A list of the most popular English words.
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README.md Add OSPD and Enable Jan 27, 2013
enable1.txt Add OSPD and Enable Jan 27, 2013
filter.py Added script to merge word lists Jan 27, 2013
ospd.txt Add OSPD and Enable Jan 27, 2013
popular.txt Finished adding wiktionary's top 40k words Jan 27, 2013
unix-words Add unix word list Feb 9, 2017


List of the Most Common English Words

According to an article entitled The words in the mental cupboard published by the BBC, "An ordinary person, one who has not been to university say, would know about 35,000 quite easily."

The Unix dictionary contains far too many ridiculous words that even Google has trouble explaining, such as zuurveldt, cholecystenterorrhaphy and nonly:

$ cat /usr/share/dict/words | wc -l

Even enable1.txt, the more verbose version of the Official Scrabble Player's Dictionary (ospd.txt) (which is limited to words of 8 letters or less) used by Words with Friends, contains more words than any English speaking adult would reasonably be familiar with:

$ cat enable1.txt | wc -l


popular.txt represents the common subset of words found in both enable1.txt and Wiktionary's word frequency lists, which are in turn compiled by statistically analyzing a sample of 29 million words used in English TV and movie scripts.

$ cat popular.txt | wc -l

These are 25,322 words that everyone should be familiar with.