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What Is Guano? Some Wordle Players Complain Today's Word Stinks

What Is Guano? Some Wordle Players Complain Today's Word Stinks
Kevin Dowling
By Kevin Dowling
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Today's Wordle Word was quite hard to find if you are not a fertilizer or a bird expert. If you are a regular if this game it must have taken you quite some time to find guano.

The New York Times chose an unusual and weird word on this 27th of March 2023. It caused a little bit of controversy.

What is Guano?

According to Encyclopedia Britannica it is an uncountable noun that means: 'accumulated excrement and remains of birds, bats, and seals.' The website has also a longer and more detailed definition which explains where the birds are from and where you can see guano:

Bird guano comes mainly from islands off the coasts of Peru, Baja (Lower) California, and Africa heavily populated by cormorants, pelicans, and gannets. Bat guano is found in caves throughout the world. Seal guano has accumulated to great depths on the Isla Lobos de Tierra and Islas Lobos de Afuera (Lobos Islands), off North- Western Peru.

It is most commonly used as a very effective fertilizer. Those excrements contain nitrogen, potassium and phosphate. They are all three very important elements for plant growth.


It can also be used to produce gunpowder and explosive materials. However it is less common and fertilizer is its main function.

Where does the word come from?

Oxford Languages has studied the etymology of this word and it comes from the Quechua huanu language. It was first called 'dung'. In the 1600's it became 'huanu' under the Latin American Spanish. Not so long after that, it became 'guano' in the early 17th century in both Latin American Spanish and Spanish. The word hasn't changed since then.


From their studies, Oxford Languages have established that the word was most used in the middle of the 17th century. It reached it's peak in the 1850's. It slowly became unused and is now nearly forgotten in most cultures and countries.

You learn something new everyday and this is your new word for today! You will probably not use this word often but at least you'll be able to explain what it is!

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