Lewdle is the latest wordle style game with just obscene words
- Screenwriter Gary Whitta was inspired by the success of the viral game Wordle.
- He wanted to put his own spin on it, so his version only features obscene five-letter words.
- Whitta said Lewdle had more than 800,000 daily players rushing to guess the NSFW word of the day.
When screenwriter Gary Whitta began to see more and more people sharing a grid of colored squares on social media, he was fascinated.
The images depicted people’s scores on Wordle, the viral guessing game that has taken Twitter by storm. After being sucked into the game himself, Whitta, who worked on the movie “Rogue One” and the Disney show “Star Wars Rebels,” started thinking about ways to put a different spin on it.
What emerged was the latest in a line of games inspired by Wordle, but with a twist: Whitta’s version, which he created with the game developer Adam Nickerson, contains only coarse words. Obscene players have six chances to guess a different obscene five-letter word each day, most of which are colloquial terms for genitalia or sex acts.
“A lot of times my mind goes to these kinds of lewd, lewd places, and I don’t think I’m the only one,” Whitta said. “I think rude words bring out the inner child in all of us.” After discovering that “Sweardle” was already taken, Lewdle was born.
Whitta told Insider that he and Nickerson were inspired by Wordle’s huge success, saying it was “lightning in a bottle.”
Brooklyn-based software engineer Josh Wardle originally invented Wordle as a game for his partner, but he took it public in October 2021. It now has three million daily players, as reported by “The Conversation,” and it tends frequently on Twitter, where people can share their results without revealing the word.
—Jane Merrick (@janemerrick23) January 28, 2022
Lewdle is also making waves on social media. According to Whitta, after less than a week of existence, Lewdle has 880,000 daily players. During an interview with Insider on January 27, Whitta said that 10,000 people were playing the game in real time, and a quick search on Twitter brings up hundreds of results from people enjoying the irreverent nature of the game.
—Jared Linden (@jaredlinden) January 28, 2022
—(((Whale Princess))) (@PrincesaBallena) January 27, 2022
—PineKona 🌲 (@KonaSlater) January 24, 2022
Lewdle was a joint effort. As Nickerson built the game’s technical backend, Whitta and his wife began compiling an extensive glossary of rude words. This is a more difficult task than it first appears, since most obscene words are four letters long, while the format requires five letters.
To continue the game, Lewdle uses words from different dialects, including the UK, where Whitta grew up. At times, this has perplexed American players of the game, such as on January 27, when Lewdle’s word of the day was “minge”, a British slang term for female genitalia and pubic hair.
—Tampa Bay Gamer (@TampaBayGamer) January 28, 2022
Whitta said the UK is his second-largest user base, just behind the US, which doesn’t surprise him because “Brits love swear words”.
Even allowing for regional slang, Lewdle is still at a disadvantage – the original Wordle has an almost infinite number of words to choose from, whereas Lewdle will run out of words much faster. But Whitta says he’s not too worried about it. “Wordle will have a much longer lifespan, but how long can Lewdle reasonably be expected to last? It’s kind of a novelty, isn’t it?” he said.
“In a few weeks, the next shiny object the internet hangs in front of us will arrive, so I’m not worried there’s an infinitely long dictionary of words,” Whitta said. “We’re getting closer to a million users in a week, so it’s been really, really fun no matter what happens next.”
For more stories like this, check out Insider’s digital literacy team coverage here.