Words With Friends Adds “Orbisculate” To In-Game Dictionary In Remembrance And Celebration Of Neil Krieger
SAN FRANCISCO – (COMMERCIAL THREAD)–Today, Zynga Inc. (Nasdaq: ZNGA), a global leader in interactive entertainment, announced that it has officially added the word “orbisculate” to the in-game dictionary of its hit mobile game, Words with friends. Invented by scholar, language enthusiast and loving father Neil Krieger, Zynga’s popular pun joined the Krieger family’s mission to get the word into the official English-language dictionary following Neil’s death from COVID- 19.
During his studies at Cornell University, Neil Krieger coined the word “orbisculate” as part of a school assignment. Meaning “accidentally throwing juice and / or pulp into the eye, like a grapefruit, while eating,” Neil’s word defined a universal experience, but also captured his unique creativity and humor. Since its inception, Krieger has used the word with such flippant frequency that her children Hilary and Jonathan thought it was an ordinary word when they were growing up. It was only later that they found out that it couldn’t be found in the dictionary.
After Neil Krieger became one of more than 555,000 Americans to succumb to COVID-19, his children were eager to commemorate his well-lived life in a personal way that represented his personality. To honor their father’s life, Hilary and Jonathan are tasked with popularizing the word and ensuring its entry into the official English-language dictionary. To help them achieve their goal, Zynga recently “orbisculated” the Words with friends “Word of the Day” and has now officially entered its special word in the in-game dictionary. Players can now see the full etymology of the word on its “Definition” page and are encouraged to visit www.orbisculate.com to sign the Krieger’s petition and help support their efforts.
“The word ‘orbisculate’ is so whimsical, but the story behind it resonates with people. Make it the “word of the day” in Words with friends is a very personal tribute to our father, but also to all the families who have been affected by COVID-19, ”said Hilary Krieger. “Our father would have had enormous pleasure in seeing his creation performed in Words with friends. Being part of a game that millions of people are playing will help add our father’s word to the vernacular dictionary and ultimately the English language dictionary, ”added Jonathan Krieger.
“Over the past year, through initiatives like #PlayApartTogether, we have seen the gaming community come together again and again to support each other,” said Bernard Kim, president of publishing at Zynga. “As we got to know the Kriegers through their campaign, we were inspired by the spirit of this initiative and so admire the life and legacy of their father. Let’s help them achieve their goal.
Launched in 2009, Words with friends has gone from a popular mobile game to a global pop culture sensation. Since then, the game has spread to new platforms like Facebook Messenger, launched a successful sequel with Words with friends 2 and brought new, innovative ways to play for people around the world. The success of the game throughout this decade-long journey has been fueled by player connections through a quick and clever pun that has become a touchstone in the lives of fans.
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Zynga is a global leader in interactive entertainment with a mission to connect the world through games. To date, over a billion people have played Zynga franchises, including CSR race™, Empires and puzzles™, Merge the dragons!™ Merge the magic!™, Cartoon explosion™, Toy explosion™, Words with friends™ and Zynga Poker™. Zynga games are available in over 150 countries and are playable on social platforms and mobile devices around the world. Founded in 2007, the company is headquartered in San Francisco with sites in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, India, Turkey and Finland. For more information visit www.zynga.com or follow Zynga on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or the Zynga Blog.