Editor At Large

Just what does za mean? Or qi? Or jo?

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In the interests of not feeling guilty when you make obscure but point-gobbling plays in “Words With Friends,” we offer to you a dictionary.

It’s a dictionary of about a dozen of those small and strange words that often feature letters worth lots of points: z, q, j and x.

If you play “Words With Friends” on your phone or other device, or if you play “Scrabble,” you will know what we’re talking about: words such as za and qi and jo. Words that can net you about 40 or 50 points and a nice lead against your opponent.

Herewith then, is a dictionary of words you will never ever see except when playing word games. The source is www.dictionary.com, and many of the words are variations of other words.

Za: Slang for pizza.

Jo: Beloved one, darling, sweetheart.

Qi: Variant spelling of chi, which means vital energy believed to circulate round the body in currents.

Qat: Variant spelling of kat or khat, which means an evergreen shrub, Catha edulis, of Arabia and Africa, the leaves of which are used as a narcotic when chewed or made into a beverage.

Xi: The 14th letter of the Greek alphabet.

Xu: An aluminum coin and monetary unit of Vietnam.

Djin: Variant spelling of jinn, which means any of a class of spirits, lower than the angels, capable of appearing in human and animal forms and influencing humankind for either good or evil.

Adz: An axlike tool, for dressing timbers roughly, with a curved, chisel-like steel head mounted at a right angle to the wooden handle.

Suq: Variant spelling of suk, which means -- especially in Arab nations -- the market, especially the traditional bazaar.

Hm: Variant spelling of hmm: an interjection typically used to express thoughtful absorption, hesitation, doubt or perplexity.

Sh: Variant spelling of shh: an interjection used to urge silence.

Ki: The Sumerian goddess personifying Earth, the counterpart of the Akkadian Aruru.

Ka: A spiritual entity, an aspect of the individual, believed to live within the body during life and to survive it after death.

Bill Kline

Bill Kline

Editor Bill Kline can be reached at billk@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 15. Follow him on Twitter @BillKline24.

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