Wordle Will Run Out Of Words. What Then?

The New York Times Games team spoke about the topic.
Mike Kemp via Getty Images

It’s wild to think that Wordle, the New York Times’ iconic word game, will run out of five-letter material.

But of course, there are only so many words of that length ― what happens when they plough through them all?

In a recent NYT Games TikTok, Wordle editor Tracy Bennett responded to a comment which read “I’m worried that there’s only about 2,300 five-letter words. What are we going to do then?”

“Yes, there are only 2,300+ words left in the database,” she responded.

What will they do when they run out?

First of all, don’t panic yet ― given they’ll use one word a day, that should see us through for the next six-and-a-bit years.

And “I am still adding words to the database,” Bennett shared.

“I’ve added about 30 words, and there are other words that haven’t been added that could be added.”

Still, those won’t last forever. What’s the next step when all the available options have been spent?

One option is to recycle old words

Perhaps the most useful five-letter word the NYT could find in this scenario is “reuse.”

“One possibility is we could recycle old words,” Bennett suggested. “We could throw everything back in the pot and mix it up.”

She also suggested the publication could allow plurals or past tenses in the game ― “Wouldn’t that be interesting?” she asked.

“So there are some options.”

People had thoughts in the comments

“I think Wordle ending because we’ve run out of words would be such an interesting cultural event,” one commenter said.

″‘Added’ would be an evil Wordle,” another responded.

Still more people were shocked to learn that Wordle doesn’t allow past tenses already, while another commenter joked, “This is the new Y2K.”

So long as they don’t resort to emojis, as an April Fool’s Connections game did...


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

♬ original sound - thegamesteam