ZEPHYRS n sing. ZEPHYR gentle breezes
74 points (24 points without the bingo)
A few days ago, Cerek Tunca mentioned that a great seven-letter bingo word would be ZEPHYRS, because of the amount of points gained. He's definitely right, with it being more than 20 points by its lonesome. Add the 50 bonus points and you've probably got a pretty good lead in Scrabble.
But why is "a gentle breeze" called a zephyr?
Well, in Greek mythology there were wind gods called the Anemoi. Each of them were assigned their own cardinal direction from which their respective winds came. Also, all four gods were associated with various seasons and weather conditions. Their physical representations varied, either depicted as gusts of winds, winged men, or horses.
The names of the four gods?
Boreas, Notus, Eurus and… Zephyrus.
Zephyrus (sometimes just called Zephyr) was the west wind and bringer of light spring and early summer breezes. He was the gentlest of winds and fructifying messenger of springtime. This is why the noun zephyr refers to "a gentle breeze." Favonius was the Roman equivalent to Zephyrus, who held dominion over plants and flowers. This is why the adjective FAVONIAN pertains to the west wind.
Words are also derived from the other three chief wind gods.
Boreas was the north wind god and bringer of cold winter air (BORA, BOREAL, BOREAS). Aquilo was his Roman equivalent, also called Septentrio, the source of the word SEPTENTRIONAL. Notus was the south wind god and bringer of late summer and autumn storms, and his Roman equivalent was Auster, the embodiment of the SIROCCO wind (shown below from Libya), which is known in North Africa as GHIBLI. Eurus was the east wind god thought to bring warmth and rain. He was not associated with a season like the other three wind gods, but is related to the Easter festival (EASTER, EASTERLY).
There were also minor wind deities, which are considered the evil demon counterparts of the four gods above. And there are even more wind deities in both Greek and Roman mythology, some of which have fathered other WINDY words.
See the "Related Words" section below to see all of the wind-like words you can play in Scrabble. There are quite a lot of them, something worth studying aside from just zephyrs. I excluded words like ANEMOLOGY, WINDBURN, WINDBELL and WINDSOCK because they are either the affects of it, or are objects and ideas that interact with the wind. Some words like septentrion did make the list because of their direct influence from the wind gods. I'm sure I missed some, so let me know!
AIRSTREAM n pl. -S a relatively well-defined prevailing wind
ANABATIC adj pertaining to rising wind currents
ANTITRADE n pl. -S winds blowing west to east and lying above the trade winds in the tropics
BAYAMO n pl. -MOS a strong wind
BHUT n pl. -S a small whirlwind
BISE n pl. -S a cold wind
BLOWY adj BLOWIER, BLOWIEST windy
BORA n pl. -S a cold wind
BOREAL adj pertaining to the north
BOREAS n pl. -ES the north wind
BREEZE v BREEZED, BREEZING, BREEZES to move swiftly
BREEZY adj BREEZIER, BREEZIEST windy BREEZILY adv
BREEZELESS adj being without a gentle wind
BURAN n pl. -S a violent windstorm
CATSPAW n pl. -S a light wind
CHINOOK n pl. -S a warm wind
CROSSWIND n pl. -S a wind blowing across one's direction of travel
CYCLONE n pl. -S a rotating system of winds CYCLONAL, CYCLONIC adj
DOWNWIND adv in the direction that the wind blows
EASTER n pl. -S a wind or storm from the east
EASTERLY n pl. -LIES a wind from the east
ETESIAN n pl. -S an annually recurring wind
EOLIAN adj pertaining to the wind
FAVONIAN adj pertaining to the west wind
FOEHN n pl. -S a warm, dry wind
GALE n pl. -S a strong wind
GHIBLI n pl. -S a hot desert wind
GUST v -ED, -ING, -S to blow in gusts (sudden blasts of wind)
HEADWIND n pl. -S an oncoming wind
KHAMSIN n pl. -S a hot, dry wind
LEVANTER n pl. -S an easterly Mediterranean wind
LIBECCIO n pl. -CIOS a southwest wind
MISTRAL n pl. -S a cold, dry wind
MONSOON n pl. -S a seasonal wind
NORTHER n pl. -S a wind or storm from the north
OE n pl. -S a whirlwind off the Faeroe islands
PAMPERO n pl. -ROS a cold, dry wind
SARSAR n pl. -S a cold, whistling wind
SEPTENTRION n pl. -S the northern region
SEPTENTRIONAL adj of the north
SCIROCCO n pl. -COS sirocco
SIMOOM n pl. -S a hot, dry desert wind
SIROCCO n pl. -COS a hot, dry wind
SOLANO n pl. -NOS a strong, hot wind
SOUTHER n pl. -S a wind or storm from the south
TAILWIND n pl. -S a wind coming from behind a moving vehicle
TORNADO n pl. -DOES or -DOS a violent windstorm TORNADIC adj
UPWIND n pl. -S a wind that blows against one's course
WESTERLY n pl. -LIES a wind from the west
WHIRLWIND n pl. -S a small rotating windstorm of limited extent
WILLIWAW n pl. -S a violent gust of cold wind
WIND n pl. -S air in natural motion
WINDAGE n pl. -S the effect of the wind (air in natural motion) on a projectile
WINDBLAST n pl. -S a gust of wind
WINDFLAW n pl. -S a gust of wind
WINDILY adv in a windy manner
WINDINESS n pl. -ES a mildly windy state of the air
WINDLESS adj being without wind WINDLESSLY adv
WINDSTORM n pl. -S a storm marked by high winds
WINDWARD n pl. -S the direction from which the wind blows
WINDY adj WINDIER, WINDIEST marked by strong wind
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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