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Ah, sh*ts: 'Wordle' is phasing out NSFW words

Curse while you can.
By Alison Foreman  on 
A smartphone showing a person playing Wordle.
Credit: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

If it's NSFW, it's not safe for Wordle. Following the sale of Josh Wardle's popular online puzzle game to the New York Times, certain words have been removed from the game's dictionary. It's the first move in a multi-step process to prevent offensive guessing.

"Offensive words will always be omitted from consideration," a representative for the New York Times told Mashable via email (h/t Polygon). "As we have just started Wordle’s transition to The Times website, we are still in the process of removing those words from the game play."

Plenty of naughty guesses can be played for now, including obvious classics like "DICKS" and "SHITS." But some words that can be read as derogatory no longer register as allowable guesses. This includes a slew of sexist insults and/or compliments, such as the commonly used "BITCH." Try it and Wordle will respond with a screen-shaking "Not in word list" notice, before forcing you to guess again.

A screenshot from 'Wordle' showing that you cannot guess some curse words.
Credit: Screenshot: Wordle

It's unclear how Wordle's new management is defining "offensive" and we don't know when the dirty dictionary audit will be complete. (A representative for the New York Times declined to comment on either matter.) But the decision poses interesting questions about censorship and the gatekeeping of language, especially considering it comes from one of the world's foremost newsrooms.

Those looking for another puzzler to give their "FUCKS" to should try out Lewdle. This variation on Wordle challenges players to guess "rude" five-letter words in six tries or fewer; think "BOOBS" or "BALLS." Alternatively, there's the cursing-focused Sweardle, which uses four-letter swear words (e.g."CRAP") and gives you up to four guesses.

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