"Cheerio," "Crikey" Added to 'Words with Friends' in Time for Royal Wedding

Elizabeth Hurley - Getty - H 2018
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'The Royals' actress Elizabeth Hurley helped to curate the list of 20 British slang words that have been added to the mobile game's dictionary.

Crikey, you don't have to skive off school to watch Harkle wed on the telly this weekend, so don't get into a paddy. 

Five of the words in the sentence above are now playable for the first time ever in the mobile game Words With Friends 2. Zynga, the developer behind the popular Scrabble-inspired game, has introduced a new dictionary of British slang in celebration of Prince Harry's May 19 wedding to Meghan Markle

The so-called Royal Social Dictionary introduces 20 common Britishisms, including "knackered" (which means "tired" in American English) and "collywobbles" (the equivalent of getting butterflies in your stomach). "Harkle," meanwhile, is a fan-created portmanteau of the couple's names.

For help building the dictionary, Zynga turned to famous Brit and onscreen queen Elizabeth Hurley, who worked with the company to curate the list. "We use most of my new additions to Words With Friends every day in the U.K.," The Royals actress, who stars as Queen Helena Henstridge in the E! drama, tells THR. "I'd be virtually mute if I couldn't exclaim 'crikey' every few minutes and say something was 'ghastly.'" 

This is the second time in as many years that Words With Friends has updated its dictionary. Last year, the game got a refresh when more than 50,000 words — including "hangry," "bestie" and "smize" — were added via its Social Dictionary. 

"The Words With Friends team also has been bit by the royal wedding fever," says Gurpreet Singh, senior director of product at Zynga. "We wanted to celebrate the wedding with our own unique perspective." 

Many of the words added to the game were submitted by players themselves, who Singh says send in over 5,000 words for consideration each day. Hurley then helped select the batch that was ultimately added, picking words that would add new elements of gameplay and that would also be new and surprising for people who don't live in the U.K. 

Singh predicts that Words With Friends fiends will be especially excited about the addition of "jammy" (which means "very lucky") and "skive" (a verb for faking sick to skip school or work) because they utilize letters like J, K and V that have high point values. And for true language sticklers, Singh says each word that was chosen already appears in the Oxford English Dictionary. "Our stance on the matter is that we're not trying to be a proper dictionary here," he says. "We take inspiration from our players and we want to be part of the conversation that our players are having. If you're using them in everyday life, you should be able to play them." 

To keep the celebration of all things British going throughout the week of royal wedding festivities, Words With Friends is also inviting players to compete in a limited-edition solo challenge where they can play against one of 10 characters from PBS drama Downton Abbey, including Lady Mary and Mr. Carson. The special characters will be available through May 27 in support of "Downton Abbey: The Exhibition," currently on display in New York through Sept. 3 and planned for other U.S. cities going forward.

The updates will give American and British Words With Friends players alike the chance to show off their skills. Notes Hurley: "Brits tend to be a bit sillier [than Americans] but both sides are equally competitive."