Many models available for rental

Party planning can be stressful business, because there are so many factors that go into hosting the perfect event. Can you manage all of the preparation on your own? Do you have the time and resources to clean your house? What food do you have planned for your guests?

Well, let’s face it. None of that really matters. If you want to have an evening of entertainment for a group of people, all you really need to do is make sure that you have Balderdash on hand, or—if you were lucky enough to pick one up at a yard sale for a quarter, like me—Beyond Balderdash. These games are guaranteed hilarity and entertainment, played properly.

But played IMPROPERLY, they’re even better. And I am willing to rent out members of my family to enhance your Balderdash experience. We feature low rates and a guaranteed laugh-until-it-hurts experience.

If you’re unfamiliar with Balderdash, the rules are pretty simple. Each round has the “dasher” reading off an unusual word (or, if you have Beyond Balderdash, maybe a movie title or date or something else, but let’s talk about words), after which all the rest of the participants have to make up a definition for said word. The dasher then collects all submissions, writes down the real definition to include in the pile, and reads aloud all possibilities. Points are awarded both for guessing the correct definition or to whoever manages to write a crazy definition that others vote for. There is an ENTIRE SECTION in the rules about not giving away which definition is the one you wrote, as this hampers potential voting for your entry. There are also suggestions about how to come up with something plausible and other useful tips.

Bearing this in mind, here are the options we have your enjoyment:

Option 1: Self-Hilarity. Choose this option if you feel your game would best be served by a small boy who guffaws uncontrollably the moment you start to read his definition. He is JUST SO FUNNY, he cannot help himself! Also, his definitions almost always include the words “buttocks” or “fart.” Sometimes both. No wonder he can’t stop laughing.

This model is available for the low, low cost of a handful of potato chips.

Option 2: The Guilty Party. Select this model if you feel gameplay is best enhanced by every definition reading being followed by a solemn hand raised in the air, followed by the deadpan declaration, “That one was mine.” When paired with Option 1 this is still crazy annoying, but you can’t help but laugh. (Seat them across the table from each other for maximum enjoyment. He writhes around in his seat with delight while she insists that really, that one is hers. As is the next one. And the one after that. Which means he keeps laughing.) If playing Beyond Balderdash and inventing a persona for a person, she’ll probably claim the fellow in question was a past president of the United States. But then, all of the answers are hers, so who’s counting?

This model is available for the low, low price of somma that grapefruit.

Option 3: Totally Obvious. Select this option if you’d like all definitions to utilize a part of the target word verbatim or to feature an object in the room where the game is being played. We suggest this option if you enjoy a bit of mental calisthenics, as this is actually a cutthroat strategy; “Nah, that’s too obvious… isn’t it?” Many will fall for these made-up definitions.

This model is available for the low, low cost of a glass of iced coffee.

Option 4: History, Geography. Although slightly different than Totally Obvious, this model is also useful if you’re looking for some official-sounding options. Most answers center around semi-plausible events in history or little known geographical facts. Players can only avoid being suckered in by remaining vigilant for periodic (terrible) puns, the telltale sign of this model’s handiwork.

This model is available in exchange for being quiet and letting him watch the entire Formula 1 race uninterrupted, beforehand.

Option 5: Officially Silly. This model provides endless strings of very serious-sounding definitions, assuming those definitions were all for things located in a Dr. Seuss book or a Viagra commercial. No, I can’t explain it any better than that. As an added bonus, Officially Silly is embarrassingly prone to voting for Self-Hilarity’s definitions, which further convinces Self-Hilarity that he is 1) hilarious and 2) AWESOME!, so that’s a valuable side benefit you get here for absolutely FREE!

This model available in exchange for a single, plaintive, “Please, Grandpa?” But sharing the potato chips is probably a good idea, too.

Option 6: Wordy McWorderson. This model gives your thesaurus a workout, operating on the principle that more words sound more official, and bigger words somehow create a kind of confusion where the listener is left feeling like “That one must be right because it sounded kind of important.” Unfortunately, this only works for the first few rounds, after which Wordy resorts to writing borderline-dirty definitions whenever one of the kids is the dasher, just to watch them squirm while having to read it out loud.

This model available as a free companion to any of the other models, or for a square of dark chocolate.

