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PQ Words

Pandaqi Words (or PQ Words) is an open source dictionary aimed for use in word games (or other practical language projects).

The problem

Once upon a time, I had many ideas for word games. But when I looked around online, there were no dictionaries or word lists I could use.

They were either …

  • Way too advanced (containing all nouns in the English language)
  • Conversely, too small and limited (only one category or one perspective)
  • Uncategorized (just a list of all random words somebody could come up with)
  • In an unusable format

The solution

That’s why I decided to roll my own solution. I needed words clearly categorized by type, category and difficulty.

Many word games only need English words that are common and well-known. Some games only focus on “food” nouns, or “animals”, or verbs. In any case, I wanted to give my users/players the choice about which words they want to use.

Finally, as I made these lists, I realized they could double as an actual dictionary. I’ve created a few Scrabble-like games, such as Keebble. Those always lead to discussions about “That’s not a word! You made that up!” By including a dictionary page, you can solve that.

So …

What is PQ Words exactly?

  • A clear hierarchy of folders
  • With text files at the end, containing one word per line
  • A script (in JavaScript) to easily load, change, combine, query the dictionary
  • A command line tool (written in Rust) to easily make large changes to the files (like sorting alphabetically, cleaning up, creating a new category)

This is an “ongoing” project in the sense that I simply add new words whenever I need them for a new project.