New York Times removes some offensive words from Wordle

More words may be removed as well.

Screengrab via Wordle

In the four months since Wordle launched, the web-based game has become a big hit. The New York Times Company, seemingly recognizing that, acquired Wordle in January 2022 and migrated the game over to its website recently.

One fear fans of the game had after hearing about the acquisition by The New York Times was that the media giant would fundamentally change—or “ruin”—the game. While that hasn’t happened yet, The New York Times has made its first noticeable change to Wordle: it has removed specific offensive words from the game’s word list.

Words often used as gendered slurs—such as “bitch,” “whore,” and “sluts”—have been removed from the game, as first reported by Polygon. That means any time players attempt to use those words, the guess will not be allowed and the player will have to make another guess from a word in the game’s giant word list.

Many potentially offensive or vulgar words remain in Wordle, although quite a few of those words may end up being removed as well.

“Offensive words will always be omitted from consideration,” a representative from The New York Times told 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.”

The New York Times rarely publishes profane language, so it likely comes as no surprise to readers that Wordle would be changed in this manner. Depending on what it deems offensive, however, it should be interesting to see how players react to the removal of words they might use to correctly guess the word of the day.