Zyzzyva: The Last Word in Word Study

The premier word learning program in the App Store!

Get Zyzzyva!
Normally US $4.99. Now $0.99 for a limited time! Includes Quiz, Search, and Judge functions; Cardbox Management; Dropbox Sync; Custom Lexicon Import; and Lexicon Symbols.

VERY IMPORTANT: If you will sync your quiz data between the iPhone app and desktop program: READ THIS TUTORIAL!

The Zyzzyva app is a useful tool for players of all word games. It allows you to practice anagramming with quizzes, check the validity of words instantly, and find words with pattern and anagram matching. The Zyzzyva desktop program has been used by top Scrabble® players for many years, and the Zyzzyva app brings a portion of its power to your iPhone!

Zyzzyva uses a spaced-repetition Cardbox system to help you improve your anagramming skills. With the Cardbox system, Zyzzyva quizzes you frequently on words that you have difficulty with, and quizzes you less frequently on words you can anagram easily. You can also sync your Cardbox quiz data between the iPhone app and the Zyzzyva desktop program. This is done by using Dropbox, a free service for keeping your files synchronized across devices (iOS 4+ only).

The app comes with several word lists, including OWL2 for North American club and tournament Scrabble®, OSPD4 for school Scrabble®, and WWF for playing Words With Friends. It also allows you to download your own custom word lists, and create special symbols to denote words that are specific to a particular word list.

The Zyzzyva app is already a powerful tool to improve your anagramming, and more great features are currently in the works. Look for many improvements coming in the near future!

If your favorite word list is not included with the app, you can add it as a custom word list by downloading it from a plain-text file. I've placed downloadable versions of all the existing Zyzzyva lexicons in this directory for your convenience:



Word Judge





Wildcards and Lexicon Symbols

Multiple conditions


About (with Credits)


Special thanks to the following people!

Executive Producers


  • Australian Scrabble Players Association (Victoria) Inc.
  • Australian Scrabble Players Association Western Australia Inc.
  • Dorcas Alexander
  • Zana Anderson
  • Leesa Berahovich
  • Evan Berofsky
  • Graham Bonham
  • Arthur Braden
  • Laurie Cohen
  • Thomas Conrad
  • Ben Dweck
  • Max Dwyer
  • Becky Dyer
  • Janet Elliott
  • Lynda Finn
  • Jane & Jim Fischer
  • Barbara Floyd
  • Sue Gable
  • Scott Garner
  • Geoff Gibson
  • Marie Gier
  • Trevor Halsall
  • John Hamilton
  • Scott Hawkins
  • Karl Higby
  • Linda Hoggatt
  • Risa Horowitz
  • Stewart Houten
  • Cynthia Hughes
  • Dallas Johnson
  • Tina Totten King
  • Rachel Knapp
  • Jim Laris
  • Andrew Laurence
  • Mina Le
  • Chris Lipe
  • Rod MacNeil
  • Maliha Mahmood
  • Ed Martin
  • Chris May
  • Rose and David May
  • Gary Moss
  • Sandy Nang
  • Judy Newhouse
  • Damian O'Malley
  • Steve Perry
  • Scott Pianowski
  • Marilyn Pomeroy
  • Joan Rosenthal
  • Christopher Ross
  • Sherrie Saint John
  • Frederick Schneider
  • Puneet Sharma
  • Rebecca Slivka
  • Scott Smith
  • Mike Stevens
  • Shelley & Jason Ubeika
  • Linda Wancel
  • David Webb
  • Rodney Weis
  • Erika Werdal


  • Stan Angrist
  • Richard Blakeway
  • Bets Brown
  • Jacob Cohen
  • Robin Daniel
  • Maureen Delgado
  • Diane Firstman
  • Kate Fukawa-Connelly
  • William Gallagher
  • Cornelia Guest
  • Stewart Holden
  • Ravee Joradol
  • David Lewis
  • Celine McCart
  • Mary Pastore
  • Mary Rhoades
  • Marut Siriwangso
  • Mark Smith
  • Flora Taylor
  • Kevin Turner
  • Dave Wiegand


