Scrabble Bingo of the Day: CREMAINS


CREMAINS  n/pl  the ashes of a cremated body

62 points (12 points without the bingo)

Perhaps one of the creepiest portmanteau words out there, CREMAINS combines CREMATED and REMAINS to clearly describe the leftover ashes from a dead body that was burned. When you're grieving, it's so much easier to say two syllables than five.

CREMATION happens in a CREMATORIUM in a special kind of furnace referred to as a cremation chamber or RETORT. The dead body is entered into this burning device by an UNDERTAKER or MORTICIAN who thoroughly CREMATES the remains for two or more hours in extreme heat ranging from 1400 to 2100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Scrabble Bingo of the Day: CREMAINS

The result—ashes.

Scrabble Bingo of the Day: CREMAINS

Well, not really ashes. And not yet. The organs and soft tissue are vaporized and oxidized by the intense heat, so the cremains have neither the appearance nor the chemical properties of ashes. Instead, they are bone fragments that need additional preparation, further reduced in size in a cremulator (which is not a Scrabble word, though it should be!), which pulverizes the fragments into a fine powder in a process lasting about twenty minutes.

Scrabble Bingo of the Day: CREMAINS

After the final grinding process, the cremains are stored in CINERARY urns and temporarily stored in a CINERARIUM. They are eventually either buried in a cemetery plot, kept in a COLUMBARIUM, retained by a family member, or scattered on private property.

Scrabble Bingo of the Day: CREMAINS

Some countries and religions perform public open-air cremations as part of a burning rite, as seen below in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Scrabble Bingo of the Day: CREMAINS

Oddly enough, the Cremation Association of North America opposes the term "cremains" because it's thought to have less human connection with the deceased, rather than "cremated remains."

Scrabble Bingo of the Day: CREMAINS

One of the greatest Halloween movies (in my opinion) to deal with the cremation process is The Return of the Living Dead, a funny take on the zombie genre where zombie containers stored in a medical supply company are accidentally unsealed, leaking gas into the air, causing the dead to become undead. One body is cremated, further distributing the gas into a nearby cemetery.

Scrabble Bingo of the Day: CREMAINS

Related Words

CADAVER  n pl. -S  a corpse
CINERARIUM  n pl. -RIA  a place where cremated remains are kept
CINERARY  adj  used for cremated ashes
COLUMBARIUM  n pl. -RIA  a niche to hold funeral urns
CORPSE  n pl. -S  a dead body
CREMATE  v -MATED, -MATING, -MATES  to reduce to ashes by burning
CREMATION  n pl. -S  the act of cremating a dead body
CREMATOR  n pl. -S  one that cremates
CREMATORIUM  n pl. -RIUMS or -RIA  crematory
CREMATORY  n pl. -IES  a place where a dead body is cremated
MORTICIAN  n pl. -S  an undertaker
MORTUARY  n pl. -IES  a place where dead bodies are kept until burial
REMAINS  v -ED, -ING, -S  to continue in the same state
REMAINS  n/pl  a person's body after death
RETORT  v -ED, -ING, -S  to answer back sharply
RETORT  n pl. -S  a furnace used for cremation
SUTTEE  n pl. SUTTEES  a Hindu widow cremated on her husband's funeral pile to show her devotion to him
UNDERTAKER  n pl. -S  one who prepares dead bodies for burial or cremation

Scrabble Bingo of the Day: CREMAINS

Above, a crematorium at the German concentration camp in Weimar.

Photos by uiowa, a4gpa, Wimox, dukeandrutgersinberlin, Benjamint444

What's a Scrabble Bingo?

A bingo is when a player empties his or her rack in one turn, placing all seven of their letters on the board to create a word that's at least seven letters long. The term "bingo" is used primarily in the U.S., but elsewhere it's simply known as a "bonus" because you get a bonus of 50 points added to your turn's score. "Scrabble Bingo of the Day" will focus on these high scoring plays, teaching you some interesting and possibly unusual seven-letter or longer words accepted in a game of Scrabble.

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