Wordle has filled the world with five letter words


Lauren Batterbee

This is the Wordle from a few days ago I luckily guessed on the third try.

Lettered tiles scattered across the table every time senior Rylie Beatty unzipped the yellow banana-shaped bag and flipped it upside down as she prepared to cream her family in a round of Bananagrams. 

As her tiles formed into words, she grew a love for word games—whether that means Bananagrams, Scrabble, or more recently, Wordle. 

“My family really likes word games,” Rylie said, “so my brothers will do Wordle. It just kind of goes along with the theme of word games that we play.”

Wordle was released to the public in October of 2021, made by Josh Wardle. In playing the game, one must guess a new five-letter word each day. Every day, the player gets six chances to guess the word. With each guess, they are told if the letters themselves and the placement of them are correct through a color-coding system of green, yellow, and grey. If the players don’t find the word within the six guesses, the answer is revealed.

“[Wordle] is a good way to get your brain thinking,” Rylie said, “and it’s fun. It can be kind of stupidly competitive between people, [with] different tries or something like that.” 

Since it is the same puzzle for everyone, people can compete against each other by reaching the word in the fewest number of guesses. Recently, the halls of FHC have been filled with people talking about the game and seeing if they figured out the word more quickly than their friends. 

“It [is] just kind of funny to see how everyone reacts,” Rylie said, “or listening to people in the hallway or seeing people’s stories on Snapchat. It’s just funny to watch other people and how they react to it.” 

Rylie’s classmate, senior Maurielle Hayes, is one she may often hear discussing the Wordle of the day, as Maurielle has never missed a game since she discovered it about a month ago. Not only is Maurielle dedicated to the daily attempts, but also, through her month-long quest, she has always been able to decipher the five-letter word out of the limited hints received.

Since she has fallen in love with it so much, Maurielle has found a similar game—Quordle. In this take on the game, it has most of the same rules, but the player has nine guesses, and with those nine guesses, they have to find four words, complicating the game even further.

Despite her winning streak and the challenge of the games, her competitiveness still shines through. 

If the rest of my family got [the word] in less tries than I did,” Maurielle said, “then I get upset. Quordle, I feel, is more competitive, but just for myself, because nobody else I know plays it.”

Despite her competitive side, Maurielle finds the fact that the game is limited to reduce the competition and make the game more fun.

“I feel like the fact that it’s only one a day makes it seem not competitive,” Maurielle said, “even though I’m a really competitive person. I like how not competitive it is. I can just do it leisurely, and there’s no pressure, so that makes it fun.”

Online teacher Andrew Belsito also finds the once-a-day aspect of Wordle to be one of the best parts about it, but he thinks so for the opposite reason of Maurielle.

“One of the things that makes it fun is that it’s very limited,” Belsito said. “You can only do it once a day, so there’s that aspect of like, you have to perform and feel the pressure of, ‘I wanna do well today.’ That kind of thing. I also think it’s fun because of the depth of different words that could be options.”

Not only does the once-a-day aspect of it entice him, but also the critical thinking required of the game.

“I enjoy the mental challenge,” Belsito said, “the stimulation of being able to go through all the different words that I know in my vocabulary and try to piece the puzzle of the word together.”

With the challenge of the game comes the popularity. Since January, the plays have increased, and the buzz of five letter words has spread to many people in the school.

“I think it’s funny how it’s a domino effect where it’s like, once one person hears about it and learns about it, they start asking other people, ‘Hey, have you heard about it?’ That kind of thing,” Belsito said. “So I think it’s funny how new trends like that start and become a snowball [with everyone talking], and then everyone knows about it.”