  • Julie Brice
  • Anand Buddhdev
  • Jason Carney
  • Jesse Day
  • Paul Dundas
  • Merran Dunlop
  • Carolyn Easter
  • Stefan Fatsis
  • Paul Gallen
  • David Gilmore
  • Neil Green
  • Steve Grob
  • George Gruner
  • Chris Hall
  • Chris Hawkins
  • Jeremy Hildebrand
  • Heidi and Mark Hoopes
  • Cecilia Huber
  • Nicky Huitson
  • Jo Ann Ingram
  • Harvey Lichtblau
  • Susan Lichtblau
  • George MacAulay
  • Paul May
  • Jean McArthur
  • Heather McCall
  • Kenneth McGinness
  • Megan McMahon
  • Danny Mc Mullan
  • Laura Moyer
  • Bríd Ní Bhriain
  • Trip Payne
  • Noelle Pease
  • GeneRawlins
  • James Rossiter
  • Chris Schneider
  • Rakesh Sharma
  • Stephanie Steele
  • Elizabeth Terry
  • Laura Thomley
  • Ulla Trappe, Germany
  • Andy Williams
  • Benjemin Wilson
  • William Woodward


How can I contact you?

Feel free to email me with any questions or comments at mthelen at gmail dot com.

How much does the Zyzzyva app cost?

The full Zyzzyva app is available for US $4.99 in the App Store. It includes Quiz, Search, and Judge functions; Cardbox Management; Dropbox Sync; Custom Lexicon Import; and Lexicon Symbols.

The Zyzzyva Lite app is available for free in the App Store. It includes Search and Judge functions; Custom Lexicon Import; and Lexicon Symbols.

Why doesn't the Zyzzyva app include Feature X?

I promised to complete the initial version of the Zyzzyva app by the end of 2011, and I did so. However, in meeting this deadline, some features had to remain temporarily unimplemented due to time constraints. Here is a list of some features that did not make it into the initial release. I plan to implement them all very soon. If Feature X is on this list, please be patient. It will be here soon.

  • Syncing of saved quiz files with the desktop
  • Database-centric searches like Probability Order and Playability Order
  • Word definitions
  • Movable tiles on the quiz screen (non-Flashcard Mode)
  • Landscape orientation
  • Support for lexicons with non-ASCII characters
  • Native iPad interface
  • Automatic sync, as opposed to the current manual sync
  • Nice UI improvements like pinch/stretch to zoom, etc.

How do I sync the Zyzzyva app with my desktop version of Zyzzyva?

The Zyzzyva app can sync quiz data, including cardbox data, with the desktop version of Zyzzyva using Dropbox. See this tutorial for more information about how to sync your Zyzzyva app with the desktop version of Zyzzyva.

Will improvements in the Zyzzyva app make it back into the desktop version of Zyzzyva?

In the course of writing the Zyzzyva app, I have made some fundamental improvements that will also be ported to the Zyzzyva desktop program. I plan for these improvements to be available in Zyzzyva 3.

Will you start charging for the desktop version of Zyzzyva now?

Nope, I plan for the desktop version of Zyzzyva to always be free.

Will the Zyzzyva app run on my Android, BlackBerry, or Palm device?

Unfortunately, no. At some time in the future, I may look into creating versions of Zyzzyva for those devices. For right now, the Zyzzyva app will only work on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Will you create a separate iPad app?

I would like to create an iPad-specific version of the Zyzzyva app in the near future. For now, you can run the iPhone app on the iPad in compatibility mode. The app will run in a small iPhone-sized window, and can be expanded to use the full screen by clicking the 2x button.

Should I tell everyone I know about this project?

Yes, please!

Copyright Notice

Copyright of the Zyzzyva and Zyzzyva Lite apps belongs to Boshvark Software, LLC.

Copyright 2011 Boshvark Software, LLC. All rights reserved.

David Sinclair's DSActivityView class is used by the Zyzzyva apps. Copyright notice:

Created by David Sinclair on 2009-07-26.
Copyright 2009-2011 Dejal Systems, LLC. All rights reserved.

Graham Toal and Richard Hooker's dawgutils package forms the basis of the word graph generation code in the Zyzzyva apps. Copyright notice:

Copyright 1989 Graham Toal & Richard Hooker

If you're interested in improving your Scrabble game, check out the Scrabble Player's Handbook, a free ebook written by a dozen of the best tournament players in the world!

If you find Zyzzyva useful, I would be very happy to receive a donation via PayPal, which you can do by clicking the button below. Thank you for your support!

This web site was designed and written by Michael Thelen. All markup code and text on this web site are Copyright © 2004-2013 Michael Thelen. All rights reserved.