Things from Thing Stores

Eclectic accumulation via thrift store shopping


Long before Cards Against Humanity, there was the Dictionary Game, where one person finds an obscure word and the other players write phony definitions to try to fool their comrades.

Then Balderdash commercialized the Dictionary Game of my childhood, providing ready-made cards with obscure words. In Balderdash, the “dasher” pulls a card and reads the weird word. Then each player bites their pencil for a while and eventually writes down a made-up definition for that word on a little piece of paper. The dasher writes down the real meaning and everybody turns in their submissions. After the dasher shuffles the little papers, s/he reads all the definitions aloud once (the one real definition along with the many phony ones), and then on the second pass, each player votes on the definition they believe is the real one. Points are awarded for every phony definition that gets a vote, and to players who correctly guess the real meaning.


In a game of friendly, intelligent adults, definitions veer off track into the ridiculous, the suggestive, and references to words already played.

At our summer weekend church camp, after the kids go to bed, sometimes we’ve had 18 adults playing Balderdash around a big table, drinking wine, snacking, and eventually falling into hysterics. Thanks to Andy and Susan for introducing this game into our church camp routines!

This set had the box of words and the rule card, so it didn’t matter to me if a card was missing, or if not all the markers for the board game were there, since those can be filled in with the bag of extra Monopoly tokens I once thrifted. (We don’t use the board anyway.)

I also bought the cutest gift for my sister Dena’s birthday. It’s (… oh, wait, Dena reads this blog. Y’all gonna have to wait until after Memorial Day to find out what it was).

Purchased at Goodwill, 1300 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Paid: $3.99. Value: $25


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2 thoughts on “Balderdash

  1. What a great deal! I like looking for great games that don’t cost much. You have inspired me to go looking for great old board games for a great price at the good will.


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