The Worst Wordle Words That Only Hinder Your Game

Awful Wordle words in gray squares

Adapted from Getty Images

Wordle is a simple game that requires a lot of thought and strategy. You need to know the best word to play and exactly when to play it. Learning the proven best Wordle words will help you, but so will learning what are the worst Wordle words to start with. Sometimes, the best way to succeed is to know what not to do. Or, in Wordle’s case, what not to spell.

You only have six chances to solve Wordle each day. No matter what Wordle-like game you’re playing, your turns are precious. They’re limited resources. That’s why you’ll want to avoid playing the worst Wordle words

The Worst of the Best Wordle Words

Frankly, there are some supposedly “good” Wordle words that really aren’t that good at finding the daily Wordle answer. To identify the worst Wordle words that some people think are the “best,” we used Startle. Developed by software engineer Steve Hodges, Startle analyzes all playable Wordle words to determine in what percentage of games you can expect to get at least one yellow or green square.

The Worst Wordle Words Everyone Thinks Are Great

See these starting words for Wordle that some people seem to think are the best? It turns out they could be the worst Wordle words to start your game. You can certainly do better.

List of the worst Wordle wordsList of the worst Wordle words
  • About

  • Bacon

  • Beach

  • Blahs

  • Could

  • Fight

  • Hasty

  • Horns

  • Match

  • Mount

  • Quest

  • Thins

  • Train

  • Truck

  • Until

  • World

  • Worst

After compiling a list of 116 valid words that players regularly use and suggest as good first words in Wordle, we ran them through Startle to see their scores. On average, these best starting words in Wordle got at least one green square 35% of the time and at least one yellow square 74% of the time. As you can see, all of these recommended starting words score below both of these averages

A very popular Wordle starting word early on was "adieu." It gets at least one green square just 29% of the time, though you'll find at least one yellow square 83% of the time.

The Good-But-Not-Great Wordle Words

These are the Wordle first words that, if you’ve been using them, you will want to replace with some better starters. Some words have high chances of finding either green or yellow letters, but if you want to find words with both yellow and green, you’ll want to look elsewhere. 

Here are a few examples:

  • Ideas

  • Quote

  • Rants

  • Short

  • Spicy

  • Trace

Though they aren’t the worst Wordle words, you should consider replacing these starting words if you’ve been using them.

The Worst of the Worst Wordle Words

Now that you know what the dangerous “good” Wordle words are, it’s time to look at the words that should never see play. By using the same process as we did for the words above, we found the absolute worst Wordle words you could ever use at the start of a game.

The 10 worst words to play in WordleThe 10 worst words to play in Wordle
  • Fuffy: “Fuffy” is another way to say something is light, puffy, or generally airy. In Wordle, it’s a great way to waste a turn by using a fairly obscure word with only three letters in it.

  • Fuzzy: If something is “fuzzy,” it is similar to or covered with fuzz. “Fuzzy” can also describe something that is blurred or obscured in some way. This second definition is fitting here, as playing this word in Wordle will only make it harder to figure out what the answer is.

  • Immix: As a verb, to immix means to blend or mix things together thoroughly. If you feel like putting your Wordle win streak through a metaphorical blender, by all means, play immix.

  • Jeeze: Use this exclamation as a replacement for your favorite curse words. “Jeeze” expresses surprise, annoyance or frustration. So, for the worst words in Wordle, this is one you can use and then promptly shout.

  • Jugum: For certain insects, the “jugum” is a yoke-like structure that joins their forewings to their hind legs. So, that means “jugum” is a word pertaining to bugs that will really bug you if you play it in Wordle. 

  • Phpht: Here we have one of the rare words without vowels or even a Y. “Phpht” is an interjection used to show annoyance. While such a consonant-heavy word might be useful in most cases, “phpht” having two sets of repeating letters plummets its utility in Wordle.

  • Pzazz: “Pzazz” is anything with flair, flamboyance or style. It’s an alternate spelling of the word “pizzazz.” Unfortunately, the use of three Z’s makes playing this word in Wordle anything but stylish. 

  • Qajaq: Simply, “qajaq” is the original version of the word “kayak,” a type of small canoe. Fun fact: Reddit user “sirry” created a program to deduce some of the worst starting words in Wordle. Their findings shows that “qajaq” and “immix” are two of the worst Wordle words you can play.

  • Xylyl: Yes, “xylyl” is a real word. It’s a term used in organic chemistry for “any of several univalent radicals” that are “derived from the three isomers of xylene.” No, we don’t know which poor Wordle player tried it first. What we do know is that software engineer Chris Van Lanen-Wanek ran a program to check the frequency scores of Wordle to find the worst word. Our new friend “xylyl” here was the winner of the losers. 

  • Zizit: “Zizit” are the fringes or knotted tassels on the corners of a tallit. A tallit is a type of shirt worn by orthodox Jewish men. With double Z’s and double I’s wasting one of your turns, you’ll be on the fringes of your sanity if you play this word in Wordle. 

Or Should You Play These Words?

Would you like to make solving your Wordle puzzles harder for no reason? Now, at first, that might sound like a terrible idea, but there is some merit to the idea. For instance, maybe Wordle’s hard mode isn’t hard enough for you. Why not challenge yourself by using the words you know won’t be of much help? It’s a flex, as they say. 

From the Worst Words to the Best Hints

Now that you know the worst five-letter words for Wordle, along with Wordle words that might not be as good as you assume, you can avoid them (or use them for an extra challenge). 

Of course, sometimes, even the best starting words won’t guarantee an easy win. Some Wordle puzzles have truly tricky answers. If you play your best words and still can’t figure out the answer, go to our daily Wordle hints page for some guidance. There you will find multiple clues to solve each day’s Wordle. They’re enough to lead you to the solution while still letting you solve it on your own.

Zac Pricener has been a content creator for the past eight years. He’s a bit of an all-around nerd, and he has a bad habit of working movie and TV show references into conversations whenever possible.