Wordle Tips: Most Common Letters in 5-Letter Words

During our daily Wordle games, it can be a bit tempting to go off the beaten path and guess a word that has letters like X or Q. It’s the equivalent of throwing a hail mary on the first play of a football game. Sure, it will look really cool if it works, but the chances of it being successful are slim. With that in mind, you want to make the best guess that you can from the start so that you’re not wasting those precious early entries.

There are certain letters that pop up much more frequently than others, and those should be the ones that you aim for first. The next step would be to figure out the location of each of these letters. Which letters are the most common, though? Some of them are likely very obvious while there are also some surprisingly common letters.

Obviously, the letters A and E are the most commonly used for any word length, with A being the king of the alphabet. Is it really shocking? After all, A is the first letter overall, and naming the first President of the United States is much easier than naming the 15th off the top of your head (it’s James Buchanan, by the way).

Of all of the five-letter words out there, more than half of them contain the letter A. Coming in second place is the letter E, which shows up in just under half of all five-letter words. As for the other vowels, things start to drop off rather quickly. O is the fourth most popular letter overall, appearing in just under one-third of five-letter words with the letter I just behind it. Finally, the letter U is the black sheep of the vowels, appearing in just over 20 percent of five-letter words.

So what about the consonants? In “Wheel of Fortune” you get the letters R, S, T, and L for free as part of the bonus round. Of those four consonants, S is the most common, followed by R, L, and then finally N. S is the third most common letter overall behind A and E, showing up in over 40 percent of Wordle-friendly words, while R is the only other consonant above 30 percent. L and N appear in about one-quarter of the words.

Now there’s the topic of placing these letters. The letter is the most frequent first one in a five-letter word, as well as being the most frequent last letter. A is the most frequent second letter, while E is far and away the most common fourth letter. As for that tricky middle letter, that’s where things get murky. R is the most frequent, but no one letter truly stands out. A, I, O, and E are all commonly used.

All in all, you could remember Aesop from the world of fables, except you’ll want to swap out the P for an R to remember the five most common letters. In fact, P should be one of your lesser guessed letters on your first Wordle try. That’s because P is in the bottom half of most frequent letters, showing up at 15th overall. 

The other big surprise letter is F, which ranks 20th in frequency. F is a four-point letter in Scrabble but is mainly used for longer words. As for the least common letters, you can probably guess the bottom five. In order toward the least frequent are V, Z, J, X, and Q, with the final letter appearing in just around one percent of five-letter words. Now you know which letters to look out for and where they should go. This should help propel your Wordle skills and get a streak going.

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