The term SOWPODS was coined to cover the convergence of the two International Scrabble© word sources, OSW and OSPD, as deployed for the 1991 World Scrabble© Championships in London and subsequent World Championships. SOWPODS is an acronym derived from anagramming OSW and OSPD. 

Official Tournament and Club Word List (OWL)
OWL is an expanded version of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (OSPD) [3rd edition]. The additional words included in OWL (but not OSPD) are mostly those which were expurgated (censored) from OSPD for the popular market, i.e. words (arbitrarily) considered offensive. OWL also goes up to 9 letters (plus extensions), whereas OSPD only goes up to 8 letters (plus extensions). OWL is "published" by the National Scrabble Association (NSA) in the United States. It is distributed to NSA members only. OWL is primarily used in North American and Israel. OWL is also known as TWL98, which means Tournament Word List.

OWL2/LWL contains the words from the Official Word List 2nd edition, plus the Long Word List. The OWL2 contains words up to nine letters long plus their inflections, while the LWL contains words 10-15 letters long.

OWL14, work began on OTCWL2014 soon after the establishment of NASPA in 2009, with NASPA and Merriam-Webster negotiating the scope of the changes involved, including the new word references to be used. Then lexicographers from both organizations started working in parallel, with the MW team searching for suitable words that had been added to the MW database since the last edition, and the NASPA Dictionary Committee (DC) looking for new words in the Oxford College Dictionary, 2nd edition, and the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, 2nd edition.

There have been some 232 words added to OTCWL2018 (Official Tournament and Club Word List). As of March 1st 2021 NASPA (North American Scrabble Players Association) will be using them in tournaments and at their clubs. The Pixie Pit will also be using these new words in OWL14.

In early 2014, the DC finished its work, which also became the basis for the Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary's 5th edition, used in school and recreational play.

OTCWL2014 is the third in the OTCWL series, and its working title was OWL3. The name was changed however, due to two concerns. One was that with the inclusion of longer words of 1015 letters, the nature of the book had fundamentally changed; the other was that the name of the first two volumes had been prefaced by the name of our predecessor organization, the NSA, and that our new book therefore technically had a different name.


This edition sees new words from three sources:

  • Merriam-Webster's database (essentially, their 11th Collegiate Dictionary)
  • Canadian Oxford Dictionary, 2nd edition
  • Oxford College Dictionary, 2nd edition

It includes for the first time words of up to 15 letters, which were formally only available separately in the Long List

It includes almost 9,000 words that will be newly acceptable in competitive play. The more widely publicized figure of 5,000 new words refers to those that are being added to the shorter OSPD5. 51% of the new words are coincidentally found in the international CSW2012 lexicon; the rest are not.

OSW itself stands for Official Scrabble© Words, a publication derived solely from the Chambers Dictionary, published in Scotland. OSW is exclusively used in the United Kingdom only.

CSW07 List, Collins Tournament and Club Word List. This is the authority for all tournament and club play. All tournaments which are either run and/or rated by the ABSP use this reference work as the arbiter for determining the validity of every word played. It contains every word added to TWL last year, and more new words obtained from Collins English Dictionary.

CSW or Collins Scrabble Words is the global world source used in Scrabble. CSW2021 is the newest edition, in previous years the global word list was also known as SOWPODS. CSW is not a single dictionary but an amalgam of three: Collins (7th edition, 2005), Chambers (1998 edition) and TWL, the current Northern American wordlist. TWL itself is also drawn from a range of sources.

CSW19, is the transition from the 2015 version of the Collins Scrabble Tournament & Club Word List (hereinafter referred to as CSW15) to the 2019 version (hereinafter referred to as CSW19) involves 2862 new words in total, of which 1258 of length 2 to 9 letters, with 617 of length 2 to 8 letters. There are 29 deletions of existing words, of which 6 are of length 2 to 8 letters.

From May the 7th 2019 we will  be using CSW, CSW15, and CSW19 (Collins Tournament and Club Word Lists).

 OSPD stands for Official Scrabble© Players Dictionary, a publication derived primarily from the Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, but also including words from four other major college dictionaries. It is published by Merriam-Webster, in the United States. OSPD is exclusively used in North America, Thailand, and Israel. 

OSPD4 is a major update of OSPD3, and contains many words found in SOWPODS and OWL/TWL98.

We had hoped to add OSPD5 once we could obtain the official respective word lists when sanctioned by NAPSA on the Internet, probably never as Hasbro will not allow that to happen !

The following countries are known to be fully SOWPODS:- Australia, Bahrain, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom.

OWL1, OWL2 and CSW List have been added to cater for the Tournament Players who play here. The all dictionaries search results page provides all lookups to accommodate all players. OSPD4 is used primarily in Canada, US, Thailand, and Israel. SOWPODS is used internationally.

Note, we use freely available files off the Net as the dictionaries here. If there are any errors you know of, please consult the actual book. It would be nice if you tell us, so we can update our database. 


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