Word nerds and writers love to show off their vocabulary, especially those rare and beautiful words you can't fit into everyday conversation. Like a beautiful painting in a museum, words like sonorous, serendipity, and effervescence swoon you. Reading the thesaurus is a fun pastime for us wordplay nerds, and learning a new word means trying to use it as much as possible in a week, even if everyone gets sick of you. What better way to surround yourself with vocabulary than with some funny word-based board games?
So when you're making plans for the weekend, I recommend you skip the crowded club or that friend-of-a-friend’s party. Stay in with a bottle of wine, good friends, and a board game or two. There are some awesome word nerd games out there, so turn up the volume on your creativity and imagination while spelling words, making up stories, and throwing in some friendly competition while you’re at it. There's something on this list for every kind of word nerd — from those who like to take it slow to those that are all about speed — so you won't be disappointed.
Here are the games you’ll need to stock up on for your next extraordinary word nerd game night.
1. Bananagrams ($14)
You can never go wrong with the classics. Word nerds love to test their vocabulary, and when given the chance to shine, both Bananagrams and Scrabble give you that shot. With Bananagrams, you spell out any words you can with the letters you're given and stack up the points as you watch your words grow!
2. One Up! ($17.50)
OK, so maybe you've played Bananagrams and Scrabble one too many times. One Up! is the combination of everything you love about those games, only with quicker rounds and more competition. Start off spelling out a word, and then keep up as words are stolen or changed by other players stacking letters on top of one another.
3. Once Upon A Time ($24)
For anyone who can tell a great story, or loves to make things up as they go, this game is for you. In Once Upon A Time, it's up to you and the rest of the players to create a memorable story with your cards. The goal of the game is to use up all your cards and make sure it lines up with your ending card. With queens, castles, and plagues to sort out, this is a complex game that takes a few rounds to get the hang of — but it's well worth it.
4. Taboo ($14.99)
This is where your quick-thinking skills and endless list of synonyms will come in handy. Forbidden to say the actual word and five closely related words, Taboo will push you to the limits of how many ways you can describe simple items like oatmeal and lollipops. If you can explain it and your friends guess it, you win your round!
5. Boggle ($39)
I grew up playing Boggle at my family cabin, and can still remember the excitement of finding so many four-letter words before the timer ran out. (I also remember the agony of losing to my siblings.) Shake up the letter cubes and however they fall, you have to piece as many words together under the racing clock.
6. Nanofictionary ($15)
Writers and story-lovers, make sure to warm up your imagination before playing this game. Played in three separate rounds, everyone decides on their own characters, settings, problems, and resolutions while throwing in some plot-twisting action cards. In the end, everyone votes on which story they liked best. (But come on, we all know your story was the best.)
7. Word A Round ($12.99)
If you are particularly good at crossword puzzles, you'll rock at Word A Round. Words are spelled out on the circular cards, and you have to figure out the word by finding which letter it starts with. The first player to find the word gets the card and the point. Play up to 10 cards, or as many as you want!
8. Word Shout ($7)
Toss the dice and put together a word as quick as you can! The first player to find a word and shout it out loud can grab the dice to start the round over again. Play until your brain is content.
9. Scattergories (10.99)
What sorts of things do you grab before you walk out the door? Your keys, sunglasses, and wallet ... but what if you could only pick items starting with the letter "p"? Be quick and creative with Scattegories as you jot down all the items starting with your letter. The more you stand out with the words you come up with, the more points you win!