A very simple parlor game that also plays well over the internet. TSOHG is a multi-player word game that tests vocabulary and strategy. It also helps to have a rhyming dictionary handy if you want to cheat :)

Play begins with the first player selecting a letter from the alphabet. Players then take turns adding a letter to the left of the previously played letter. The object is to spell a word and NOT be the last person to add a letter.

During your turn, if you don't think the letters displayed lead to a real word, you may challenge the preceding player to produce a word that fits the pattern. If they can't, they lose. If they can, the challenger loses.

Acceptance of foreign words, proper nouns, and minimum word length are options that should be agreed upon before play starts.

Here is a simple example of a three-player round:

  • Player 1 -- E
  • Player 2 -- V E
  • Player 3 -- RVE
  • Player 1 -- ARVE
  • Player 2 -- TARVE
  • Player 3 -- STARVE
  • Player 1 -- Challenges Player 3. Player 3 Loses.
Player 3 loses not because STARVE is a word, but becaue no more letters can be added. There are no larger words ending in STARVE. If Unstarve was a word, then Player 3 would have won the challenge or Player 1 wouldn't have had to challenge, he could have played 'N' and Player 2 would have lost.

The origination of this game is unclear, but it may have been invented by one of the Futurians - the science fiction group of authors from the 1930's and 40's. Damon Knight taught the game to many people, including me, and Damon was one of the Futurians.

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