Official Scrabble Players Dictionary

Official Scrabble Players Dictionary

The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary or OSPD is a dictionary developed for use in the game Scrabble, by speakers of American and Canadian English.




The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary was first published in 1978[1] through the efforts of the National Scrabble Association (NSA) Dictionary Committee and Merriam-Webster. The OSPD was developed as the word authority for NSA-sanctioned clubs and tournaments. Selchow and Righter, the owners of Scrabble at the time, proposed that words contained in at least one of the following five dictionaries should be in the OSPD: Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eighth Edition (1973), Funk & Wagnalls Dictionary of the English Language (1973), The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1969), Webster's New World Dictionary, Second College Edition (1970), and The Random House College Dictionary (1968).[1]

The compilation was produced by hand and many errata and omissions were later discovered. For example, the word granola was present in all five nominated dictionaries but not in the OSPD. A second edition, OSPD 2, was released in 1991. The current edition is OSPD 4.

Although OSPD bears the name Official Scrabble Players Dictionary no countries list their "official" dictionary as the OSPD, whereas the Official Tournament and Club Word List is the official word source of tournament Scrabble in the United States, Canada, Thailand and Israel.[2] The NSA markets the OSPD as ideal for school and family use.

Offensive words

While reading OSPD 2, Judith Grad found several words she considered to be offensive, including "jew", listed as a verb with the definition "To bargain with – an offensive term".[3] Her initial letters to Merriam-Webster and Milton Bradley requesting removal of the words resulted in politely negative responses. Merriam-Webster responded "[the] slurs are part of the language and reputable dictionaries record them as such." Milton Bradley responded "As a dictionary, it is a reflection of words currently used in our language."[4]

Grad wrote to the National Council of Jewish Women, who began a letter-writing campaign in support of her cause. Publicity in Jewish media led to the Anti-Defamation League writing to Hasbro chairman Alan Hassenfeld, who announced that a third edition would be published with "offensive" words like "JEW", "FARTED", "FATSO", and "BOOBIE" removed.[4]

The news was generally not well received by members of the National Scrabble Association, which was not consulted in the decision. After receiving mostly negative feedback from players, including threats to boycott events, NSA president John D. Williams announced a compromise, the result of which was the publication, without definitions, of the unexpurgated Official Tournament and Club Word List.[5]

See also


  1. ^ a b National Scrabble Association Dictionary Committee & Its Word Sources, Broken Link.
  2. ^ The Israeli Scrabble Association
  3. ^ The Official Scrabble© Players Dictionary Second Edition, Merriam-Webster, Inc. 1990. ISBN 0-87779-120-1
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ Fatsis, Stefan. (2001). Word Freak Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • North American Scrabble Players Association — The North American Scrabble Players Association (NASPA) is an organization founded in 2009 to coordinate competitive Scrabble tournaments[1] and clubs[2] [3] in North America. It took over these activities from the National Scrabble Association… …   Wikipedia

  • Official Tournament and Club Word List — or Tournament Word List, referred to as OTaCWL, OWL, or TWL, is the official word authority for tournament Scrabble in the USA, Canada[1] and Thailand. It is based on the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (OSPD) with modifications to make it… …   Wikipedia

  • Scrabble — For other uses, see Scrabble (disambiguation). Scrabble Current Scrabble logo by Hasbro, Inc. used in the USA and Canada, since March 2008 Former Scrabble logo by Hasbro, Inc. used in the USA and Canada, until March 2008 …   Wikipedia

  • Scrabble variants — are games created by changing the normal Scrabble rules or equipment. Variants with standard board and/or tiles AnagrabAnagrab dispenses with the Scrabble board and just uses the letters. Initial words are made as letters are turned over, but… …   Wikipedia

  • National Scrabble Championship — The National Scrabble Championship is the largest Scrabble competition in the United States. The event is held every one or two years, and from 2004 through 2006 the finals were aired on ESPN and ESPN2. The current National Scrabble Champion is… …   Wikipedia

  • English language Scrabble — is the original version of the popular word based board game invented by Alfred Mosher Butts in 1938. He was American and based the game on the letter distribution in the New York Times in English.The Scrabble variant most popular in English is… …   Wikipedia

  • Chambers Dictionary — The Chambers Dictionary (TCD) was first published by W. and R. Chambers as Chambers s English Dictionary in 1872. It was an expanded version of Chambers s Etymological Dictionary of 1867, compiled by James Donald. A second edition came out in… …   Wikipedia

  • World Scrabble Championship — This article is about the tournament in English. For other uses, see World Scrabble Championships. The World Scrabble Championship is the most prestigious title in competitive English language Scrabble. It has been held every second year since… …   Wikipedia

  • Internet Scrabble Club — Using ISCPotential players must go to the home page [] to download the interface program, WordBiz. They must also create an online handle and password.Players start games either by sending or accepting a seek, or sending a match… …   Wikipedia

  • Boggle — is a word game designed by Allan Turoff and trademarked by Parker Brothers and Hasbro. The game is played using a grid of lettered dice, in which players attempt to find words in sequences of adjacent letters.RulesThe game begins by shaking a… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”