Friday, August 24, 2007


crambo \KRAM-boh\ noun

: a game in which one player gives a word or line of verse to be matched in rhyme by other players

Example sentence:
According to his early letters, James Boswell, friend and biographer of English lexicographer Samuel Johnson, was a keen crambo player.

Did you know?
We've called the game "crambo" since at least 1660, but it was originally dubbed "crambe." The now-obsolete word "crambe" literally meant "cabbage," but it was rarely used for the leafy plant. Instead, it was used figuratively (in reference to a Latin phrase meaning "cabbage repeated or served up again") for things that were overused or repeated. The game, which was popular in the 17th and 18th centuries, began with one player picking a word. A second player then tried to guess it by asking questions. For example: "I know a word that rhymes with 'bird.'" "Is it ridiculous?" "No, it is not absurd." "Is it a part of speech?" "No, it is not a word." And so on, until the word was guessed.

(From Merriam-Webster)

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