Names: everyone’s got them.

Most people just go by their first and last names, but sometimes someone will go by a middle name or one of their names is hyphenated, and their name will be unique and interesting.

Most people would agree that some names are better than others, but there is not really a way to quantify the quality of a name. Luckily, there does exist a certain scoring system for English letters that we can try and adapt for our name-rating purposes.

Scrabble was developed in 1938, popularized in 1952, and is still played today. For the uninitiated, Scrabble is a board game in which players attempt to spell words using letters they draw from a pile. Each letter has a point value (based on how often that letter is used in the English language), and the player with the most points at the end wins. Younger individuals may be more familiar with the Words with Friends mobile app, which is essentially the same, with a few differences.

Under the traditional Scrabble rules, proper nouns are disallowed; however, for our purposes, everything is fair game. In order to test Scrabble’s name-rating proficiency we need to use a large pool of names. Not wanting to generate or make up a list of fakes, I decided to pull from WVU Athletics. The name of every WVU student-athlete (all 485) were plugged into a Scrabble score calculator and here are the results.

Rounding to the nearest hundredths, the average Scrabble score for WVU athlete names was 22.67. The median score was 22, but there were quite a few outliers.

The rowing team’s Lisa Eller had the only name score in the single digits with a score of nine. The rowing team as a whole did alright, however. The team’s average score of 23.64 was very respectable in comparison with WVU’s other athletic teams.

Women’s basketball blew everyone else out of the water with a score of 25.54, the only team with a score higher than 24. Golf on the other hand was the only team with a score under 21 at 20.22.

As for the highest individual scores, here are all the scores above 40.

T-6. 40 Points: Pau Jimenez Albelda - Men’s Soccer

Jimenez Albelda is a junior midfielder from Barcelona, Spain. Having three names helped out Jimenez Albelda’s score, but what put him over the top were the J and Z, two of the highest valued letters.

T-6. 40 Points: Jeffery Pooler Jr. - Football

A junior defensive lineman from Dayton, Ohio, Pooler is helped out here by a bit of a longer name, as well as having multiple J’s. I debated including things like Jr. and Sr. in the scoring, but I decided to use the abbreviations because I believe those are a part of people’s names.

5. 41 Points: Lizzie Mayfield - Women’s Soccer

A sophomore forward out of Atlanta, Mayfield’s score comes on the back of the double Z’s in her first name. Z is a rare letter in English, and its use is handsomely rewarded in Scrabble.

4. 42 Points: Jacob

Cardinal Tremblay - Men’s Swimming and Diving

A sophomore diver out of Ottawa, Cardinal Tremblay’s name kind of brute forces its way onto this list. Outside of the J at the beginning there are not a lot of high scoring letters, but the pure length of the name propels it up the leader board.

T-2. 44 Points:

Lindsay Krawczyk - Rowing

If you have a bunch of odd consonants all together, your Scrabble score is going to be as high as Krawczyk, a senior from Maryville, Tennessee, has found out.

T-2. 44 Points: Ruth Mierzejewski - Rowing

No name on this list has a greater points disparity between first and last name than the junior’s from Wadsworth, Ohio. At only seven points, Ruth is carried to the top of this list by the 37 point Mierzejewski.

1. 48 Points: Jacqueline McCutchan - Women’s Swimming and Diving

Almost poetically, the highest score for any WVU student-athlete went to a Morgantown native. The freshman fly/free swimming McCutchan is aided by both a long name and the use of J and Q. She sits alone as having the best name in all of WVU athletics, at least by Scrabble scoring.

ValueLetters
1 Point
A, E, I, L, N, O, R, S, T, U
2 PointsD, G
3 PointsB, C, M, P
4 PointsF, H, V, W, Y
5 PointsK
8 PointsJ, X
10 PointsQ, Z