Name of word puzzles?

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Name of word puzzles?

Post by Lili » Tue May 03, 2005 10:56 am

Is there a particular (specific) name for puzzles such as iHITi (hit between the eyes)...noon good (good afternoon) stand/I I understand. Not sure if they are merely categorised as puzzles.
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Name of word puzzles?

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue May 03, 2005 11:12 am

These are called 'palindromes'. If you search for that word on this site, you will encounter quite a few postings devoted to them.
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Name of word puzzles?

Post by Bobinwales » Tue May 03, 2005 12:53 pm

I hate to argue with you Erik, but I am not at all sure that you are right. Surely a palindrome is a word/phrase which reads the same in both directions, not the kind of word games that Lili has quoted. I will be as interested as Lili in the results of this.

By the way I had a search before I wrote this, may I suggest a little gentle editing of http://www.wordwizard.com/phpbb3/viewto ... PALINDROME (Bob, Thanks. Done. — Ken)
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Name of word puzzles?

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue May 03, 2005 3:24 pm

Bob, you are quite right. My fault for not reading Lili's post carefully enough before responding; apologies all round.
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Name of word puzzles?

Post by Ken Greenwald » Tue May 03, 2005 5:51 pm

Lili, This type of puzzle is called a REBUS. A Rebus is an enigmatical representation of a word, name, or phrase in which you are required to decode a message. The message may consist of figures, symbols, pictures, arrangements of letters, etc. which suggest the syllables, words, names, and phrases of which it is made up. The word has also come to be used attributively in reference to codes messages, ancient pictorial languages, etc.

The word REBUS first appeared in English circa 1600 and was originally a pictorial riddle.The origin of the word is variously traced to 1) Latin denoting ‘by things’, from the representation being ‘non verbis sed rebus’ or 2) clerks/lawyers of Paris, who, during the carnival, used to satarize the follies of the day in squibs (short satires) called ‘De rebus quae geruntur’ (‘on the things that are happening’), and, to avoid libel actions, employed pictures either wholly or in part.

Rebuses are also used extensively in heraldry as a hint to the name of the owner of a coat of arms. This practice is known as ‘canting.’ (e.g. a broken spear on the shield of Nicholas Breakspear represented Pope Adrian IV. (See 1796 quote below)

The Rebus encompasses a large variety of types and here are a few examples in addition to the good ones you provided:

1) Rebuses were very popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Youth’s Companion, September 25, 1879, featured an ‘illustrated’ or ‘pictorial’ rebus of a man in a tent, lying tied to the top of the letters “X” and “L.” Below the picture were these questions:

a) Why is this man likely to succeed in life [Ans: He is bound to excel]

b) Why do you know he has reached middle age [Ans: He is over forty]

c) How does the picture indicate his occupation? [Ans: He is in tent on letters]


2) ICURYY4ME [Ans: I see you are too wise for me]

3) ICI2I [Ans: I see eye to eye]

4)...man
......board
[Ans: man overboard]

5) R/E/A/D/I/N/G [Ans: reading between the lines]
<1605 “They which lackt wit to expresse their conceit in speech, did vse to depaint it out (as it were) in pictures, which they called REBUS.”—‘Remaines of a Greater Worke Concerning Britaine’ (1634) by Camden, page 146>

<1630 “I will maintain the REBUS against all humours, And all complexions in the body of man.”—‘The New Inn’ by Ben Jonson, I. i>

<circa 1661 “He gave for his REBUS (in allusion to his Name [Beckinton]) a burning Beacon.”—‘The History of the Worthies of England’ (1662) by Fuller, III, page 23>

<1744 “Mistaking, for Egyptian, a ridiculous Kind of REBUS-writing.”— ‘Remarks on Several Occasional Reflections’ by Warburton, page 23>

<1777 “I back him at a REBUS or a charade against the best rhymer in the kingdom.”—‘The School for Scandal’ by Sheridan, I. i.>

<1796 “REBUS: A riddle or pun on a man’s name, expressed in sculpture or painting, thus: a bolt or arrow, and a tun [[a cask]], for Bolton; death’s head, and a ton [[a cask]], for Morton. [Literally a word or phrase ‘by things,’ though the word comes through the French, especially ‘REBUS de Picardie.’—‘A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue’ by Captain Francis Grose>

<1882 “Many an ingenious picture is nothing but a painted REBUS.”— The Choice of Books and Other Literary Pieces’(1886) by F. Harrison, page 305>

<1928 “The number of roots admitted in primitive Esperanto was extremely small, and a good deal of ingenuity was used to express as much as possible by means of compounds and derivatives . . . The great number of these REBUS-words . . . has deterred many intelligent people from Esp.”— ‘An International Language’ by O. Jespersen, II. page 170>

<1969 “It now appears that it [sc. the Indus script] is a purely logographic script, based on the so-called REBUS principle. This means that each sign represents a whole word, which may comprise one or more syllables, and that a given word is expressed by a clearly recognizable picture of a quite different thing, which has, however, the same phonetic value.”— ‘Decipherment of Proto-Dravidian Inscriptions of Indus Civilization’ by A. Parpola et al, ii. page 8>
(Oxford English Dicitonary, Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, Radnom House and Merriam-Webster's Unabirdged Dictionaries, Words at Play by Michaelsen)
___________________

Ken G — May 3, 2005
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Name of word puzzles?

Post by kagriffy » Tue May 03, 2005 8:07 pm

"Games Magazine" refers to these as "Wacky Wordies."
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Name of word puzzles?

Post by Ken Greenwald » Tue May 03, 2005 9:49 pm

Allen, I don’t know – that sounds a little uppity to me. (<:)

Ken – May 3, 2005
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Name of word puzzles?

Post by Bobinwales » Wed May 04, 2005 1:56 pm

Amazing isn't it? There is a whole generation out there sending text messages on their mobile phones using a series of rebuses without a clue as to what they are called ( I didn't either, see above!). My daughter recently sent me "cum 2 t l8er", which I eventually translated as “Come to tea later?”
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Name of word puzzles?

Post by Lili » Thu May 05, 2005 11:57 am

Ahhh Rebus. Thank you to all who responded. Funnily enough Erik, I had the word palindrome etched in my mind but I knew there was specific word for this kind of puzzle. Bob, in some ways the texting generation is using much more visual/ media literacy, and it was for this (teaching) purpose that I wanted to explore the use of Rebuses. Thanks again ;o)
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