Word Archaeology: crambo

This word game, thought to have been invented as early as the 14th Century, calls for participants to take turns trying to exhaust possible rhyming words. Until the 18th Century, teams competed to announce rhymes for words or lines given by their opponents. The game ended when a player couldn’t think of a rhyming word. In the 19th Century, the game evolved into a new format, in which a player thought of a word and declared a word with which it rhymed. Other players don’t guess the word, but try to describe its meaning until they reach the right word. The word crambo is derived from the Latin “crambe” and Greek “krambe” (cabbage).

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Wes Platt

Lead storyteller. Game designer and journalist. Recovering Floridian.

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