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Revision as of 10:30, 18 March 2021 by Judycole (talk | contribs) (Availability: 2021-03-18 - Availability of printed version - removed OTCWL16)

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The NASPA Word List 2020 Edition (NWL2020) is the second word list developed and edited by NASPA, and the official lexicon governing competitive play in the United States and Canada beginning January 6, 2021. It replaces NWL2018.


Print Edition

For licensing reasons, this book is a members-only publication, available only through the NASPA Store.

Electronic Editions

NASPA members may download the word list and related files through Member Services in the following format:

NWL2020 (text)
All words found in the NASPA Word List (2020 edition), in a text file, final version dated 2020-10-15

It will be available for electronic study and tournament adjudication purposes in the NASPA Zyzzyva program, starting with version 3.2.3.

Developer Access

NASPA members who offer free software to our community are welcome to include NWL2020 in their products with appropriate credit and links, and should contact us for details.

Commercial developers are invited to contact us to discuss licensing terms.

Effective Date

The Advisory Board has determined that this edition will take effect on January 6, 2021.


In early July 2020, the Executive Committee announced that all offensive slurs will be removed from the NASPA Word List to align with changes to the SCRABBLE rules planned by Hasbro.

The Dictionary Committee reviewed the NASPA Word List as outlined in a report published September 30, 2020.


This edition deletes 259 words identified as offensive slurs:

  • 155 words and inflections that were found to be offensive and personally applicable in not just one but all senses
  • 104 words and inflections that were found to be offensive in at least one dictionary and personally applicable in at least one sense, but not offensive and personally applicable in all senses

A complete list of deleted words is available for our adult members in Member Services.

To view a list of differences between specific editions of NWL, use Zyzzyva to search for words that are in one edition but not the other.