Parlor Games for a Victorian Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is almost here, and we thought it would be fun to look at some of the parlor games popular at the turn of the last century. We especially enjoyed this one, from “Games for All Occasions” by Mary E. Blain, published in 1909.


Pass pencils and paper to each guest with the following written upon it:—

  1. (A Dairy product.)
  2. (A Vegetable.)
  3. (A Country.)
  4. (A Girl’s name.)
  5. (A structure.)
  6. (A name often applied to one of our presidents.)
  7. (Every Ocean has one.)
  8. (That which often holds a treasure.)
  9. (The names of two boys.)
  10. (A letter of the alphabet and an article made of tin.)

Explain that the above describes ten different nuts, which they are to guess. The nuts described are (1) butternut; (2) peanut; (3) brazil nut; (4) hazel nut; (5) walnut; (6) hickory nut; (7) beechnut; (8) chestnut; (9) filbert; (10) pecan. A prize may be awarded to the one first having correct answers.

Thanksgiving originated with the pilgrims who came from England in the Mayflower. What other ships were they acquainted with? Provide the guests with pencils and paper having the following questions written upon it:

  1. What they met for on Sunday?
  2. What feeling existed among them?
  3. What ship was popular with the young folks?
  4. What did it lead up to?
  5. What was one of the young women fond of?
  6. What was unpleasant for them?
  7. What caused them to leave England?
  8. What interfered with their peace?
  9. What would have aided them?
  10. What increased their number?

A prize may be awarded to the one who correctly answers the questions first. The answers are: 1. Worship; 2. Friendship; 3. Courtship; 4. Partnership; 5. Fellowship; 6. Hardship; 7. Rulership; 8. Leadership; 9. Airship; 10. Heirship.

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