I totally just saved your next party. You’re welcome!


  1. Jennifer

    Last time my family played, we didn’t even have the game. We had a REAL DICTIONARY (I know who even owns those anymore) and paper. We still laugh because for the word “bipennis” my brother wrote “What John Bobbet had on his to do list”. He said he knew it wasn’t going to get votes, but couldn’t pass it up. He giggled the whole time he was writing – from then on our suggested definitions went DOWN HILL on whose would be the most tacky. There were no players under the age of 24 though.

  2. Pamela

    I don’t know if you’re familiar with a game called Dixit, but if you guys like Balderdash, you might really enjoy it. Similar concept, but instead of words, you’re working with these gorgeous, creative paintings on cards. It’s our current favorite, if only so that we get to play with the pretty cards.

  3. Niki

    I’m not sure how my family has missed this – it would be a mega-laughfest, as we have a family full of punsters and clueless people.

  4. BethRD

    We love Dixit. In addition, may I recommend Who Would Win? In which, say, Gandhi and Batman have to compete at knitting. I think your crowd might like it.

  5. Vern

    Balderdash is the reason my family uses the word “oobermesh” in regular conversation, and not in proper context!

  6. Sarah

    Our family picked up a version of this called “slang teasers” … it comes with a slang dictionary – which guarantees that no one will guess the real definition.

    WE played it over and over at family parties … some favorites included definitions from my youngest brother (8 or 9 at the time) which were always “a strange type of lizard” or “a rare frog”.

    Best word ever: “chuckacurly” (no idea of the actual spelling) my dad’s definition : a pig tossing contest

  7. Frank

    First played it back in college, with a 7 group of people that I consider to be both highly intelligent and eloquent. You want to talk about a TOUGH game…. That is, until the creative writing major had just one too many beers…Once the ice was broken, so to speak, the evening lived in the infamy of the funniest evening I have ever had. Some of the highlights included:
    – reading a definition when someone was drinking. Imagine SNARFing a beer…..
    – including etymology, tenses (verbs) and proper plurals, and using in a sentence….
    – being warned repeatedly to ‘keep it down’ by the RA on our floor…. only to have him later come watch, then participate.
    – a 2AM Chinese food order that gave new inspirations for our sillines.

    What a great memory… thanks Mir!

  8. Lynn in Mass

    Always looking for a new game to play with a gathering of friends. Sounds like fun.

  9. Kristi

    Oh yes, please! I can afford ALL OF THEM! And with my uncle and sister in the mix, we’d all surely have our abdominal workouts for the year! Balderdash is the best!

  10. Laura

    I LOVE that game but no one will play it with me. HMPF!! BUT you might also enjoy The Game of Things. It comes in a wooden box (not that that matters) and it is similar in that you are attempting to guess who wrote what. In this game though, the answers are in response to prompts like: Things you shouldn’t do on an airplane…and so on. With adults playing the game can become a bit blue, but it can stay perfectly PG when the kiddos are in the mix. That is the only game my group of friends and I seem to play anymore. I’ve actually started giving it as a housewarming present it’s so much fun.

    Man…I wish I could invite your family over to play Balderdash with me. You all sound like MY kind of players. :-)

  11. ellbee

    Laura, no one will play Balderdash with me either. Or Scattergories (I WIN at lengthy alliterative answers) or really any game involving writing or words. ‘Tis a shame, because I love me some word games!

  12. Heather

    Haha you now have the world wanting to play board games with you and yours ;-) I haven’t played any games like that in quite a while, and now I feel rather bereft haha.

  13. Erika

    Balderdash is a huge favorite when my siblings and I all get together. We all laugh until we’re crying and can’t form coherent sentences.

  14. Beth


  15. Katie in MA

    THat sounds like how my sister and I play Boggle – whoever argues most convincingly for the word gets the points. We started our own dictionary and rule book. Yep – full-contact Boggle at our house. What can I say – we’re wordniks.

  16. Kelly Allan

    Well, I’m going to have to check that game out. I don’t know how well my chipmunks will play it though.

  17. Jessica

    My husband has one Balderdash word for you: “vagitus”.

    I have a few more: Imagine college guys playing Balderdash and coming up with that word. Gee, I can’t even imagine what definitions they might come up with (assuming they haven’t all fallen off their chairs first).

