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I need a word list to use in a commercial game (even though the game will be free to download)

Something like this

Would be perfect (needs to be formatted .txt file) but obviously allowed to be used in a commercial game. I'm happy to pay if it's not too much.

Thanks for any advice.


After some more research (google), I came across this passage. Thought this might be useful for other people, although it still seems in contradiction to what the replies are saying on stack overflow here

"The nearest thing to a licence text for ENABLE, of which ABLE forms a part, is as follows.

The ENABLE master word list, WORD.LST, is herewith formally released into the Public Domain. Anyone is free to use it or distribute it in any manner they see fit. No fee or registration is required for its use nor are "contributions" solicited (if you feel you absolutely must contribute something for your own peace of mind, the authors of the ENABLE list ask that you make a donation on their behalf to your favorite charity). This word list is our gift to the Scrabble community, as an alternate to "official" word lists. Game designers may feel free to incorporate the WORD.LST into their games. Please mention the source and credit us as originators of the list. Note that if you, as a game designer, use the WORD.LST in your product, you may still copyright and protect your product, but you may not legally copyright or in any way restrict redistribution of the WORD.LST portion of your product. This may under law restrict your rights to restrict your users' rights, but that is only fair.

M Cooper and Alan Beale "

From this site

Obviously I have no way of knowing if that's legit or not, so I was wondering what other peoples advice still is.

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closed as off-topic by Byte56 Dec 28 '14 at 18:55

  • This question does not appear to be about game development within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Not really the place for this question... And what's wrong with the one you linked? – Byte56 Apr 25 '12 at 22:41
I thought if it was related to game development it would be ok. That's the scrabble word list and is copywritten. – Phil Apr 25 '12 at 22:46
FWIW, incidentally, I've heard people making alarmist claims about using the Scrabble wordlists but as far as I know (and with the IANAL disclaimer) you should be in the clear to use them; mere lists of data are not copyrightable, at least in the US, and this has been affirmed by repeated court cases. – Steven Stadnicki Apr 25 '12 at 23:29
The replies here… seem to suggest that the list is copywritten? – Phil Apr 26 '12 at 0:01
@Phil: That's An Interesting Question. The replies clearly imply that Hasbro claims the list is copywritten - which is a legitimate concern, since the mere threat will be enough for many companies - but AFAICT they've never successfully enforced that claim (as opposed to their trademark claims) in any court case; I'd love to see an explicit judgement to that effect. – Steven Stadnicki Apr 26 '12 at 0:27
up vote 8 down vote accepted

According to the site you linked your list from:

The official Scrabble player's dictionary, known as OSPD, is widely available on the internet. There is also a list targetted at Scrabble players known as the Enable list. This has been explicitly placed in the public domain.

In addition, the page the link resides on contains numerous other lists of words that are free to use.


You found in your update, what I'd already said in my answer. Additionally, the SE link you've posted has plenty of alternative answers. For example: The English Open Word List, has more words that the OSPD and it's restriction free. Beyond that, the Enable list, as I said in my answer, seems to be a very good choice and is in the public domain.

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The replies here… Seem to suggest that the scrabble list is copywritten. – Phil Apr 26 '12 at 0:00
Thanks, the English Open Word List looks good. – Phil Apr 26 '12 at 0:37
+1 for the English Open Word List. – ClassicThunder Apr 26 '12 at 2:44
I can vouch for the English Open Word List... I just used it recently. – dodgy_coder Apr 26 '12 at 7:50

I generally don't think you have to "pay" to use a word list.

Any word list you find can easily be reformatted using a bit of string manipulation / text output.

For a large group of word lists, just go here.

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I actually tried downloading one of those when I was looking for an answer myself. I didn't look too deeply, but they appeared to be programs that generate word lists formatted specifically for things like spell checking or converting between American English and British English. Possibly a good fit for what the OP is looking for, but I'm not so sure. – Byte56 Apr 25 '12 at 23:49
I had a look at those files, but couldn't see any explanation on how to use them/get words from them. All I need is just a .txt file like I originally linked too. – Phil Apr 26 '12 at 0:02
C'mon, you can't be that dumb. Just poke around in the packages and you'll find word lists. For example, the first one (SCOWL), download the .zip, extract it, and inside the /final directory you will see a bunch of word lists such as american-words.95 and american-proper-names.95. These are plain text files with 1 word per line. – bobobobo Apr 26 '12 at 17:45

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