SINGAPORE – "Bojio", "kiasu" and "aiyah" – these are just some of the five-letter words that feature in Word-leh, the Singlish spin-off of viral online word game Wordle.
And it is becoming a sensation of its own, drawing more than 50,000 visitors to date, about a third of whom went on to actually play the game.
Its creator, New York-based Singaporean Sha-Mayn Teh, says in an e-mail interview: "I was very surprised that Word-leh spread so quickly. I made Word-leh to play with friends and suddenly there was pressure to have a solid word list.
"Once Word-leh got a thousand visitors, I decided to buy a nicer domain."
Ms Teh, who has a background in software engineering and has led engineering teams at Google and start-ups, used an open source clone of the original Wordle game to create Word-leh.
She sent it to friends on Feb 1 and released it to the public on Tuesday (Feb 8). By Wednesday afternoon, it was so popular that she relaunched on a new domain, word-leh.com.
Word-leh's gameplay is virtually identical to Wordle. Every day, players have six attempts to guess a five-letter word, with green blocks indicating a correctly placed guess, while yellow blocks mark out a correct letter in the wrong position.
But where Wordle uses common English words for its solutions, Word-leh invites participants to guess the secret Singlish word, from "makan" (eat) to "bojio" (no invitation/missing out).
Singapore actor Hossan Leong was an early ambassador of Word-leh. On Tuesday, he tweeted about it, inviting netizens here to try it out.