AskDefine | Define crambo

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A guessing game in which players guess words that rhyme with a clue word, seeking a word that is kept secret or concealed.

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Extensive Definition

Crambo is an old rhyming game which, according to Strutt, was played as early as the 14th century under the name of the ABC of Aristotle. In the days of the Stuarts it was very popular, and is frequently mentioned in the writings of the time. Thus Congreve's Love for Love, i. 1, contains the passage, "Get the Maids to Crambo in an Evening, and learn the knack of Rhyming." Crambo, or capping the rhyme, is now played by one player thinking of a word and telling the others what it rhymes with, the others not naming the actual word they guess but its meaning. Thus one says "I know a word that rhymes with bird." A second asks "Is it ridiculous?" "No, it is not absurd." "Is it a part of speech?" "No, it is not a word." This proceeds until the right word is guessed. In Dumb Crambo the guessers, instead of naming the word, express its meaning by dumb show, a rhyme being given them as a clue.


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