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Suppose I'm trying to computer-solve a puzzle, or computer-create a puzzle, where "every word in the whatever is a common English word." For example, intuitively, BUNNY is a common English word, TAPIR is borderline, and EURYPTERID is definitely not a common English word.

Where would I find a computer-readable wordlist of "common English words" in this sense?

I'm aware of the following resources and their disadvantages:

  • The SOWPODS list (e.g. here). Major disadvantage: It contains obscure words such as AALII.

  • "Basic English" lists (e.g. here). Major disadvantages: They lack many common words such as MOUSE. They almost always lack declensions, e.g. the linked list contains CAT but not CATS.

  • Crossword wordlists (e.g. here). Major disadvantages: They contain abbreviations such as SSGT, multi-word phrases such as ATONCE, and proper nouns such as CYRUS.

  • The "Up Goer Five" wordlist, constructed from one of Wiktionary's computer-generated frequency lists plus the Automatically Generated Inflection Database (AGID). Major disadvantages: It lacks many common words such as MOUSE. Because it blindly uses AGID, it includes some surprising declensions, such as CATTED and CATTING.

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    $\begingroup$ who wants to go catting? I do :P $\endgroup$ – micsthepick Jul 19 at 16:37
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I found the following additional resource.

It successfully contains all of BUNNY TAPIR CAT CATS MOUSE.

It successfully omits all of EURYPTERID AALII SSGT ATONCE CYRUS CATTED CATTING.

UPDATE:

  • Minor disadvantage: It contains some short words that I would consider "dubiously English" — COS EM EMS EN ENS HES HI HIS HO HOS MA MAS MENS OM OMS PA PAS PIS RE REC REM and so on.

  • Minor disadvantage: It contains some words that IMHO do not pass the breakfast table testBITCH RAPE SHIT SHAT and so on.

However, I'm still having good luck with this wordlist plus minor manual edits!

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