What Is ‘Wordle’? The Internet’s Latest Trend Explained

Chances are you’ve seen an influx of green, orange and grey squares across your social media channels in the past few weeks. At this point there aren’t likely many who haven’t to be honest.

For the uninitiated, Wordle is a word game that challenges players to guess a five letter word. It sounds simple enough, but it wasn’t until I started playing that I realised I didn’t actually know that many five letter words. 

Wordle ramps up the pressure by giving players five chances to guess the word. With each attempt you’ll learn which letters are in the word. If you pick a letter that happens to be in the wrong place, it will show up as orange. Find a letter that’s in the right position, it’ll turn green. Between those two mechanics, and learning which letters aren’t in the word, you have to deduct what the word is. 

One of the most interesting aspects of Wordle is that there is only one word available each day. Once you’ve solved that day’s word, you’ll have to wait till the beginning of the next day to get involved again. This creates a nice sense of urgency that keeps me looking forward to the next reset. It’s also incredibly accessible, playable from just about every device going. This means you can slowly chip away at it while working from your PC, or give it your best try during the morning commute. 

Where did Wordle come from? 

Wordle is the brainchild of Reddit engineer Josh Wurdle. The engineer launched the game back in October last year, but it has really taken off in the past few weeks since Wordle added the ability to share results. The clever method of sharing show’s how players figure out doesn’t spoil what the answer is. This is where the green, yellow and grey blocks come into play on social media.

If you’re impatient, there’s already a version which can be endlessly refreshed. Github Software Engineer Katherine Peterson developed her own spin on the title for her brother. While I personally prefer the flow of only playing once a day, Wordle is surprisingly additive. Which is why I’m not surprised to see there’s a demand for it. You can download Katherine’s endlessly refreshing Wordle by clicking here

The ability to share your results from playing Wordle is probably one its most exciting features. There’s almost a shared competitive element to seeing how quickly you can guess the word correctly. Unless you are like me of course. My Twitter is filled with people who get it in three or less tries,while I typically use the full five attempts. Here’s hoping I get better in time. 


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[Featured Image Credit: Josh]