Balderdash

Among Our Other Inventions

By Steve Carr

December is one of my top ten favorite months. I love the holidays and the family traditions, the gatherings and the games. Speaking of games, my family invented the Dictionary Game. I’m sure there are those reading this who are thinking, “No, we were the first to play that game.” But I’m telling you, it was the Carrs.

Long before Mattel introduced Balderdash, we were playing our version while chestnuts were still roasting on the open fire. Grandpa’s gramophone played “White Christmas” as we searched for words from a first edition Samuel Johnson dictionary.

We’d simply pass the tome around the room, choosing obscure words, trying to stump each other with made-up meanings. I remember thinking it unfair when my physician father would confuse us with fancy-sounding medical terms. But I learned soon enough that the suffix, “-itis” just meant inflamed and, “-ectomy” meant it was so inflamed it needed to be cut out.

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