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Thursday 23rd May 2013 /
When the presents have been unwrapped, the turkey has been scoffed and there’s hours of ‘quality time’ with the family stretching out before you – what do you do? Why not make like the Victorians and try a wordy parlour game?
A guessing game, similar to ‘Twenty Questions’ in which a player thinks of a word and starts by telling the others a word that rhymes with it. For example, if the word is dog, “I’m thinking of a word that rhymes with log”. The others try and guess the word by asking questions, but the first player’s answer must rhyme with his/her previous word. So, for example:
"Is it related to a pig?"
"No, it's not a hog."
“Is it a type of weather?”
“No, it’s not fog.”
This continues until the right word is guessed. Got it? No, neither have we.
Slightly simpler than Crambo… The first player begins by saying, "My Grandmother keeps a (word beginning with 'a') in her trunk." The next player continues: "My Grandmother keeps a (word beginning with ‘a’) and a (word beginning with 'b') in her trunk," and so on through the alphabet. It’s a test of memory – and a great way to fill time before the Great Escape rerun…
Also known as Dictionary or the Dictionary Game, this involves players guessing the definition of obscure words – taken at random from the dictionary by each player.
Every person writes down the real definition and then makes up two or three additional meanings. The other players have to guess which definition is correct. Points are awarded for every person who is fooled. Or you could just play Balderdash.
Many Victorian games involved the loser paying a forfeit. Here are a few word-related examples:
Forfeits for gentlemen
Say half-a-dozen flattering things to a lady without using the letter L.
Play the Dumb Orator – while another person recites a speech, the gentleman must furiously act out the emotions that are being recited.
Forfeits for ladies
Repeat a proverb backwards.
Stand in the middle of the room, and spell ‘opportunity’. If, after the lady has spelt the word out loud, a gentleman can reach her before she regains her seat, he may take the ‘opportunity’ to kiss her under the mistletoe.