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Shouting Proverbs

No. of Players: 4+
Type of Game: spoken
What you need: nothing


To guess a proverb when verbally given all the words at once.

How to play

One player exits the room. The other players then choose a proverb and each player is assigned one word of that proverb. For instance, if the proverb is Absence makes the heart grow fonder, the first player takes absence, the second player takes makes, and so on. The player who exited the room is called back in and faces the entire group. This player then counts down 3–2–1–GO, at which point the players all shout out their words at the same time. From this confusion the player must guess the proverb. Often times it is necessary for the guesser to ask the group to repeat their shout. (Note that if there are more words than players, players take additional words. In which case there is more than one unified shout.) Five points are awarded for a correct guess after the first shout (or set of shouts), three points after the second shout (or set of shouts), and one point after the third. No points are awarded for subsequent shouts (or sets of shouts). After each player is the guesser a set number of times, player points are added up. The player with the highest point total is declared the winner.

If numbers permit, players can divide into two teams. Each team alternately gets three chances to guess the proverb shouted by the other team. If there are more players in the team than there are words in the proverb, two players take the same word.

Did you know?

The world's oldest surviving written text appears to be a set of proverbs. These Instructions of Shuruppak were engraved in cuneiform script on clay tablets and were given by the last king of Sumer to his son over 4,600 years ago.

Instructions of Shurrupak

Indeed they read like an older, wiser man imparting fatherly advice – and in two distinct directions. For instance, one is given practical warnings, like how not to locate a field on a road. But one is also given moral and philosophical advice, like how not to speak arrogantly to one's mother, how not to pass judgment when one drinks beer, and how "Fate is a wet bank; it can make one slip."

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