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Words With Friends word list

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Recently, we spotted a problem regarding our Words With Friends Cheat. A user wrote us that Words With Friends might sometimes decline words which were created by our word cheat. Thus, we started a poll asking you if you experience the same from time to time and did some research on this topic. Here are our findings.

ENABLE word list

Most of the words that can be used in Words With Friends derive from a word list called ENABLE. This is short for Enhanced North American Benchmark Lexicon. It is a public domain list and it is used by many other word games as well. All together it contains more than 173,000 words. To see all words you can download the ENABLE word list.

Words With Friends word list

The Words With Friends word list is based on the ENABLE word list but contains some modifications. First of all Zynga, the developer of Words With Friends, doesn’t allow proper nouns, abbreviations, prefixes and suffixes standing alone, or words that require hyphens, or apostrophes. Whereas words labeled as part of speech such as loanwords, colloquial words, slang, now obsolete words etc., can be used. Additionally, the Words With Friends word list was modified by the removal of some offensive words. Deleted words are mostly profanity and racial slurs.

Also words that are longer than 16 letters can’t be used in the Words With Friends word list because there won’t be enough space on the board for those words.

However, other words are being added from time to time; such as WEBSITE or EMAIL. If you discover a word you think should be added, you can even suggest it to be included in the Words With Friends word list.

All these modifications are carried out from time to time. is trying to be up to date providing you the latest Words With Friends word list if possible.

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16 Responses

  1. When I want to swap tiles in Words with friends I hit the swap button which takes me to “Swap tiles”screen. I then tap the tiles I want to exchange. When I hit the exchange button and return to the original screen nothing has happened and I still have the original letters as well as having lost a turn. Could you please tell me what I’m doing wrong.
    Sincerely, Toni Tayler

    • Hi Toni,
      that sounds quite odd. I can’t really think of a convincing explanation. As far as I know it is possible to get back the same tiles, since the letters you swapped were added to the pool of remaining tiles, but you must be very lucky if this happens to you all the time. And still there is the problem of you loosing the game. I suggest to reinstall or update the app. If you find another solution please get back to us!
      Regards, Philipp

  2. Toni — Instead of tapping on the letters you want to swap, does it work to drag them to the empty spaces on the swap tile bar?

  3. If the omission of a word from the lexicon is due to the possibility that it might cause offense, then the lexicon would have no reason for existence, as all words would have been removed.
    Some words do have a derogatory meaning or have come to have a derogative sense, but that does not warrant its removal. For instance, the word ‘queen’ has been applied derogatoritively in reference to both prostitutes and to male homosexuals; and the word ‘mother’, like the word ‘bitch’, has also found its way into the lexicon with a vulgar sense. I do not expect you would remove these two common words. The removal of ‘slut’ harkens the removal of its etymologically related word, ‘sloth’; and, hence, the removal of words and the derivatives of the other vices.
    The reasoning behing the removal of the word ‘jew’ and its derivatives would be a call to remove the word ‘gyp’, ‘gypsy’ and their derivative words (Is a member of one from the tribe of Judah or Israel be any better than one from Egypt?).
    Of the words removed, the following are some of those that should have been retained, and would have been had the “censors” realized that their censoring is itself offensive.

    Following are a list of some of the words, and their definitions, that have other than derogatory meanings. Though some words have multiple entries in a dictionary, the definitions for each have been compiled under a one per distinct spelling.

    chink, —v., [chinks, chinked, chinking] v.i, to crack; split;

    chinky, a. 1. Full of chinks or fissures; gaping

    fag, [< flag, 'a loose end; to hang loose'], —v., [fags, fagged, fagging] v.i., (obsolete) To become weary; fail in strength;

    faggot also fagot [< Old French fagot, 'a bundle of sticks'] v.t., [faggots, faggoted, faggoting; also fagots, fagoted, fagoting] To tie together; bundle; collect and bind together.

    spick [< spike, pike] n. [plural: spicks] A titmouse; (dialectal or obsolete) A spike; a tenter; (something) new and fresh, spick-and-span-new (as a fork with its tines intact)

    wop, v.t., [wops, wopped, wopping] To beat; to strike; same as whop

    wops, also wopps, (Prov. English), n., [plural: wopses, also woppses] A wasp or hornet.

    • Hi Dejmar, thank you for your comment and the detailed information. I had to take the liberty to shorten the examples a bit, but your point is still crystal clear.
      We have similar discussions very often. I don’t know how the internal process of removing a word from the Words With Friends word list is, but I am sure they don’t discuss every word in detail. It is a pity that correct and useful words have to be removed, but it is also a reality, that word meanings change not only to the better. We should respect this and hope for better times.

  4. Where can I get a list of the words that are either added or excluded from the ENABLE list for WWF? All I can find on the web is that they use the ENABLE word list and then add or delete words to/from the list but I cannot find the actual list of the words they add or exclude. Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, your my only hope.

    • Hi Dale, it is some time ago that I tried it, but as far as I remember, you can access the word list of Words With Friends by browsing the installation on your iPhone or iPad. Than you can download the ENABLE list and compare them (a lot of text writers support comparing two documents). I don’t have the list here, else I would send it to you.

  5. I have an android phone. I looked and could not find the list. Any idea what the file name is and where it resides and how to view it?

  6. Hi Dale, I had another look on iPad and iPhone and didn’t find it. I think in a previous version it was even called “enable” or “enable1”

  7. Great info!I’m playing WWF with a random opponent, and he played “jehu”. I’ve searched everywhere and can’t find anything except the Biblical name Jehu. The rules are very clear regarding proper nouns, yet WWF accepted it. Comments?

    • Hi Mary, I found an additional definition for JEHU that I also wasn’t familiar with: a driver of a coach or cab.

  8. It is a shame and a sham to use a common list of words, then remove what is acceptable to a person or group’s particular whim or fancy. It is very frustrating to try to play common ordinary words and have them rejected. That’s one reason that I like to play Scrabble. It seems to be a little more realistic.

  9. I can play “Solo” on my phone but can’t find it on my computer. Is that normal? Is there a way to get it on my computer?


    • Hi Ken,
      I think that currently Solo is implemented just in mobile devices.

  10. I tried to use “Hoover” and Words with Friends would not accept the word. However the Scrabble dictionary accepts it as a word. Why don’t you get your dictionaries congruent? Secondly I have an issue with proper nouns. You allow people’s names such as “John” but you don’t allow “Mexico” on Friends with words. THESE ARE ALL PROPER NOUNS AS I WAS TAUGHT IN SCHOOL.

    • Hi Marha, I can’t say anything about the HOOVER issue, but about proper nouns. You are right that JOHN and MEXICO are proper nouns. But JOHN does also have other meanings that are not referring to it as a name of a person. I admit that I had to check, but websters also includes this meaning:
      * a toilet or bathroom
      E.g., “He is going to the john.” JOHN is even uncapitalized here.
      Take care,

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