Posted in Reading, Teaching

ENG 242: Virtual Victorian Parlor Games

Wordplay days gave us opportunities to build our word power, collaborate, and engage in creative problem solving. Now they’re pastimes that can help us forget our isolation. I hope that games, whether table-top or digital, continue to lift your spirits.

With that hope in mind, I designed this assignment inspired by Fred’s Victorian parlor games In A Christmas Carol (stave 3) and our Wordplay Days. Below the directions, I’ve included a list of Victorian authors for your reference.

Directions:

Choose one of the options below, and post your response as a comment by 5 p.m. on Friday, April 17. The first ten students who post comments and the student whose letters yield the largest number of playable words will receive bonus points.

Option One:

  1. Imagine that seven letters of a Victorian author’s last name (all last, or last plus first letter/s of the first) are the seven tiles on your Scrabble rack. See my sample below.
  2. Go to the Scrabble Dictionary, click the Scrabble Word Builder tab (to the right of Scrabble Dictionary), enter the seven letters, and click “Go.”
  3. Post a blog comment of twenty-five words or more that includes (1) the seven letters that you entered, (2) the number of playable words that you can spell with those letters, (3) at least one of the words in the list that was unfamiliar to you, and (4) the definition of the word.

Sample: Entering the seven letters A-R-N-O-L-D-M (for Matthew Arnold) in the Scrabble Word Builder yields 103 playable words. Two that I wasn’t familiar with are “dolma,” a stuffed grape leaf, and “lardon,” a thin slice of bacon or pork.

Option Two:

  1. Imagine that the first seven letters in the title of one of our Victorian readings (A Christmas Carol, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or the “The Adventure of the Speckled Band“) are the seven tiles on your Scrabble rack.
  2. Follow steps two and three listed in option one.

Option Three:

  1. Imagine that the first seven letters in the name of a character in A Christmas Carol, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or the “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” are the seven tiles on your Scrabble rack.
  2. Follow steps two and three listed in option one.

Let the play begin!

Victorian Authors

  • Barrett Browning, Elizabeth
  • Besant, Annie
  • Besant, Walter
  • Bradley, Katharine
  • Brontë, Emily
  • Browning, Robert
  • Caird, Mona
  • Carlyle, Thomas
  • Carroll, Lewis
  • Chamberlain, Joseph
  • Chew, Ana Nield
  • Cobbe, Frances Power
  • Coleridge, Mary Elizabeth
  • Cooper, Edith
  • Darwin, Charles
  • Dickens, Charles
  • Dowson, Earnest
  • Doyle, Sir Arthur
  • Eliot, George
  • Ellis, Sarah Stickney
  • Engels, Friederich
  • Field, Michael
  • Froude, James Anthony
  • Gaskell, Elizabeth
  • Gosse, Sir Edmund
  • Hardy, Thomas
  • Henley, William Ernest
  • Hobson, J.A.
  • Hopkins, Gerard Manley
  • Hughes, Thomas
  • Huxley, Leonard
  • Huxley, Thomas Henry
  • Kingsley, Charles
  • Kipling, Rudyard
  • Macaulay, Thomas Babington
  • Martineau, Harriet
  • Maurice, Frederick Denison
  • Mayhew, Henry
  • Mill, John Stuart
  • Morris, William
  • Mukharji, T.N.
  • Mulock, Dinah Maria
  • Newman, John Henry Cardinal
  • Nightingale, Florence
  • Pater, Walter
  • Patmore, Coventry
  • Rossetti, Christina
  • Rossetti, Dante Gabriel
  • Ruskin, John
  • Russell, William Howard
  • Shaw, George Bernard
  • Stevenson, Robert Lewis
  • Swinburne, Algernon Charles
  • Tennyson, Alfred Lord
  • Thomas, John Jacob
  • Thompson, Flora
  • Wilde, Oscar

I omitted Matthew Arnold from the list since I used his name in the sample.

Remember to check your CVCC email and Blackboard regularly for updates and assignments.

60 thoughts on “ENG 242: Virtual Victorian Parlor Games

  1. I entered the 7 letters E-L-I-Z-A-B-E (for Mary Elizabeth Coleridge). The Scrabble Word Builder says that there are 44 different word possibilities for these letters. There were a lot of words that I was not familiar with, but, for the sake of space and time, three of them were “baize” which is a green, woolen fabric, “beal” which is an infected sore, and “bezel” which is a slanted surface.

    1. Thanks for your early comment, Grey. The directions call for entering the first seven letters of the last name, or all of the last-name letters plus some of the first-name letters. That’s why I listed the last names first in the list of authors. My sample may have been confusing since Arnold, Matthew Arnold’s last name, is also a common first name. Try entering C-O-L-E-R-I-D.

  2. I chose Coventry Patmore and entered the 7 letters P-A-T-M-O-R-E. The scrabble word builder said there were 176 possible words found. Some of the words I was not familiar with include “aper”, one that apes, “moa”, an extinct flightless bird, and “pram”, a flat-bottomed boat.

