The three-letter words are almost as useful as the twos because there are so many ways of adding a letter to a two-letter word to make a three-letter one. That helps you place words on the board and get a higher score by playing more words in one move.
There are 1,340 valid three-letter words so it will take you a while to get to know all of them. It can be done – you can absorb them partly by learning and partly (and more enjoyably) by playing. The more you play, especially against better players, the more you will see these words and the more you will ﬁnd you remember them.
Here are some of the best three-letter words to start you off:
AIA a maid or nanny
AUA a mullet (the ﬁsh, not the hairstyle beloved of 1980s footballers)
AUE a Māori exclamation
EAU a river
BRR expressing cold
CWM Welsh for valley
HMM expressing doubt or hesitation
NTH of an unspeciﬁed number
PHT expressing irritation
PST attracting attention
SHH requesting silence
TSK expressing annoyance
TWP Welsh word meaning stupid
The all-consonant words exclude those containing Y, which acts as a vowel in words like DRY.
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.
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