    Anyway, I think that most of you would agree that your children’s vagituses were perfect and awe-inspiring, right? (Here’s how the word sounds: — pretty much as you’d expect.)

  18. Aimee C

    I LOVE Balderdash (didn’t know about “Beyond Balderdash” – thanks for the tip). I have the same problem previously mentioned. NO ONE IN MY FAMILY LIKES TO PLAY BOARD GAMES. (I realize those caps mean screaming.) Seriously, I spawned three kids and not one board game player in the hoarde. It’s so unfair. With much begging, I can sometimes eek out a single game of Scrabble on Mother’s Day.

  19. kat

    The first time I ever played balderdash as a kid my baby sister and I made up the exact same definition. We are big fans of board games in this house and can’t wait until the babes are old enough to play. I am so tired of candyland, memory and connect four.

  20. MomCat

    I’ll take Wordy McWorderson, please!

    A game along similar lines is “Wise and Otherwise.”. Instead of word definitions, you’re writing wise, old sayings and trying to guess the real one.

  21. The Mommy Therapy

    Please, please, oh please bring your family to Austin to play Balderdash with mine! I’ll fly all of you from Atlanta to ATX for the fun.*


    I’m completely Wordy McWordsen.

    *This is a complete lie. I can’t afford to do that, but I would like to note that I would genuinely love it if I could. :)

  22. Anna

    You are such a great writer. :)

    I tried Balderdash in high school, when I was still struggling with a lot of psycho-babble. I was SO FOCUSED on being right, I just couldn’t play. I couldn’t wrap my brain around why you’d want to make up the definition if you knew the right one.

    What a loser. I’m less losery now.

  23. vanessa

    Hmm. I may have to introduce this to my 8th grade sex ed students for their lock in…usually we play Scattergories (double points for sex terms!) or Apples to Apples but I bet they’d love this!

  24. Jen

    I’m a Pictionary geek. I insist on it for my birthday. It’s always hysterical as it slides downhill over the course of the game. :). MUST be played on a large chalkbpard though, rather than small pads of paper, for proper hilarity.

  25. nil zed

    I’m playing a similiar game, on line, with a group of friends. One person is ‘Mary’. I don’t know why, I came into this game when it was well established. Anyway, the Mary comes up with an old saying. Or makes one up, and then posts it, leaving out crucial bits. The other players attempt to guess the rest of the saying, some seriously, some not so much emailing their answer to the Mary, or putting truly silly ones on the list. The Mary eventually posts them in a numbered list which includes the correct answer. The rest of us vote for the one we beleive is true (or that we like best, whatever). The scoring is like your game, with points for style and puns. Surprisingly, people forget what answer they sent in.

  26. mamaspeak

    This used to be an after Thanksgiving tradition. I still giggle at the thought of the word “nubbin” (actually one of those mini corn things. A friend defined it as a very small person w/no arms or legs. Yes, not very PC. Yes, we’d had way too much wine, but OMG I can’t stop laughing just writing it here. I’m sure it’s not nearly as funny now, but gawd!) Sadly, a few years back that groups of family/neighbors got split-up (family moving away, etc…) and now there are people who don’t really hear very well (in their 90’s,) and probably don’t really appreciate our sense of humor. We back to card games for a while.

  27. Brigitte

    We played with a real, live dictionary too. I do love tricking folks with my pseudoscientific definitions. Or real words with definitions too gross to sound true, like adipocere.

  28. Aimee

    I think one of each, for me — they all sound fun, for different reasons!

  29. Tammy

    We’ve been playing this in my family for years! Somehow, several of these “Options” exist in our family, especially Wordy McWordperson and History, Geography.

    My favorite definitions:

    A grassy knoll off the coast of Honduras

    An African leaping gazelle that has the ability to change directions in mid-air

    We still laugh at these…it’s not a family gathering without someone using one in casual conversation. Because, we’re geeky like that.

  30. RidgewoodMom

    I LOVE playing games with family and friends. Our faves are Scattergories (with the option of 2nd language because of the parents.) My mom makes up words both in English and other language. But she fights for each point. Apples to Apples, again a solid choice; the wild card is always my Aunt. You never know if she is in a funny mood or a serious mood.

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