“ÅšMIGUS-DYNGUS”—A GOOD WORD FOR THE DICTIONARY GAME. Our family has played the dictionary game with lots of different friends. One player (call the player the “chooser”) selects a word from the dictionary that nobody knows. The chooser writes the real definition on a slip of paper and the other players each write a fake definition on a slip of paper. The chooser reads the definitions aloud, and the other players each guess which is the correct definition. You get one point for every time your definition is chosen and two points for guessing the right definition. If nobody guesses the right definition, the chooser gets two points. Then another player chooses a word.

I go through life thinking from time to time that a word I encounter would make a good word for the dictionary game. A good word for the dictionary game if you are choosing a word is one that has a meaning that sounds like somebody made it up.

Annalisa brought us a large bouquet of pussy willows in honor of our early spring. In looking up to see if it would be better to keep the bouquet in water, I came across the word “ÅšMIGUS-DYNGUS”, which, according to this wikipedia entry, is “a celebration held on Easter Monday in Poland and Ukraine….Traditionally, boys throw water over girls and spank them with pussy willow branches on Easter Monday, and girls do the same to boys on Easter Tuesday.” I don’t think that would get many votes.

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  1. Nick says:

    We’ve gotten a lot of joy out of a similar game called “Wise & Otherwise.” Instead of a single word, the game has one player (“chooser” as you called it) read the first half of an idiomatic expression from a country/group. It provides the real conclusion to the phrase on the back, but the players submit alternatives and try to select the real one.

    Our games have quickly devolved into insanity and trying to write the funniest response rather than a deceitful one, but either way is great.

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