Three-letter Scrabble Words Beginning with B

Part two of a twenty-six part series.

Words we already knew


BEL of course, being 10 decibels.

Words we already knew because they are plurals of a two-letter word


More mouth sounds!


Easy loan words

BAO#Chinese steamed bun
BENScottish mountain peak (as in Ben Nevis)
BESAnother Hebrew letter. The second of the alphabet, also BETH (plural is BESES)
BEYTurkish governor
BOK#Africaans for an antelope, as in Springbok, Reebok. Like buck.

Words that were new to me

BAC#Baccalaureate, a university degree
BALA type of shoe, from “Balmoral”. Detailed shoe nerdery at this guide.
BAMTo hoax. Possibly from “bamboozle”. Current in the early 18th century. Also as a noun in the Scots sense.
BEZ#The second tine of a deer’s horn. Not in the OED, but Google Books is convincing.
BOI#In various contexts, an alternative spelling of “boy”.
BON#Good, adj. Literally French again, but part of multiple naturalized phrases. I’m sure I read somewhere that that qualified things for inclusion. I’m choosing to believe BONIER and BONIEST wouldn’t be valid if BONY wasn’t a word.
BOR#A form of address for a neighbour, formerly used in East Anglian dialect.
BRU#Like BRO, but more South African. Some examples
BURVariant of BURR, in many of its meanings, including as a rough edge, or the act of removing a rough edge.

Top 5 4 sketchy inclusions:

None of these seem as bad as the bad A words.

  • BES should be dropped in favour of BETH, we don’t need two competing transliterations for the Hebrew letters. (But this will also cost some useful 2-letter words, so I’m happy to let it slide.)
  • BOH is every day losing ground to DOH, but Francis Beaumont has won me round to it:
  • BOR might be the most obscure, but it has citations from the 19th century.
  • BUR is usually a spelling error

Good job, B words