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The Wordle Phenomenon


Wordle is a phenomenon that has swept through social media and into the mainstream world. It is hard to log onto Twitter or Facebook without seeing those colored boxes of someone showing that they got the daily Wordle. The hype has only risen since the creator of Wordle announced that he had sold the game to the New York Times. This has struck the fear of a paywall coming between Wordle and all of the current and future players of the game. While it is still free-to-play here are three hints to help you keep that record 100%.

Wordle Gameplay

Courtesy of Wordle

The creator Josh Wardle, who is a software engineer, gifted this simple word game to his partner. He had no idea that it would blow up the way that it did. Wordle is a game that plays upon the vast number of 5 letter words in the English language. The player only gets 6 attempts in guessing what the daily 5 letter word is. The catch is, that the game helps by identifying when a player has gotten a letter that is in the 5 letter word of the day. If the letter is yellow then that letter is in the word but in the wrong spot. A greyed-out letter means a bust of that letter isn’t in the word of the day. It is the green letters that players are looking for. That means it is the right letter and in the right spot.


The English language is made up of 26 letters and 5 pure vowels (yes, Y is a pseudo vowel). The easiest approach is narrowing down the vowels. Once one vowel is knocked out, that also eliminates a lot of possible words that contain that vowel. Finding the vowels should be the first priority.

First Word

The first word is important. It can set up a player for success if it is a good hit. If using the logic above in figuring out the vowels, words like audio, irate, aired, thous, adieu, etc are good as they use.  Words with less likely letters such as ‘q’ or ‘z’ wouldn’t be as good for that first word.

Many players swear by the same first word for each game. There is that hope that someday the Wordle could be found in the first attempt, which is hard to do with all the possible 5 letter words out there in the English language.


This Wordle isn’t a game that relies on a huge vocabulary. Yes, that helps, but more necessary is logic skills. A player will not want to use a word that overlaps letters that already are greyed out, or a word that places a yellow letter in the same spot. There is also a logic to what letters to try and hit first such as common endings of ‘r,’ ‘s,’ ‘d,’ and ‘n.’ Letter combinations can also be a big hint. If a player found out that there is only one vowel, an I, in the word of the day then combinations of ‘-ight’ or ‘-ing’ might be a good guess. common pairings of ‘s/ch,’ ‘st,’ ‘p/f/bl,’ and ‘g/d/b/f/tr’ can be used if one of them is yellow or green.

Even picking a word that has none of the yellow or green letters to try and find other letters that are in the word or to grey out more letters is a good strategy in some situations.


Wordle continues to be a phenomenon. The integration of a simple spelling game has enchanted the world in such a high-stress time. This has also brought about many copycat game models of Wordle, but still, the one true Wordle still reigns supreme. Hopefully with the NYT  buying the game, it can continue to be a simple joy for many out there just looking for that 5 letter word of the day.

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