You’re Not A True ‘Wordle’ Connoisseur Until You Start With The Scientifically Proven Worst Word



If the daily five letter word guess has gotten too easy for you, may we suggest a new challenge? Try starting your Wordle with the scientifically proven worst first word.

What is that word, you ask? Why, it’s the consonant-laden “xylyl,” of course!

TikTok user @crvlwanek, whose name is Chris, wrote and ran a computer script that helped determine the most terrible way to start a game of Wordle. Inspired by user @linguisticdiscovery – who recommends in his own video that the best starting word is “irate” – Chris actually wanted more concrete proof of the best first move.

“I copied over the entire [word] list into a JSON file,” said Chris in the video. “And then I made a quick script to load all the words, calculate the frequencies of each letter, score each word based on the frequencies of the letters in the word, and then calculate the most optimal starting word.”

The script found that the proven optimal first word is actually “later.” But in discovering the best word, Chris also found the worst word. While he doesn’t address “xylyl” in his first video, data fans quickly asked for the update, prompting him to scroll to the end of his calculated list for the big reveal.

A “xylyl,” in case you were wondering, is “any of several isomeric monovalent radicals C8H9 derived from the three xylenes by removal of a hydrogen atom,” according to Merriam-Webster.

Other data-minded viewers also called out Chris’s initial calculation method, noting the need to account for letter position as well as frequency. Chris amended his script, and has made several versions that use both the sum and the product of frequency and position in order to find the best and worst word.

In these scripts. the best word seems to be either “saree” or “sooey.” He also mentions “soare” to be a good candidate, as it appears highly in all versions. The other worst word candidates include “imshi” and “aflaj.”

Regardless of best word controversy, it seems pretty certain that “xylyl” will not lead you down a quick road of success. But hey, if you do choose to start with it, you’re gonna look pretty incredible the one day it’s actually the word.


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