Can you use names in Scrabble?

This question was answered on 13 Nov 2023 by Stephen Lunt

You should consult a dictionary

Per the official Scrabble rules, players are only allowed to use words that are found in the standard dictionary that is agreed upon before the game begins. The game is focused on the use of common nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs that are not capitalized unless they appear at the beginning of a sentence. Proper nouns, which include personal names, places, brands, and other capitalized names, are not permitted.

However, although this is what the official rules state, it is common to find names within the game dictionary. This is often because the word has an alternative definition or meaning, rather than its original association with the name.

Some examples include:

  • Rob - typically short for Robert, but also means to steal.
  • Pam - short for Pamela as a name, but defined as a game similar to napoleon.
  • Matt - short for Matthew, but also used in the context of a matt paint or finish.

As you can see, the real answer to “can you use names in Scrabble?” is it depends. Always double-check an agreed upon word list or dictionary that you are using for the game if there’s ever any doubt about a word’s acceptability.

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