Word Games: From Hangman to Low hanging pig fruit


Image: Pixabay



We like a word game in our house.

I don’t just mean Scrabble, though, of course we do have it in our stack of board games, sandwiched right between Cluedo and Battleships (though it’s not the flashy, whizzy Battleships that goes Wheeeeeeeeee-peeyoooooo! when you sink a destroyer, more’s the pity. That, Buckaroo! and Operation were true objects of desire during my childhood. Now it’s all Ipods and killing prostitutes in Grand Theft Auto – is it me, or has the innocence of childhood died?)

Maybe we’re a bit weird (MAYBE?) but we also incorporate word games into our daily lives.

I do like a game of Hangman, that weirdly macabre word guessing game. The tension becomes palpable as first the gallows is built, then the poor, condemned stick man is constructed,  one head, one limb at a time. Even if the word is guessed before the figure is complete – thus saving the inky man from strangulation – you’re left with an amputee swinging from a noose by his neck.

Sleep well, kiddiwinks!

Maybe we all just so missed seeing a good old hanging when they finally became indoor corporal punishments rather than outdoor, bring a picnic family fun, that we had to transfer the spectacle to paper – a tragic shadow of long drops past.

Anyhow, we don’t just indulge in Hangman, oh no.

We also play the Number Plate Game.

Maybe it started because my son was so obssessed by cars – when he was younger than three years old, he could recognise most popular car makes and models, not by their badges, but by the configuration of their lights. Yeah, I know. We thought about having him tested, but he seems pretty normal in every other way, so …

Anyhoo, to while away a walk along the traffic choked streets of this fair city, we take it in turns to use the three letters from a number (or licence) plate to make up a three word sentence – each word beginning with the letters in order.

For example, the letters ‘C B R’ could prompt the sentence –

‘Colour Big Rhinos,’

‘T P Q’ could be

‘Topiary Penguin – Quiet!’ etc.

Yes, Zs predictably become Zebras and Xs are usually Xray (with the occasionaly foray in to Xylophone territory, of course) but great nonsense is produced all round.

Our other favourite word game isn’t really a game – it’s more a case of looking for the obscure and peculiar.

This is called


To play this game you’ll need –

(1) a hideously ugly 1970s gas fire that (for some surreal reason lost in the mists of memory) stands on bricks as if it once had wheels long since nicked by a passing scally*.

(2) a bucket of magnetic letters such as you might use on your fridge to leave yourself notes about ordering more milk / buying laundry powder / getting a life.

Now all you need to do is listen for random phrases, shout ‘Fire!’ and spell out said phrase on the fire in magnetic letters. (If you don’t have an ugly gas fire to hand, I suppose you could always use a fridge, though then you’d have to change the name of the game to ‘Fridge!’ and that just wouldn’t be the same.)

The phrase can be anything that strikes a member of the family as daft or peculiar, spoken on TV or by a real life, breathing person.

At present we have

‘You am butt’

up there (no, I haven’t got a clue why). But in the past we’ve had

‘Two thirds dead’
‘Low hanging pig fruit’
‘The elephant of surprise’
‘Is this a big furry biscuit’ 

and that eternal favourite

‘Milky crud cloud’.

Feel free to play along with your kids.


*Scally : A North West English term for a disreputable person – usually a thief. e.g. ‘Look at that scally – bet he’s nicked that Steak Bake from Greggs.’


12 thoughts on “Word Games: From Hangman to Low hanging pig fruit

      1. Yes, I think they encourage the imagination, though to be honest, we do it just because we’re daft! Thanks for reading 🙂


  1. I’ve tried to get my girls playing word games. It’s what I always suggest when they ask me “Daddy, what can we do together?” My goal is to avoid any activity that involves a lot of standing up, sitting down, moving from place to place. You know, like hide and seek, or anything that involves a tea party invite. Because I’m feeling a little old these days. But they never go for it. Never.

    Thanks for definition of *scally, by the way. 😉

    We call it ‘Clue’ over here. But then we also call it the Sorcerer’s Stone, not the Philosopher’s Stone. We’re weird that way, with our word games.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! I can so identify with how you feel. I have to have Nerf gun battles with my son and there’s a little part of me that groans inside when he suggests it – ‘wouldn’t you prefer a nice game of Monopoly, love?’ Serves me right for waiting til I was in my 30s to have him 🙂 When he’s older I do hope he remembers all the discos/wrestling/table tennis we did when he was younger and I had more energy!
      I wonder why they changed the Harry Potter book to Sorcerer’s Stone? Ah, just looked it up on Wiki (the font of all knowledge!) Apparently, you chaps don’t know much about alchemical science and the use of the Philosophers’ stone to change base metals into gold – though, I’d say most people are pretty hazy on that here too! Most changes on the list seem to be due to cultural differences as you’d expect, though there are a few instances that seem to suggest we’re much more open to sexual innuendo and violence than you guys. What a moral lot we Brits are 🙂


      Liked by 1 person

  2. One of my brothers used to play the licence plate game obsessively – he does most things obsessively – it runs in the family.
    I’ve got magnetic words on my fridge – they’re fun, but somebody gave me a set of rude ones, which kind of ruins it. Now I find unimaginative phrases like ‘I long for rude dirty sex’ after one of my friends has visited. I prefer my son’s efforts; his filthy phrases show imagination and use totally non-sexual words.
    I found ‘why show your ugly face, sugar pea’ and ‘take it away for gardening’ on the fridge just now. I don’t know who that came from, but I like it.
    I think I’ll get some individual letters for the freezer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yes, I much prefer the suggestive phrases over the all out filth. I like the last couple – funny and interesting. I’m glad someone else plays the number plate game, even if it is obssessively!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One of the sets of words i got was on the gardening theme, so my fridge is covered with manure and hedge-trimmings. My floor is constantly scattered with fertiliser and roses. Yesterday a lawnmower fell of the fridge.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You may not find it so funny if every time you opened your fridge YOUR kitchen became littered with garden implements, or you went to make a cup of tea only to learn that someone close to you had a ‘cheap rake fetish’ and they wanted you to ‘eat glass and burp’! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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