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Wordle's creator just revealed it's original name and people are freaking out

Wordle's creator just revealed it's original name and people are freaking out

It definitely wasn't as catchy as Wordle.

You might have played the odd game or two of Wordle, or maybe it's part of your daily routine.

Although the game was released in 2021, it wasn't until a year later that it took off on social media when it added a feature for people to share their performance with friends.

Wordle is as simple as it gets. Players have six guesses to figure out a random five-letter word. There are no clues so any word will do to start.

Letters in the word will turn green if they're in the right spot, yellow if the letters are in the word but you have them in the wrong position and grey if the letters aren't in the word at all.

You can't go wrong in that if you guess a word that's not in the dictionary, it won't let you enter it.

But did you know Wordle wasn't its original name?

NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty
NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty

When the creator Josh Wardle first started working on it in 2013, he had another name in mind that wasn’t quite as catchy.

'This is true: I was going to call Wordle, Mr. Bugs’ Wordy Nugz,' Wardle revealed during a presentation at Figma’s Config conference.

Showing a slide with the name in big yellow letters, he said: 'Had I called the game Mr. Bugs, I like to think it would not have been successful.'

Wardle originally wanted to make a game for his partner. He liked words and the game Mastermind, so combined the two in 2013.

His first prototype was for Android, and the main core elements of today's game were already there. However, obscure words like 'zizel' or 'yrneh' were included.

To whittle down the word list to a set of words that 'people could reasonably know,' Wardle created another game where you could press a button to say if you knew a word, didn’t know it, or maybe knew it. This helped him reduce the list from 13,000 to about 2,500 words.

NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty
NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty

He also kept refining the game’s design and tweaking certain features.

All this development happened in 2013, when he was also considering the name Mr. Bugs. But then, Wardle lost interest in the game and 'put it on the back burner' for six years.

In early 2020 (Covid-times), Wardle and his partner were playing a lot of The New York Times crossword and its Spelling Bee game.

In 2021, he built a version of what would become Wordle that lived in his personal domain.

A year later, The New York Times announced that it had bought Wordle from Wardle.

'I think this took a lot of people by surprise,' Wardle stated. 'It was a very clear decision for me to make to sell the game. I didn’t want to run a games business. I’m interested in creating things.'

Featured Image Credit: NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty