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Terrible news, Wordlers, you might end up seeing Wordle repeats soon, unless the NYT wants to start swearing at you

Oh, [censored]. The proverbial [censored] [censored] [definitely very censored] could hit the fan for word lovers in the near future.

A swear in Wordle.
Image credit: VG247/New York Times

Are you still waking up every day and doing a Wordle? First of all, I’m so sorry your life’s turned out this way, and second of all you might end up seeing some words you've seen before at some point in the near future. Why? Well, because middle class people have almost drained the entire English language of five-letter words, sort of.

Yes, that thing you started doing back when your brain wasn’t quite the same after the Pandemic hit and you wanted to develop an addiction that let you feel smarter than your Candy Crush-playing aunt or uncle, it’s still having to find new words to stick in front of you. Don’t worry though, its current stewards will find a way to keep doing that until the end of time.

As spotted by Eurogamer, the New York Times’ Wordle editor Tracy Bennett discussed the idea of planning around potentially running out of unused five-letter words in a recent TikTok Q&A session, the comments of which I assume were grammatically flawless. Bennett revealed that there are “only 2300+ words left” hanging about in the game’s database at current, though there have been some new words being added in recently.

So, what does this mean? Well, there’s no need to ring up the members of your book club or the people in your life that you pretend to be better than and tell them ‘I’m sorry, things have changed, person I actually hate, I’m not going to be able to randomly inject a milieu or a pulchritudinous into our chats, so I’m moving to Alaska’.

"One possibility is that we could recycle old words at some point, like when we get close to the end," Bennett explained, adding that allowing plurals or past tense words would be other options. I dunno about you, but I’m on the edge of my seat. One option that isn’t on the table is bringing back the swear words and other dodgy terms that the NYT has taken out since it took ownership of the puzzle game.

@thegamesteam Replying to @thornside3 tracy answers the question on everyone’s mind: what if we run out of words? #nytwordle #wordletok #nyt ♬ original sound - thegamesteam

While there are obviously going to be some candidates within that which definitely shouldn't be served to mild-mannered old people, people who act like mild-mannered old people, and, er, Connor Makar, I think adding the regular swears back in there would be better than repeats. Live a little. Learn to integrate the word f***s or c***s into your life a bit more.

Us Geordies and the Scots have been doing it for centuries, and you know we’re c***s worth emulating.

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Mark Warren avatar

Mark Warren

Senior Staff Writer

With 2 years' games media experience, Mark (he/him) has seen more mods for Bethesda games than any person ever should. You can often find him enjoying an RPG, getting too invested in Madden’s terrifying franchise mode, or crashing expensive virtual cars into things.