A list of english words
/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/dictionaries-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 word list.
The directory /usr/share/dict can contain word lists for many languages, 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 Standard.
The words lists are not specific, and may be generated from any number of sources.
The system word list used to be /usr/dict/words. For compatibility, software should check that location if /usr/share/dict/words does not exist.
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 <[email protected]>.