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Word games

Popular in this category (21)

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Anagram

An anagram is a word or phrase formed by rearranging the letters of a different word or phrase, typically using all the original letters exactly once. For example, the word anagram can be rearranged into nag a ram, or the word binary into brainy.

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Scrabble

Scrabble is a word game in which two to four players score points by placing tiles bearing a single letter onto a board divided into a 15×15 grid of squares. The tiles must form words that, in crossword fashion, read left to right in rows or downward in columns, and be included in a standard dictionary or lexicon.

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Spoonerism

A spoonerism is an error in speech in which corresponding consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched between two words in a phrase. These are named after the Oxford don and ordained minister William Archibald Spooner, who was famous for doing this.

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Chinese whispers

Chinese whispers is the British term for the game known as telephone in the United States. It is an internationally popular children's game. Players form a line, and the first player comes up with a message and whispers it to the ear of the second person in the line. The second player repeats the message to the third player, and so on. When the last player is reached, they announce the message they heard to the entire group. The first person then compares the original message with the final version. Although the objective is to pass around the message without it becoming garbled along the way, part of the enjoyment is that, regardless, this usually ends up happening. Errors typically accumulate in the retellings, so the statement announced by the last player differs significantly from that of the first player, usually with amusing or humorous effect. Reasons for changes include anxiousness or impatience, erroneous corrections, the difficult-to-understand mechanism of whispering, and that some players may deliberately alter what is being said to guarantee a changed message by the end of the line.

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Mad Libs

Mad Libs is a phrasal template word game where one player prompts others for a list of words to substitute for blanks in a story, before reading the – often comical or nonsensical – story aloud. The game is frequently played as a party game or as a pastime.

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Hangman (game)

Hangman is a paper and pencil guessing game for two or more players. One player thinks of a word, phrase or sentence and the other(s) tries to guess it by suggesting letters or numbers, within a certain number of guesses.

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Riddle

A riddle is a statement or question or phrase having a double or veiled meaning, put forth as a puzzle to be solved. Riddles are of two types: enigmas, which are problems generally expressed in metaphorical or allegorical language that require ingenuity and careful thinking for their solution, and conundra, which are questions relying for their effects on punning in either the question or the answer.

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Charades

Charades (, ) is a parlor or party word guessing game. Originally, the game was a dramatic form of literary charades: a single person would act out each syllable of a word or phrase in order, followed by the whole phrase together, while the rest of the group guessed. A variant was to have teams who acted scenes out together while the others guessed. Today, it is common to require the actors to mime their hints without using any spoken words, which requires some conventional gestures. Puns and visual puns were and remain common.

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Bananagrams

Bananagrams is a word game invented by Abraham Nathanson of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, wherein lettered tiles are used to spell words.

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Word search

A word search, word find, word seek, word sleuth or mystery word puzzle is a word game that consists of the letters of words placed in a grid, which usually has a rectangular or square shape. The objective of this puzzle is to find and mark all the words hidden inside the box. The words may be placed horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Often a list of the hidden words is provided, but more challenging puzzles may let the player figure them out. Many word search puzzles have a theme to which all the hidden words are related. The puzzles have, like crosswords and arrowords, been very popular in the United Kingdom, and - also in common with these latter puzzles - have had complete magazines devoted to them.

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Shiritori

Shiritori (しりとり) is a Japanese word game in which the players are required to say a word which begins with the final kana of the previous word. No distinction is made between hiragana, katakana or kanji. "Shiritori" literally means "taking the end" or "taking the rear".

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Uta-garuta

Uta-garuta are a kind of karuta, Japanese traditional playing cards. A set of uta-garuta contains 100 cards, with a waka poem written on each. Uta-garuta is also the name of the game in which the deck is used. The standard collection of poems used is the Hyakunin Isshu, chosen by poet Fujiwara no Teika in the Heian period, which is often also used as the name of the game. The game is played mostly on Japanese New Year holidays.

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Duplicate Scrabble

Duplicate Scrabble is a variant of the board game Scrabble where all the players are faced with the same board and letters at the same time and must play the highest scoring word they can find. Although duplicate is rarely played at competition level in English, it is the most popular form of the game in French and is also played in other languages, such as Romanian and Dutch. The largest French Scrabble festivals can attract over 2000 people and some individual tournaments can count over 1000 participants per game. Although not popular for competitions in English, the computer game Scrabble 2005 contains a duplicate version allowing up to 16 players to play on the same board at once. It was also used on the UK TV game show TV Scrabble as one of the rounds.

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Lexicant

Lexicant is a paper and pencil word game for two players. A letter is written on a sheet of paper, and each player takes turns adding a letter either to the beginning or the end of this ever-growing word stem. Any word-stem a player creates must form part of a valid English word, without actually being a word itself. The first player to create a word loses.

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Homophones (game)

"Homophones" is a word game in which a player creates a sentence or phrase containing a pair or larger set of homophones, substitutes another pair of words for the homophone pair, then reads the newly created sentence out loud. The object of the game is for the other players to deduce what the original homophone pair is. The first person to correctly identify the secret homophones "wins" for that sentence and creates a new homophone puzzle.