/usr/share/dict/american-english is an ASCII file which contains an
alphabetic list of words, one per line.
There may be any number of word lists in /usr/share/dict/. /etc/dic-
tionaries-common/words is a symbolic link to the currently-chosen
/usr/share/dict/<language> file. /usr/share/dict/words is a symbolic
link to /etc/dictionaries-common/words, and is the name by which other
software should refer to the system word list. See select-default-
wordlist(8) for more information, and/or to change the currently-chosen
The directory /usr/share/dict can contain word lists for many lan-
guages, with name of the language in English, e.g.,
/usr/share/dict/french and /usr/share/dict/danish contain respectively
lists of French and Danish words if they exist. Such lists should be
coded using the ISO 8859-1 character set encoding.
ispell(1), select-default-wordlist(8), and the Filesystem Hierarchy
The words lists are not specific, and may be generated from any number
The system word list used to be /usr/dict/words. For compatibility,
software should check that location if /usr/share/dict/words does not
Word lists are collected and maintained by various authors. The Debian
English word lists are built from the SCOWL (Spell- Checker Oriented
Word Lists) package, whose upstream editor is Kevin Atkinson <kev-
Debian 16 June 2003 american-english(5)
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