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NASPA School Word List

From NASPAWiki

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The NASPA School Word List (NSWL), formerly School SCRABBLE Word List (SSWL), is the official word list used in School SCRABBLE competitions. It consists of those words that are acceptable in the regular NASPA Word List (NWL) that are considered appropriate for school use.

The currently effective edition is the 2020 edition (NSWL2020).

The NSWL is the first word list that NASPA has made available to software developers through a licensing process. Please contact us if you would like to use our word list in your application.

Where to Find It

NSWL is available to NASPA members for electronic study and tournament adjudication purposes in the NASPA Zyzzyva program. Since its inception, School SCRABBLE competitors have been granted complimentary season membership to gain access to this tool.

The word list is also available for personal use as a free download (password required) through NASPA Member Services.

NASPA members can order a printed version from the NASPA Store.


In the earliest days of School SCRABBLE, tournaments were adjudicated using paper dictionaries such as OTCWL, Long List and MWCD, supplemented with lists of words excluded as being inappropriate for the school community.

When Zyzzyva grew in popularity, ad hoc unlicensed electronic versions of word lists were prepared each year, and typically mislabelled as being editions of OSPD5.

Beginning in 2015, the NASPA Dictionary Committee formally named the word list it prepared the School SCRABBLE Word List (SSWL2015), and made it available in electronic form to licensed users of NASPA Zyzzyva.

In 2016, SSWL2016 was released, incorporating updates included by the NASPA Dictionary Committee in OTCWL2016.

In 2018, SSWL2018 was released, incorporating updates from OSPD6 and OTCWL2018.

In 2019, SSWL2018 was rebranded as NSWL2018.

In 2020, NSWL2020 was released, deleting offensive slurs from NSWL2018. It took effect on January 6, 2021.

As of November 9, 2023, NSWL2023 is available for review in draft form and will replace NSWL2020 on a date to be determined by the Advisory Board.