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For the 1998 film, see Charades (film).

Charades or charade (UK /ʃəˈrɑːdz/ shə-RAHDZ, US /ʃəˈrdz/ shə-RAYDZ) is a word guessing game. In the form most played today, it is an acting game in which one player acts out a word or phrase, often by miming similar-sounding words, and the other players guess the word or phrase. The idea is to use physical rather than verbal language to convey the meaning to another party.

In the United Kingdom, the game is traditionally played at Christmas and on New Year's Eve.

Brief background[edit]

It was originally also used to indicate a riddle either in verse or prose, of which the listener must guess the meaning, often given syllable by syllable—see riddle. In France and Italy the word 'charade' still refers to this kind of written linguistic riddle.

Charades has been made into a television show in the form of the Canadian Party Game and Acting Crazy; the British Give Us a Clue; the Australian The Celebrity Game; the American Play the Game, Movietown, RSVP, Pantomime Quiz and its revival Stump the Stars, Celebrity Charades, and Showoffs and its revival Body Language. Give Us a Clue has also been parodied in Sound Charades, played on the BBC Radio 4 panel game show I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. The ISIHAC version, permits players to speak and so describe a scene (often a pun of the title word), which the opposing team has to guess.

Rules of the acted charade[edit]

The rules used for the acted charades are usually informal and vary widely, but commonly agree in essence with the following basic rules:

Since so many rules can vary, clarifying all the rules before the game begins can avoid problems later.

Signals for common words[edit]

Some conventions have also evolved about very common words:

See also[edit]

External links[edit]