5 Times “Wordle” Has Improved Our Vocabulary

Upon it’s release in 2020, Josh Wardle’s online “Wordle” game continues to trend into 2022. This simple yet addicting game of guessing a 5 letter password has induced daily “Wordlers” who play in hopes of keeping their streak. Some puzzles were relatively straightforward while others were obscure to the point of unknown. Here are 5 examples of Wordle puzzles that may not have only broken streaks but unlocked a new world of the English language:

“Caulk” (Wordle #242): For anybody not from the United Kingdom, Wordlers were greeted with a confusing word for #242: “Caulk”. Caulk is defined as “A waterproof filler used in building work and repairs”. It is similar to cement or glue, a tar-like substance. Still, many players admitted to losing their streaks, not to mention the rare ending combination of LK

“Epoxy” (Wordle #280): Aside from J and Z, X is the most uncommon letter in the Wordle dictionary. Not only that, but the word chosen for #280 was “Epoxy”-a term that only scientists would appreciate. The OED defines epoxy as “a class of adhesives that are poymers of epoxides”. We are just as confused by this definition as you are. Yet Wordlers faced with this confusing word were not pleased with their result.

“Smite” (Wordle #370): Smite is simply defined as “the act of hitting someone”. However, most people refer to this act as “spanking” or “striking”. This is not to be confused with “smitten” which means essentially the opposite: “being in love”. Fortunately, the letters in this word is quite common leading Wordlers to brute force answers until the letters turned green.

“Egret” (Wordle #378): An egret is a type of bird mostly found in the Southernmost region of Mexico (a picture is shown below). For those who don’t birdwatch or are not adapted to that region, this word is practically unknown-or, at the very least, it’s a word nobody even thought about. Like “Smite”, these letters are rather ordinary, including the repeated E. Now excuse us while we search for these white majestic creatures.

“Parer” (Wordle #454): Arguably the Wordle that broke the most streaks, Internet outrage spiked when the game threw such a word at them. In fact, only 40% of all Wordle players successfully guessed this word. Even the online dictionary did not include “parer”, but the OED defines it as “a sharp blade or tool used for cutting fruit”. Despite WordPress marking this word as misspelled, this is an official word and it ended over 60% of people’s streaks. Yikes!

Whether we win or lose, these are five examples of Wordle improving our vocabulary (and our parents said games make us dumber!). There is almost nothing more satisfying than seeing those 5 letters turn green, especially one virtually unknown to others. Wordle on!

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