Wordplay: What’s in a Name?

Juliet:
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
(Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)

Ever set out on a road trip and find yourself at a loss for entertainment? Maybe you’re tired of listening to music, or the small talk has ebbed to a trickle. Fear not; rescue is at hand. I’m a big fan of word games (and diversions in general), and I’d like to share one that even Shakespeare, that master of wordplay, might enjoy.

The rules are simple: Just choose a name, scramble the letters, and form new words. You don’t have to use all the letters. Pretty darn easy. It’s well suited to journeys by car because roadside signs are an endless source of proper names; think McDonald’s, Starbucks, Yellowstone. You can play with a group or enjoy this activity solo.

If you’re competing with others, once you’ve picked a name, take turns sharing, offering one word per turn. You’ll want to decide at the outset whether to allow—in addition to common words—names, foreign words, abbreviations, and acronyms. I’m all for mining as many terms as possible from one name before moving on to the next.

Chevron basic

Today’s name is Chevron. No shortage of possibilities here.

Common Words
no
ho
he
hoe
roe
roc
hone
cone
cove
coven
crone
rove
hove
hero
heron
or
ore
core
nor
over
hover
cover
oh
o (variant of oh)

First Names, Nicknames, and Surnames
Cher
Ron
Von
Nero
Ev
Che (Ernesto “Che” Guevara)
Chen
Cho

Foreign Words
vor (German for before)
voce (Italian for voice)
ver (Spanish for see)

Acronyms and Abbreviations
RN (registered nurse)
VCR (videocassette recorder)
CEO (chief executive officer)
COV (Commonwealth of Virginia)
Nov. (November)
Nev. (Nevada)
Rev. (Reverend)

Bonus Points
The person who forms the longest word using only the letters provided receives a gold star!
Chernov

Chevron turned out to be an unexpectedly plentiful source, with enough variations to propel the avid gamester a few miles down the road.

The player who is able to offer a word when others cannot is declared the winner. And what does the winner receive? I’ll leave that up to you, but I will say that victory, like virtue, is its own reward, and smells almost as sweet as true love.

Have you thought of a word I haven’t mentioned? Feel free to add to the list in the comments section.

Chevron station in Grants Pass, Oregon. Photo by Nicolas Vigier.

Chevron station in Grants Pass, Oregon. Photo by Nicolas Vigier.

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Wordplay

4 responses to “Wordplay: What’s in a Name?

  1. Nice one! 😀 Loving wordplay and anagrams in particular. Today’s personal favourite being the challenge to create a one-word anagram from “old angel”. And it is … Legoland!

  2. Good one! I came up with Gold Lane, but that’s two words. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Kira

    This post was great. I love to play this in the car 🙂

  4. Me too, although I’ll play it just about anywhere, often while standing in line. Thanks for visiting. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s