Scrabble means to grope or scratch with ones fingers. Scrabble is also a board game invented by Alfred Butts an unemployed architect in 1938. He first called the game ‘Lexiko’ and ‘Criss Cross Words’. He sold the manufacturing rights to his friend James Burnot, who made minor alterations to the game and called it Scrabble.
Scrabble had limited success until Macy’s store in New York City began to stock the game. Today it is one of the most popular games in the world. It is estimated that over 100 million sets in many languages have been sold around the world.
When Alfred Butts invented the game he was living in the Jackson Heights area of Queens, New York. He is memorialised in a Scrabble type street sign in Jackson Heights. He died at the age of 92 on April 4th 1993.
Alfred Mosher Butts, the inventor of Scrabble, was born in Poughkeepsie 80 miles north of New York City in the year 1899 On This Day.