How did we get the word Game 'Hang Man' ....I played it when I was 6yrs old...Who Started that one?...Dont you think it was a bit much drawing a persons body hanging from a pole at that age?...
It's an interesting question. I don't know the answer but I expect some of our research experts here will come up with something.
I'd guess though that kids have been kids through the ages and they just love the gruesome games - the more gruesome the better in fact.
In days when capital punishment was not just the norm but that society without it was unthinkable the impact that this would have had (either on the kids or their parents) would have been far less than it is on our more liberal modern sensitivities.
That's just my opinion though and not based on anything factual. Over to the research bods now I think.
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We used to play hangman all the time with our kids, especially when we'd go out to dinner and were waiting for our food to come. It was a great way to teach them about words and especially about tricks with words. For example, they'd come up with words with lots of uncommon letters ("pizza" was a favorite) to confuse people.
I don't have time to look for the origin right now, but you have challenged me! Great question.
I still play hangman with my chemistry students for words such as deprotonation and disproportionation The last time was with weak metallic bonds.
I don't think the UK ones connect it with capital punishment, really, as it is so long since anybody was executed here. They find my illustrations of the uses for potassium chloride and HCN quite alien as well.
Here's what I found about "hangman" in Wikipedia:
"The origins of Hangman are obscure, but it seems to have arisen in Victorian times," says Tony Augarde, author of "The Oxford Guide to Word Games" (Oxford University Press).
The game is mentioned in Alice Bertha Gomme's "Traditional Games" in 1894 under the name "Birds, Beasts and Fishes." The rules are simple. A player writes down the first and last letters of a word for an animal, and the other player guesses the letters in between.
In other sources the game is called "Gallows" or "The Game of Hanging".
Having never taken chemistry this confuses me. What are they used for?
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This is a word board...so I ask you, what are some of the hard phrases you could use in hangman? Shu and I were having coffee, and I fooled him with "Qermaq on OEDILF." Now, Shu didn't think that fair because he never accesses OEDILF and had no idea who Qermaq is. But, hey, this may be the very first time in my life I have ever beaten him at an intellectual game, so I have to have a little leaway!
I do too, Graham, with my translation studies students (and they're far from being kids!) When they're at a loss for a specific word, they call out "Hangman! Hangman!" Sounds a bit macabre...
But surely you've read Sherlock Holmes! Holmes sniffs a bottle, says it smells of almonds, and...
I see no one has answered your question, yet, CW. HCN, hydrogen cyanide, was commonly used in the gas chamber in the U.S. for executions. Zylon B was an insecticide containing prussic (or hydrocyanic) acid (HCN + water) that was used in the infamous Nazi gas chambers. We have more humane ways to kill people now. Potassium chloride is used for lethal injection (and for other, more benign, purposes).
You can have all the leaway you wish, as long as you don't expect any leeway!
Awww, heck. Now everyone knows why I always lose when I play games with you. Our chess days were the worst! Plus, I hate to lose so that doesn't help.