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SCRABBLE® is a board game of interlocking word building. Invented by Alfred Mosher Butts, the game was originally called Criss Cross Words; however, Butts was un-successful in marketing the game. In 1948 James Brunot bought the right to produce the game and trademarked it with some minor adjustments under its new name, Scrabble. In 1952 demand for the game outgrew Brunot's production capacities seemingly overnight, and he licensed game manufacturer Selchow and Righter to produce Scrabble. Today Scrabble is second only to Monopoly as the best-selling American board game of all time. The National Scrabble Association, founded in 1978, organizes tournaments nationwide and had more than 19,000 members in 2000.


Edley, Joe, and John D. Williams Jr. Everything Scrabble. New York: Pocket Books, 1994.

Fatsis, Stefan. Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble Players. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001.

Eli MosesDiner

See alsoToys and Games .