  3. Using the Scrabble Word Builder, I entered in the seven letters M-A-R-T-I-N-E to represent the Victorian author Harriet Martineau. As a result, the generator found 185 possible, playable words. While examining all of the word possibilities, I was unfamiliar with the terms “ait,” a small island, “ani,” a tropical American bird, and “tinea,” a fungous skin disease.

  4. I entered the seven letters B-E-S-A-N-T-R obtained from the Victorian author Walter Besant into the Scrabble World Builder. The world builder found a total of 203 possible, playable words from the seven letters. As I viewed all of the word possibilities, I found a new word in “brant” which is another word for a wild goose.

    1. I entered the seven letters B-E-S-A-N-T-W obtained from the Victorian author Walter Besant into the Scrabble World Builder. The world builder found a total of 169 possible playable words from the seven letters. As I viewed all of the world possibilities, I found a new word in “baste” which means to sew loosely together.

  5. I chose the name “Maurice” from the author Frederick Denison Maurice. I entered in the seven letters M-A-U-R-I-C-E. There are 102 possible, playable words. While examining the possible words a person can create with the letters M-A-U-R-I-C-E, an unfamiliar word I chose was “URAEMIC.” The term Uraemic refers to a condition associated with abnormally high levels of waste products in the blood.

  6. For this assignment, I chose the author Walter Pater. After entering the seven letters P-A-T-E-R-W-A, I discovered that 97 possible words can be crafted from them. One word that I was unfamiliar with upon scouring this list was “tew,” a verb meaning “to work hard.” A few other words that stuck out to me were “peart,” lively; “et,” a past tense of eat; and “pea,” the edible seed of an annual herb. Who knew?

  7. I chose John Jacob Thomas. This meant that my letters were T-H-O-M-A-S. This gave 90 possibilities for words. One word that I was unfamiliar with was “Hao,” meaning “a monetary unit of Vietnam.” Some words that stood out to me were “Hosta,” meaning “a plantain lily” and “mash,” meaning “to reduce to a pulpy mass.”

  8. For this assignment, I decided to use the author, Charles Darwin and I enter the seven-letters D-A-R-W-I-N-C. The total amount of possibilities was 78 words. There were a lot of small words that began with A including and, an, and air, however, one of these small words did stick out to me it was Ai. I know that A.I means artificial intelligence and I thought that that was what this Ai was but no Ai means a three-toed sloth. This really surprised me an animal that only has two letters in its name. Another one of these two-letter words was Da, which apparently means dad. It just shocked me how many two-letter words they are and what they mean.

  9. I entered the letters D-I-C-K-E-N-S. This is for Charles Dickens, author of “A Christmas Carol.” There were 101-word possibilities for this letter combination. One word I was unfamiliar with is “icks.” This means something sticky or disgusting. Another word I didn’t recognize is “kines.” This is a type of television tube.

  10. For this assignment, I chose John Jacob Thomas. I entered the seven letters T-H-O-M-A-S-J. There were 103 possible words that could be made with these seven letters. One word that I was unfamiliar with was the word Jatos, which means a takeoff aided by jet propulsion.

  11. I chose the Victorian author, Charles Dickens, and I entered the 7 letters D-I-C-K-E-N-S. The Scrabble Work Builder said that there were 101 different word possibilities for these letters. There were three words that I was not familiar with which were “dickens”, which mean devil, “sked”, which means schedule, and “nides”, means to rest.

  12. The author I chose was Oscar Wilde, so the tile set I had was ‘WILDEOS’. The generator gave me 160 words. Some of the words I was unfamiliar with includes deil, which is the devil, soldi, which is a former coin of Italy, and wile, which is to entice.

  13. I chose to enter the author Harriet Martineau. The letters M-A-R-T-I-N-E produce 185 possible words on the scrabble word builder. There were many words that were unfamiliar to me, but the word that I found very interesting was “ai”, meaning a three-toed sloth. Another word that was unfamiliar to me and very interesting was “armet”, meaning a medieval helmet.

  14. The Victorian author I chose was Mary Elizabeth Coleridge. I entered the letters C-O-L-E-R-I-D into Scrabble Word Builder and there were 125 possibilities found. Two of these words I was not familiar with were “cero”, a large food fish, and “clerid”, a predatory beetle.

  15. I chose the author John Ruskin so the tiles I put in were RUSKINJ. The scrabble word builder said there were fifty-five possibilities with my tiles. A word that I was unfamiliar with was “Jun”, which is a coin of North Korea.

  16. I chose the Victorian author Elizabeth Gaskell. The letters G-A-S-K-E-L-L created 78 possible words. In these words, “skeg” was foreign to me. A skeg is a timber that connects the keel and sternpost of a ship.

  17. The Victorian author that I chose was Walter Besant. I entered the seven letters B-E-S-A-N-T-W. The Scrabble Work Builder gave me 169 playable word possibilities. There were a couple of words that I was unfamiliar with, including abet, which means to encourage and support. Another word I was unfamiliar with was wen, which is a benign tumor of the skin.

