Word game

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A word game is a game that uses words, letters, sentences or other parts of a language. They are often board games, but are not necessarily; for example, Scrabble Slam does not use a board. Wordplay is often classified with word games.

History

One of the first known instances of wordplay is the so-called Sator Square. This was found in an inscription in Herculaneum. It contains five words, each of five letters:

S A T O R
A R E P O
T E N E T
O P E R A
R O T A S

The words together form a 25-letter palindrome that can be read vertically or horizontally.[1][2] The Latin means: "Arepo the Sower holds the wheels, his works".

Anagrams were popular in Roman times and the Middle Ages and are still popular today. Crosswords were invented in 1913[3] and Scrabble in the 1930s ('31 or '38 - the precise date varies depending on the source).[4] Many other word games have become popular more recently, such as Boggle and Scrabble Slam - and of course, nowadays these all have online counterparts.

Examples

  • Crosswords
  • Boggle
  • Scrabble
  • Anagrams
  • Palindromes

References

  1. Walter O. Moeller: The Mithraic Origin and Meanings of the ROTAS-SATOR Square (Leiden: Brill, 1973).
  2. It is believed it may have been written by Christians as the word PATERNOSTER is contained within. Plexoft.
  3. Crossword Tools
  4. Scrabble history