The Fun Encyclopedia: Alphabet Game

My father recently went through his library (which is extensive). He came across a few old books he no longer wanted and offered them to me. Skimming through the pages, they looked interesting, so I carried the books home . . . and promptly put them on a shelf.

Last week, I finally started sifting through the books. One of them was published in 1940 and is titled The Fun Encyclopedia. Now you gotta up open a book that has the brass to be called THE Fun Encyclopedia. As it turns out, the book is chock full of hobbies, games, crafts, sports, music, magic, and party ideas. Some activities are outdated, but plenty are still worthy of the adjective “fun”!

Now I love fun games with language (e.g., Tom Swifties). So for today’s Amaze-ing Words Wednesday, I feature one of the alphabet games from the book written by E.O. Harbin 72 years ago. By the way, this book is subtitled — I kid you not! — “A Comprehensive, All-purpose, Entertainment Plan-book for the Home, Club, School, Church, and Playground.” Wow, that’s a mouthful, people.

The following is a quiz for which the answer is a word that can be expressed with a single letter. Here’s an example: A body part? I

See how you do with the rest of them. Answers are given below.

  1. A drink?
  2. A body of water?
  3. An exclamation?
  4. A female sheep?
  5. An insect?
  6. A bird?
  7. An actor’s signal?
  8. A query?

Answers: 1. T,  2. C,  3. O,  4. U,  5. B,  6. J,  7. Q,  8. Y

Now that you’ve got the hang of it, let’s try a few two-letter words! Example: Surpass? XL

  1. Chilly?
  2. Too much?
  3. Rot?
  4. Not hard?
  5. Jealousy?
  6. Tent?
  7. Composition?

Answers: 1. IC,  2. XS,  3. DK,  4. EZ,  5. NV,  6. TP,  7. SA

And here’s a bonus for those doing great with this mental exercise (or those willing to give a shot anyway): Three-letter words.

  1. Happiness?
  2. A small boy has lots of?
  3. A foe?

Answers: 1. XTC,  2. NRG,  3. NME

Perhaps you aren’t as giddy as I am after that brief stretching of our brain’s language center, but try these out on your friends or kids. See if you can stump them (now that you know all of the answers).

How did you do? Can you think of any other examples of words represented by one, two, or three letters? (Wouldn’t you open up a book called The Fun Encyclopedia?)

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15 thoughts on “The Fun Encyclopedia: Alphabet Game

  1. These games are totally up my alley! What a fun book!! The games remind me of Scattergories, in a way. I bet teenagers would be really good at it, with all of the text language and acronyms they’re familiar with these days. Their brains are hard-wired to think in letters like this. So cool!

    And yes, little boys ARE full of NRG. 🙂

  2. This is so cool. Of course, I didn’t get any of the answers, but it was still fun to try. Perhaps I need more coffee to get my brain in gear.

    I love the stuff you do on Wednesdays because it’s always something I’ve never heard before.

  3. What an awesome book! I got the one-letter ones, but the others require more thought, and I’m almost done with lunch hour, so I skipped ahead. They’re like things we see on license plates, which I always enjoy figuring out. 🙂

  4. This was fabulous! Really enjoyed it the first set, but my brain just didn’t want to try the two and three-letter word ones. Really, really cool game. I’m going to go to stump my mother now. Hahaha.

  5. great fun – have a stack of old books at home going back through my Dad’s life early1900’s to grandparents late 1980s must have another look see and what treasures they hold:)

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