WordList - Word lists


This document describes version 0.1.4 of WordList (from Perl distribution WordList), released on 2018-02-20.


Use one of the WordList::* modules.


WordList::* modules are modules that contain, well, list of words. This module, WordList, serves as a base class and establishes convention for such modules.

WordList is an alternative interface for Games::Word::Wordlist and Games::Word::Wordlist::*. Its main difference is: WordList::* wordlists are read-only/immutable and the modules are designed to have low startup overhead. This makes them more suitable for use in CLI scripts which often only want to pick a word from one or several lists.

Words (or phrases) must be put in __DATA__ section, *sorted* ascibetically (or by Unicode code point), one per line. Putting the wordlist in the __DATA__ section relieves perl from having to parse the list during the loading of the module. To search for words or picking some random words from the list, the module also need not slurp the whole list into memory (and will not do so unless explicitly instructed). Sorting makes it more convenient to diff different versions of the module, as well as performing binary search.

Since this is a new and non-backward compatible interface from Games::Word::Wordlist, I also make some other changes:

  • Namespace is put outside Games::

    Because obviously word lists are not only useful for games.

  • Interface is simpler

    This is partly due to the list being read-only. The methods provided are just:

    - pick (pick one or several random entries)

    - word_exists (check whether a word is in the list)

    - each_word (run code for each entry)

    - all_words (return all the words in a list)

    A couple of other functions might be added, with careful consideration.

  • Namespace is more language-neutral and not English-centric


  • Interface for random pick from a subset

    Pick $n words of length $L.

    Pick $n words matching regex $re.

  • Interface to enable faster lookup/caching





Call $code for each word in the list. The code will receive the word as its first argument.

$wl->pick($n = 1) => list

Pick $n (default: 1) random words from the list. If there are less then $n words in the list, only that many will be returned.

The algorithm used is from perlfaq ("perldoc -q "random line""), which scans the whole list once. The algorithm is for returning a single entry and is modified to support returning multiple entries.

$wl->word_exists($word) => bool

Check whether $word is in the list.

Algorithm is binary search (NOTE: not yet implemented, currently linear search).

$wl->all_words() => list

Return all the words in a list.


Please visit the project's homepage at


Source repository is at


Please report any bugs or feature requests on the bugtracker website

When submitting a bug or request, please include a test-file or a patch to an existing test-file that illustrates the bug or desired feature.


WordListC is just like WordList except it does not impose ascibetical sorting order requirement. You can sort the wordlist in whatever order you need.




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This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as the Perl 5 programming language system itself.