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Revision as of 17:33, 5 August 2014

The following message went out to our iContact list on 2014-08-05:

Dear NASPA Members,

The news is full today about the publication of the Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary, 5th edition (OSPD5), the culmination of five years of work by Jim Pate and the rest of the Dictionary Committee, in collaboration with our partners at Merriam-Webster. The new dictionary includes words from two new source lexicons: the Oxford College Dictionary, second edition and the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, second edition, and includes the new two-letter words DA GI PO TE, and many new three-letter words.

When we play competitively at our official tournaments and clubs though, we use the Official Tournament and Club Word List, which is also seeing the quieter release of a major new edition this week. Our new word reference is formally called the NASPA Official Tournament and Club Word List (2014 Edition), or for short, OTCWL2014, OWL2014 or TWL2014.

OTCWL2014 differs from OSPD5 in the following important ways.

  1. It will be the official word reference in competitive play starting December 1, 2014.
  2. It includes for the first time words of up to 15 letters, including what is currently found in the separate Long List.
  3. It's getting almost 9,000 new words added, compared to roughly 5,000 for OSPD, due in large part to new longer words.
  4. For licensing reasons, it is only available for sale by NASPA to its members.
  5. It has a much prettier cover, designed with an OWL theme by Jeremy Hildebrand.
  6. As with past editions, OTCWL2014 includes many words not considered appropriate for school players.
  7. OTCWL2014 has been more carefully proofread than OSPD5, and includes corrections of errors that made it into print in OSPD5.

For this week, the only way to get your copy of OTCWL2014 is in person at the 2014 National SCRABBLE Championship in Buffalo. We will email and post the procedure for mail orders in the coming few days. If you aren't coming to the NSC, and do not have a friend going who can pick up a copy for you, then please stay tuned for a later announcement about mail orders.

If you do want to get a copy now, you can save a few dollars by preordering from


and save an additional amount if you buy ten books at a time.

We had originally planned on there being a simultaneous release of a new edition of Michael Thelen's Zyzzyva including OTCWL2014. This has been delayed, but should take place well before the December 1st effective date for the lexicon. We are still in the early stages of discussions with other software authors to update their programs as well.

We will be posting some information on changes to the word list on our website here:


and will be updating our study information, such as full lists of twos and threes, u-less Q words, high-probability bingoes, etc.

We will not be selling or distributing a complete list of changes to the word list, for the simple reason that it costs money to produce the new book, which has to be recouped by its sales.

If you have any questions about the word list, please email them to us at info@scrabbleplayers.org. Please understand that we may be a little slower or terser than usual in replying, because of the volume of email that we are currently receiving, and because of preparations for the NSC.