Not the B all and end all

The B is not one of the most useful letters. It’s most often used in shorter words, preferably on a premium square to increase its value, and preferably to help you get rid of your other less useful letters. Good B-words for this are:

BEZ an antler on a deer’s horn

BIZ colloquial for business


JIB same as jibe


WAB dialect form of web


BAC the baccalaureate, a set of examinations intended to qualify successful candidates for higher education




FUB to cheat




There are also some B-eautiful words you can learn that use unusual letter combinations:

BOOAI as in up the booai, thoroughly lost

BRAAI South African barbecue

OBEAH type of witchcraft

BRAAI and OBEAH can also be verbs, so as well as BRAAIS and OBEAHS, you can also have BRAAIED, BRAAIING, OBEAHED and OBEAHING.

There are some U-less (but far from useless) words that contain B with Q:

NIQAB, NIQAAB Muslim veil

QIBLA direction of Mecca, to which Muslims turn when praying

By Barry Grossman

Barry is a leading UK Scrabble player and winner of several tournaments. He is the author of Scrabble for Beginners (Chambers), Need to Know Scrabble, Scrabble – Play to Win and The Little Book of Scrabble Trickster. He has also contributed to numerous other books on the subject of words and word-games, has been a series champion of Channel 4’s Countdown, and has written four comedy series for BBC Radio 4. He lives in Hertford.

All opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of Collins, or its parent company, HarperCollins.

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