League of the Lexicon

  • $39.99

Recommended “for wordsmiths and language lovers,” League of the Lexicon is “the perfect gift for that erudite friend or trivia junkie in your life,” according to The Wall Street Journal. “[It] features 2,000 questions—crafted by linguists and lexicographers—that probe every corner of language: from etymology and archaic words to usage and wordy trivia. ...It has been awarded a spot on Mensa Minds Recommended Play List for 2023, making it a solid choice for book lovers who relish a challenge.”

To that ringing endorsement, we will add our opinion that this original quiz game is hilarious and erudite, wildly entertaining and learned, zany and academic. We can only imagine the delight, research, and obsessiveness that went into creating it.

Some of the categories addressed are fossil words, Shakespearean zingers, the Biblical origin of the word “scapegoat,” a usage guide to novel punctuation, a Simpsons lexicon, delicious English words for nonsense, printers’ marks, reduplicative words, obsolete occupations, origin stories of eponyms, phrases the English use to insult the French and vice versa, the slang and jargon of drunks and drinks, obsolete occupations, grammar jokes (who knew?), medical conditions that make pretty girls’ names, original titles of famous books, and on and on.

And lest the sheer opulence of the game seem overwhelming, be assured you don’t even have to play to enjoy it. As one user commented:

“I haven't played an actual game, other than when my son visited and we all sat around just reading from the cards and not keeping score. He's a high school AP English Literature teacher and plans to buy a game to use as a teaching tool. I just take the cards out and read them for fun.”

And sprinkled throughout are quotes, one of our favorites being:

“It’s a strange world of language in which skating on thin ice can get you in hot water.”—Franklin P. Jones

As one of the creators commented, “When Stephen Fry endorses your game [‘A logophile’s dream…it’s a triumph’], you know you must be doing something right.”

2,000 questions, two difficulty levels, five categories (lexicon master, meaning and more, usage and abusive, word sauce, wordly wisdom), beautiful hand-drawn illustrations.

For two to six players, ages ten to 110

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