SOWPODS

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The SOWPODS lexicon, more commonly now referred to as Collins or Collins Scrabble Words (CSW), is a word list first published in 2007 by Collins, and updated in 2012 and 2015. NASPA has sanctioned official games played in the SOWPODS lexicon in a separate SOWPODS rating system since January 2010. The 2012 edition will be in effect until August 31, 2015; the 2015 edition will take effect on September 1, 2015 according to planned 2015 Rule Changes.

alt Map of the CSW world

This map shows countries according to the lexicon(s) they use. Currently, 47 countries use CSW (green), and 4 use predominantly OWL2, with some CSW play (blue: Canada, Israel, Thailand, and the United States).

Statistics

  • The 2012 edition has 270,163 words; the 2015 edition is reported to have 6500 additional words.
  • The 2012 edition included all words that were acceptable in TWL2; the 2015 edition includes most words that were added to TWL2014, but with a few omissions, including CALS, BAYER and JAKER.
  • In 2014, 8% of all games played were SOWPODS-rated; the remainder being played in the OTCWL lexicon.

Coinage

The name “SOWPODS” was coined as an anagram of OSW+OSPD, the names of the two lexicons (the British Official Scrabble Words and the American Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary) that were originally merged to form SOWPODS. The SOWPODS word list is currently edited by the WESPA Dictionary Committee; comments concerning the list should be directed to the NASPA International Committee. The SOWPODS word list contains all words found in OWL2, as well as a large number of other English words from around the world.

More information

The purpose of these webpages is to provide informative and, hopefully, interesting information to those North American tournament and club players who are curious about trying out the CSW game. They do not, therefore, aim to introduce Scrabble play as a whole, but those parts of it that change if one plays CSW. Thus, we start with how the game differs from OWL2, introduce the most useful extra words to know, address some commonly asked questions and concerns, then describe the current CSW scene as it is evolving in North America.

The sections below follow on from each other in order, but each can be read on its own.

Comments concerning this page may be directed to Nick Ball.