When you are playing Scrabble or Words with Friends, there are some letters that are more challenging than others. You might go running to the dictionary to find words starting with X or words starting with Z. When you have access to a helpful word list, you will make short work of these challenges.
When most people think about a word that begins with x, they consider the xylophone. The xylo- portion comes from the Greek word xylon which means wood. There are several wood-related words that will impress your friends. Xylophage, xylograph and xylophilous are a few of your choices.
Words with xeno- are another powerful X group. These come from the Greek word xenos which means a foreigner or stranger. People who study potential extraterrestrials are known as xenologists. Xenophobia is the fear of those who are foreign.
There are some obvious short word that start with Z. Zero and zoo come to mind. However, zoo is short for a zoological park. Zoology is the study of animal life. It is a combination of the Greek words for an animal and study. Knowing zoo- is a common scientific prefix leads to some interesting words like zoogeography, zoopsychology and zootherapy. Of course, shorter words like zinc, zebra and zigzag are also helpful.
Prefixes and suffixes are important tools for anyone who plays word games. Adding im- to possible turns an 8-letter word into a 10-letter bonus. Knowing common letter combinations can also be helpful when you play games where you must unscramble letters. If you suspect you are working on a word with a prefix or suffix, it will take fewer steps to solve the problem.
The prefix im- has two possible meanings when it sits at the front of a word: not or in. An event that is improbable is not likely to happen. A person who is impatient is someone who cannot wait. You will not break through a wall that is impermeable or impregnable. On the other hand, an immersive experience is one that fully surrounds you. An immigrant is someone who comes into a new country. People can make a deep impression when they push their hands into wet cement.
In most cases, words starting with un- are also about opposites. It is unbelievable how many people are unaware of the unbridled pleasure of un- words. Another group of words that begin with these two letters is made of those that include the prefix under-, meaning less than or below. An event that is not impressive is underwhelming. You will never know the depths of the ocean until you go underneath the surface, but you must also be careful of the undertow.
It is not a Scrabble cheat to develop a solid word list of words that begin with difficult letters. By doing some research and learning how words are constructed, you will win your favorite words games in no time.