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Official Tournament and Club Word List

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The third edition of the Official Tournament and Club Word List (OTCWL2014, also known as OWL2014, TWL2014 or in older documents OWL3) went on sale initially at the 2014 National SCRABBLE Championship, is now available at the NASPA Store, and will take effect on April 10, 2015. See the OTCWL2014 page for more details about that book.

NASPA Zyzzyva is now available for download to Windows and Mac machines at this link.

Download and installation instructions are available on the Zyzzyva webpage.

Please note that this is a beta release, with a built in expiration date of May 1, 2015. This is because this is our first release of the program, and we want to be able to identify and correct any difficulties that users experience, now that we have gone live. A permanent version of the program will be made available in the next few weeks.

A Linux version is in the final stages of development, and will be released soon.

The Advisory Board has established April 10, 2015 as the effective date of the OTCWL2014 lexicon for NASPA club and tournament play.

The second edition of the word list, with the addition of GEOCACHE and the inflections GEOCACHES, GEOCACHED, and GEOCACHING (OTCWL2.1, a/k/a OWL2.1, TWL2.1) is (until OTCWL2014 takes effect) the official word list for NASPA-sanctioned club and tournament play, and contains words of up to nine letters and their inflections (when the GEOCACHE words are included). (Longer words are listed in Long List.) OTCWL2 is edited by the Dictionary Committee (whose wiki page goes into the lexicon’s history in greater detail), published by and exclusively available to NASPA members from Merriam-Webster.

The tournament word list is not available to the public in electronic form; it was available in print from Merriam-Webster. The electronic word list is available to authorized SCRABBLE developers. If you are not sure if you have the correct version of the digital file, here are some statistics you can check. There are currently 101 2-letter words, 1015 3, 4030 4, 8938 5, 15788 6, 24029 7, 29766 8, 29150 9, 22326 10, 16165 11, 11417 12, 7750 13, 5059 14 and 3157 15, for a total of 178,691 words. (13 of those words are not playable using the standard 100 tiles: CLASSLESSNESSES, KNICKKNACK(S), PIZZAZZ(ES), PIZZAZZY, POSSESSEDNESSES, RAZZAMATAZZ(ES), RAZZMATAZZ(ES), SENSELESSNESSES, STRESSLESSNESS.) The master file lists all words in lower case in alphabetical order, one per line, with each line terminated by a Unix line break. It is 1763167 bytes long and has BSD checksum ('cksum -o 1') 12722, System V checkum ('cksum -o 2') 24638, 32-bit CRC ('cksum -o 3') 2022312244, ISO/IEC 8802-3:1989 checksum ('cksum') 427611949 and MD5 checksum dfd408f47cc1a324eb0ab5577910e4e3.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Word List

What are all these official word lists?
Any group of players can agree to use a particular word list or dictionary in their games. In officially sanctioned competitive play though, we all use one of a few official word lists designed for use with our game. Unlike regular dictionaries, for example, official word lists list all valid inflections for all listed words. Within NASPA's territory of the United States and Canada, the following word lists are officially recognized: OSPD for school play, OTCWL for regular competitive play, and CSW for international play.
Why is (my favorite word) not acceptable?
See how lexicons are compiled.
Why is (a common nine-letter word) not in OSPD?
OSPD lists only words of up to eight letters, and their inflections. For longer words, please consult OTCWL, beginning with its 2014 edition.
Why is ZEN not acceptable?
Because none of our source lexica list it spelled without a capital Z.
What's up with DA?
DA was deleted from the playing lexicon as of OSPD3 as a result of a major review of the original research that led to OSPD1; it is reentering the lexicon as of OTCWL2014, because it is listed in one of our new source lexica.
Why is a particular word in OTCWL but not in OSPD?
Although both OTCWL and OSPD are edited by both NASPA and Merriam-Webster, the publications are edited at different times by different individuals according to different criteria. The commonest causes for a word appearing in OTCWL but not in OSPD are: being longer than 8 letters, being potentially offensive, being a possible trademark in some jurisdictions, having entered a source lexicon between the editorial deadlines for the two works, or differing editorial opinions concerning ambiguities in source lexica.
Can you send me a list of words that are in one lexicon but not in another?
For licensing and copyright reasons no, but you can probably make the list yourself using NASPA Zyzzyva.
When can I use the latest word lists with Quackle, Zarf, Elise, ...?
We are not aware of any plans by the developers of other software to license the current word list.

See also our main FAQ page.


OTCWL2014 (OWL2014)

A total of 40 words were erroneously omitted from the first printing, and 47 words erroneously included. The complete list of errata is available through NASPA Member Services. For more information, see our iContact announcement made on 2014-10-22.

This list applies only to this printing of this book, and in particular does not apply to OSPD5, which underwent a separate editorial process.


Incorrectly omitted from OTCWL2: CRABAPPLE (p. 98), CRABAPPLES (p. 98), DEVELOPPES (p. 118), GODDAMNDEST (p. 186), MUNCHABLES (p. 279) and VIREONINES (p.485).

Incorrectly included in OTCWL2: CRABABBLE (p. 98), CRABABBLES (p. 98), GODAMNDEST (p. 186) and WEAPONEERED (p. 491).


The word ANTEFIXAE was incorrectly omitted from the printed edition of OTCWL1.