Can Wordle be a name? Rules of the online word game explained and what today’s answer means

Wordle has proven itself to be more than just a fad, and has embedded itself into people’s daily routines.

For the obsessives, those little green and yellow squares can set the tone for an entire day.

The dreaded X/6 and the end of a long streak? That’s a nightmare too terrifying to think about.

To avoid such horrors coming to life, it’s important you understand exactly how the game works – and vitally which types of words can be Wordle answers.

Here’s what you need to know.

What is Wordle?

Wordle is a simple word game that gives players six attempts to guess a five-letter word each day. There is a new word every day, and the word is the same for everybody.

The game now has millions of players, and has become instantly recognisable on social media, with people sharing their scores in the form of little green, yellow and white (or black if you’re playing on dark mode) squares.

Can names be Wordle answers?

No, names cannot be Wordle answers – at least not unless they have another meaning – so don’t go guessing things like COLIN and TANYA as they are not in the dictionary.

Many people were stumped by the Wordle 320 solution on Thursday 5 May – HOMER.

And while many will immediately associate that word with either The Simpsons or the poet who wrote The Iliad, depending on their disposition, it is also a noun that can be found in the dictionary.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines “homer” primarily as an informal American-English term for a “home run” in baseball.

Alternatively, it advises that in informal Scottish-English it can denote “a job that a tradesman does for a private customer in the customer’s home”.

Can Wordle answers be plural?

There is nothing from stopping Wordle answers from being plural.

However, none have been plural so far in 2022, suggesting either that the makers are choosing not to use plurals or that they are just very rare.

Three Wordle answers have ended in S in 2022, but they are FOCUS, REBUS and TRUSS.

Can Wordle answers use repeat letters?

Yes, Wordle answers often use repeat letters.

These Wordles often tend to be a little tricky, as players are hesitant to potentially waste a guess on a repeat letter, particularly early on.

Past examples of answers with repeat letters include COMMA, CHEEK, FEWER and AROMA.

Can Wordle answers be past tense?

Yes, Wordle can use past tense words – SHOWN was the Wordle 312 answer on 27 April, FOUND was the answer for the 282nd puzzle on 28 March and WRUNG was the answer for puzzle 225 on 30 January.

However, these are the only three past tense words in 2022 so far, suggesting they are quite rare.

Keep in mind that if you guess a repeat letter and get both in the wrong place, one will turn yellow and the other will be grey, which can potentially be confusing.

Can Wordle answers use American spellings?

Yes, Wordle does use American spellings – something that has frustrated UK players before.

Previous examples include HUMOR and FAVOR.

If you find yourself stumped, keep in mind that the answer could be a US spelling.

UK wordlers did get a bit of payback on the 250th puzzle, when BLOKE was the answer – a word barely used in the US.

How do I play Wordle?

You can play Wordle online, either on a computer or mobile device, right here.

Start by inputting a five-letter word and hitting enter.

The letters will then either turn green, yellow or stay blank.

Here’s what those colours mean:

  • Green – you have put the right letter in the right spot
  • Yellow – the letter is in the word, but in a different spot
  • Blank – the letter is not in the word

You can use your previous guesses to inform your next guess, and attempt to guess the word within six attempts.

Once you have finished the game will give you the option to share your score on social media.

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Are there any tips for winning?

Everyone has their own strategies, but there are a few golden rules worth remembering if you want the best chance of winning.

First, you want to start with words that contain a lot of common letters. Many players like to use a lot of vowels early, as well as common consonants like R, S and T.

Various experts, from linguistics professors to mathematicians and computer scientists, have weighed in on what the best starting word is.

A computer scientist who goes by the name of crvlwalnek on TikTok looked into Wordle’s source file to analyse the frequency of each letter in winning answers, and found the best starting word was “later”.

Other starters people have vouched for include:

  • Irate
  • Stare
  • Arise
  • Arose
  • Learn
  • Soare
  • Samey

Another good tip is not to use duplicate letters early on. For example, starting with a word like “awake” is not optimal, as it uses two As.

Sometimes you may want to ignore your previous guesses to eliminate some letters. However, Wordle also has a “hard mode” which stops you from doing this. You can access this by hitting the settings icon in the top right.

Finally, it is important to think about common conventions when guessing words. For example, there are lots of words that end in -ICK or start with an SH-. Go through the alphabet while making your guesses and see what works phonetically, and you’ll be rewarded with those satisfying green squares.

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