Saturday, April 11, 2020

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- The Games Your Family Played

It's Saturday Night - 

time for more Genealogy Fun! 


Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music here) is to:

1)  Think about the games that your whole family would play when you were a child. 

2)  Tell us about one (or more) of them - what was it called, what were the rules (as you remember them), who played the game, where did you play the game, who usually won?

3)  Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a post on Facebook.

Here's mine:


The game was called GHOST.  It was a word game - the players went around the table spelling English words one letter at a time, with a minimum of four letters.  If you spelled a complete valid word, then you got a letter in the word GHOST.  A person that received 5 letters was out of the game.  The winner of the game was the one with the fewest points at the end of the game (in our house, it was usually when my father wanted to stop to do some work at his desk).  A player could challenge the spelling of the previous player, who had to pronounce and spell the complete word s/he was thinking of.  If they could, then the challenger got the letteroint.  If they couldn't, then the one challenged got the letter. 

We (my family of four) played GHOST almost every night after dinner at the dinner table for several years when I was aged 12 to 15 (and my brother was aged 9 to 12; my youngest brother was born in 1955 when I was 12).  This was a great game to help us with spelling, it was competitive, and it got my brother and me reading the dictionary for hours searching for interesting words.  It also gave us some family time in the late 1950s before we all were addicted to the evening television shows. 

My strategy was to find unique words in the dictionary that I could "hang" on one of the other family members.  for instance, if someone started a new word with "b" and I was second in the round, then I would say "d" and the family had to spell "bdellium," which hung the letter on the 4th person in the round. If they started with "m" then I would say "n" and the word had to be "mnemonic." Heh.

Eventually, we got around to finding and spelling "antidisestablishmentarianism," "pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis" (I remembered the first parts, but had to look it up!) and other long words, but we had to be careful not to spell a complete word within the longer word - like "antidisestablishment."  We hadn't heard of Mary Poppins and "supercallifragilisticexpialidocious" yet.  We experimented in later years with being able to add two letters in order to avoid spelling a valid word.  I loved to try to get my father to spell the valid word, and he would usually try to bluff his way through.  I tried to avoid getting my mother, but didn't mind getting my brother. 

Challenging had a strategy too - if I knew I was going to get hung with a letter, I would try to bluff everyone by confidently saying a letter and hoping that I wouldn't be challenged.  Of course, this usually broke down into arguments satisfied only by the one challenged looking the word up in the dictionary. 

I searched for the GHOST game and found this Wikipedia entry, which describes the basic game and several variants.



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Copyright (c) 2020, Randall J. Seaver

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11 comments:

Lisa S. Gorrell said...

Our family loved playing games.

https://mytrailsintothepast.blogspot.com/2020/04/saturday-night-genealogy-fun-games-your.html

Janice M. Sellers said...

I remembered a few games we played.

http://www.ancestraldiscoveries.com/2020/04/saturday-night-genealogy-fun-games-your.html

Linda Stufflebean said...

With Easter tomorrow, I'm actually posting SNGF on Saturday. :) Here's my link: https://emptybranchesonthefamilytree.com/2020/04/saturday-night-genealogy-fun-87/

Lacie P said...

Here are games my family played. My post.

Lois Willis said...

Here's mine
https://loiswillis.blog/2020/04/12/sunday-afternoon-genealogy-fun-the-games-your-family-played/

Linda Stufflebean said...

Ghost sounds like a fun game. I've never heard of it before. I love your strategy of d after b, n after m.

Rumi said...

At number 5 on my list is The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
123

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