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struck out heart symbolizing hate   minus sign A plus sign E   iron weight printed with 2,000 lbs   minus sign T plus sign R   post-it note with written word WHY   multiple letters M

No. of Players: 2+
Type of Game: spoken
What you need: nothing


To guess a pair of words (which are spelled the same but pronounced differently) given their two different meanings.

How to play

Heteronyms are words that are spelled the same but have different pronunciations and meanings. The gamemaster thinks of a pair of heteronyms and tells the other players their definitions. The first player to raise his hand gets to guess at the words and to try to pronounce them. If the player incorrectly guesses the words and/or mispronounces them, he drops out of the round. But if he guesses correctly, he becomes the gamemaster for the next round. The player who is gamemaster for the most rounds is the overall winner. Players can also be required to correctly spell the heteronym.


Allie: One word means 'to injure' and the other 'coiled up.' What is this pair of heteronyms?
Brady: I know. It's spelled W–O–U–N–D, pronounced WOOND and WOWND. What about this pair of heteronyms? One means 'to guide' and the other is 'a metal.'
Conor: The word is L–E–A–D, pronounced LEED and LED. Ok, one word means 'to challenge' and the other 'competition.' What are they?
Dennis: It's C–O–N–T–E–S–T, pronounced kunTEST and KAHNtest. The meaning of the first word is 'sixty seconds' and the other is 'tiny.' What's the...?
Conor: I got it! It's M–I–N–U–T–E, pronounced MINNit and myNOOT. How about 'an adult female pig' and 'to plant seed?'
Elizabeth: The word is S–O–W, pronounced SOUW and SO.

And so on.

Did you know?

The longest time a person kept his eyes open without blinking was 40 minutes and 59 seconds! This occurred at a staring contest held in Australia's Northern Territory back in 2011. In the final round of the aptly named "So You Think You Can Stare" competition, Fergal "Eyesore" Fleming was declared the winner after Steven "Stare Master" Stagg was the first to blink.

staring blue eyes

Normally, we blink 15 times a minute. It's an involuntary reflex that stops our eyes from drying out, which can be painful. So it took the two contestants remarkable focus and self-control to fight the body's urge to provide lubrication and maintain the eye's moist environment.

staring blue eyes

Observers reported that at the 10-minute mark, both contestants' eyes began to redden. And at the 35 minute mark, Eyesore exclaimed that it felt like he was getting a tattoo on his eyeball. Evidently it was all worth it, because he is now the undisputed Staring Champion of the World!

In case you're wondering, the images under the title of this word game form a rebus puzzle:

HATE - A + E + TON - T + R + Y + EMs = HETERONYMS

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