Wordle Editor Admits: The Game May Run Out of Words by 2027

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Key Takeaways

  • Wordle editor Tracy Bennett discusses a potential vocabulary crisis, with only about 2300 five-letter words remaining in the game's database.
  • The New York Times, which acquired Wordle in 2022, has been adding new words to expand the list of potential solutions.
  • Bennett considers recycling previously used words to ensure Wordle's longevity, amidst speculation on the game's future and comparisons to other word games.

The famous word game Wordle might face a vocabulary crisis, admits its editor, Tracy Bennett.

This concern came to light during a recent TikTok chat, where a user worried about the limited number of five-letter words available for the game.

Wordle, which relies on a database of five-letter words for its daily puzzles, has around 2,300 words left in the database. However, Bennett noted that she is continually adding words to the database.

Initially developed by Josh Wardle, Wordle began with a list of 2,315 solutions that Wardle and his partner curated. They also had a broader collection of 10,000 words that could be guessed but never used as answers. When the New York Times acquired Wordle in 2022, Bennett’s team removed some solutions deemed too obscure or controversial, bringing the total down to 2,309.

Bennett has also introduced new words like GUANO, SNAFU, BALSA, and KAZOO, and promises a few dozen more to be added in the coming years. Despite these additions, the game may exhaust its solutions by November 2027 if nothing more drastic is done.

What’s Next for Wordle?

This has led to speculation about Wordle’s future and how the New York Times might ensure its longevity. Bennett has suggested recycling old words as a solution, meaning previously used words could reappear as future answers.

The potential word shortage in Wordle has also brought attention to other popular word games and their sustainability. Games like Scrabble, Waffle, Boggle, and Words With Friends have a larger pool of words due to their allowance of words of varying lengths, but can this provide them with a seemingly endless supply of word combinations?