Definition of crambo
: a game in which one player gives a word or line of verse to be matched in rhyme by other players
crambo was our Word of the Day on 08/24/2007. Hear the podcast!
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.
Origin and Etymology of crambo
alteration of earlier crambe, from Latin, cabbage, from Greek krambē
First Known Use: 1660
Learn More about crambo
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about crambo
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