc.) are not allowed, and Classical spelling should be used, except for cases where said medievalism is recognized as a lexeme in Lewis and Short's dictionary.
  4. 'i' and 'j' are used interchangeably, as are 'u' and 'v.' In play, there is absolutely no distinction between these letters.
  5. No enclitics (-ne, -ve, -que). Words that terminate in -que may be used if they have a separate meaning attested in Lewis and Short for the form terminating -que. Thus, 'quandocumque' is acceptable, whereas 'agricolaeque' is not.
  6. Blank tiles may be used for any missing Latin letter, not just those supplied in the tilesets; accordingly, words that employ k, y, or z may be played.


To play in Latin requires a custom distribution of tiles to ensure that the right proportion of letters is available for making words (an English set simply will not work). The distribution that the Centre uses (referenced below) is based upon the first book of Vergil's Aeneid. A previous tileset was taken from the Vulgate, but a combination of strange Hebrew names and too many imperfect constructions made for some strange anomalies, primarily the prevalence of the 'b' tile, which was considered very hard to use. Though there is discussion of experimenting with new distributions, general consensus among regulars is that the current set produces a very enjoyable and playable game.

The current distribution, based upon the first book of The Aeneid, was provided by Liberation Philology (do also look here). A PDF file is available for downloading--just download it, paste it to a sheet of cardboard (corrugated works fine, stiff art board works too), cut out your pieces and play!