Wordle: A T-R-E-N-D Unlike Any O-T-H-E-R

Anna Gorman, Staff Writer

One unknown word. Five unknown letters. Two correct letters are now in the right spot. Five more tries to guess it. Four now. Three. Two. Last try. Hesitantly, almost begrudgingly, you press enter. All letters turn green. 

“Next Wordle,” the site says, following a timer ticking to midnight. 

Wordle, which was created in October 2021 by software engineer Josh Wardle as a gift for his word-game-loving girlfriend, now has over two million daily players and has become a worldwide obsession. People everywhere designate a few minutes each day to guess the five-letter word on the website. 

And, yes, “Wordle” is a play on Wardle’s name. 

The beloved word-guessing game was bought by The New York Times on Jan. 31 “for a price in the low seven figures,” the paper said in its article regarding the matter.  Because of this, its popularity has skyrocketed. 

Now, there is an abundance of sites dedicated to giving tips, tricks, hints and answers on the day’s Wordle. 

There are even some “spinoffs” of the game, which many students and teachers find just as enjoyable as the original. 

“Worldle,” for example, was created by 31-year-old web and video game developer Antoine Teuf as a “tribute” to Wordle, according to The Washington Post on an article about Wordle’s geographical counterpart. 

There are also non-official versions of Wordle for Marvel (“Marvel Wordle”), “Star Wars” (“SWordle”), “Harry Potter” (“Hogwartle”) and songs (“Heardle”). 

Sophomore Chloe Armas said she “plays lots of other versions of Wordle,” and the math version, “Nerdle,” is one of her favorites. 

“I like doing other variations of Wordle because I can get through the original [Wordle] pretty fast, so I like to do some more,” she said. “The [variations] like ‘Nerdle’ are really hard to get, so they are a nice challenge.” 

Armas’ Wordle obsession began in January when she saw a few of her friends playing and asked them to explain what they were doing. Before then, she didn’t play any word games. She said other games of the sort “seemed boring,” but for her, “Wordle is much more intriguing.” 

Freshman Nikki Ferrall also started playing it because of her friends, but also TikTok, and it has become a part of her schedule.  

“I usually do [the Wordle] during biology class,” she said, “and if not that, then in the morning when I wake up.” 

Like Armas, Ferrall hadn’t played any word games up until Wordle. 

What sets this simple browser game from other popular word games such as “Wordscapes,” “Scrabble” and “Word Cookies!” is its easy use of sharing results. 

This function is what got social studies teacher Emanual Manos into the game. He first learned about it through his friends, and now they have a Discord server dedicated just to Wordle. 

“[It has] a sort of social aspect to it,” he said. “I think that’s pretty much what’s kept me going with it.” 

Like Ferrall, Manos started playing Wordle just recently – a month ago – and it has become a natural part of his schedule ever since. He plays it in the morning to “help me wake up,” he said. 

Wordle has taken the school (and the world) by storm. It has become a part of students and teachers’ daily lives and has mounted to several “spin-offs” of itself being made every day following its buying from The New York Times. 

Whatever the answer for the day’s Wordle is, it leaves students and teachers thinking, entertained and constantly craving the new riddle each morning. 

“I think just having a fun way of jogging my brain and comparing [my answers] to my friends’ attempts is super fun,” said Armas. “It’s a new intriguing challenge every day.”