  18. I entered the 7 letters C-O-L-E-R-I-D (for Mary Elizabeth Coleridge). The Scrabble Word Builder says that there are 125 different word possibilities for these letters. There were a lot of words that I was not familiar with, but, for the sake of space and time, three of them were ceorl, which means a freeman of lowly birth, lode, a deposit of ore, and loci, which is an engine used for logging.

  19. I entered the seven letters H-O-P-K-I-N-S (for Gerard Manley Hopkins) in the Scrabble Word Builder and this came back with 111 possible words found. Two words that were in this list that stuck out to me as words that were not familiar to me are “kino” and “kinos” which are both defined as a gum resin.

  20. For this assignment, I entered the letters A-N-N-I-E-B-S. I got these letters from Victorian author Annie Besant. Entering these words gave me 87 possible words that are playable according to the scrabble dictionary. Most of the words on the list were very bizarre and I had never heard of them, but I chose to only write about two of these words. The two unfamiliar words I chose to write about are ai and bise. According to the scrabble dictionary, an ai is a three toed sloth and a bise is a cold wind.

  21. For this assignment, I chose the author Florence Nightingale. I entered the seven letters N-I-G-H-T-I-N and discovered that only 24 word possibilities existed. While looking through the list of possibilities, I came across some words that I was not familiar with. One word was “gi”, which is a white garment worn in martial arts. Another word was “hin”, which is a Hebrew unit of liquid measure.

  22. I decided to do option three and chose the character Hastie Lanyon from “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”. The first seven letters of his name make the tile H-A-S-T-I-E-L and equate to 212 possible words on the scrabble word builder. Some words that I was not familiar with were “ait,” which is a small island, and “sei,” which is a type of whale.

  23. I entered the seven letters C-A-R-L-Y-L-E, for Thomas Carlyle, and got the results that there are eighty words using those seven letters. One of the words I did not know was ‘cella’ which is the interior of an ancient temple.

  24. My seven letters were “D” “I” “C” “K” “E” “N” “S” for Charles Dickens. Scrabble word builder gave me 101 different possibilities. One word that I was unfamiliar with was Cedis. Cedis is a monetary unit of Ghana.

  25. My seven letters were H-U-G-H-E-S-T for Thomas Hughes.The Scrabble Word Builder found 69 different word possibilities with this set of letters. A couple of the words I wasn’t familiar with were sheugh, which is a fancy word for a ditch, and suet, which is the hard fatty tissue around the kidneys of cattle and sheep.

  26. I chose to do Rudyard Kipling. The letters K-I-P-L-I-N-G. With these letters, there are 32 words that are able to be played. Some words I did not know are, “Kip” which means to sleep. “Li” which means the Chinese unit of distance. Also, “Ling” which is a heath plant.

  27. My Seven Letters I chose B-R-A-D-L-E-Y, I got 161 Possibilities for these letters. There was alot of words I was unfamiliar and the one that stuck out to me the most is Ya, which is an asian pear. So I hope I can have some more two letter words next time I play in class, hopefully.

  28. I used the seven letters dickens (for Charles Dickens). There are 101 possible words that can be made up of the seven letters I put in. A couple of words I am unfamiliar with is skein; to wind into long, loose coils, and the other is cine; a motion picture.

  29. The 7 letter word I chose was B-r-a-d-l-e-y. The Scrabble word Builder said that there were 161 Possibilities for these letters. There are many words that were unfair to me, but one of the words I didn’t know is “yerba’. Which is a South American drink that is similar to Tea.

  30. I decided to use the author Walter Besant for this assignment. I used the letters B-E-S-A-N-T-W. These letters can create 169 words. A couple of the words that I did not know was ¨awns¨ and ¨etna¨. Awns are the bristle like appendage of certain grasses. An etna is a container for heating liquids.

  31. I chose a character from “Alice ‘s Adventures in Wonderland” and I chose the dormouse in which the first seven letters are D-O-R-M-O-U-S. The number of possible words you can spell with these letters is 90. There were two that caught my eye and were unfamiliar to me were “OM” and “URD”. Om is a mantra used in contemplation of ultimate reality. Urd is an annual bean grown in India.

  32. I entered the 7 letters S-H-A-W-G-E-O (for George Bernard Shaw). The Scrabble Word Builder says that there are 105 different words that can be made form these letters. One of the words that I was not familiar with is “GAE”, which means to go. Another word I’m unfamiliar with is “GOAS” which is an Asian gazelle.

  33. I decided to use the author Charles Dickens as my first seven letters. I used the words D-I-C-K-E-N-S. In the scrabble word builder yields 101 playable words and two words that I was unfamiliar with was sned “to prune” and ” kines “a type of television tube”.

  34. I decided to use Lewis Carroll’s last name for the word builder. It was already 7 letters so I just had to put C-A-R-R-O-L-L. According to the Scrabble word builder, Carroll last name can create a total of 40 words. Some of the words where some I have no experience with such as AL which is an east Indian tree and CALO which is a a Spanish argot used by Chicano youths. There are of course common knowledge words like CAR and ROLL. That is about it.

  35. I’ve chosen the author Charles Dickens. By using the scrabble word builder, I typed in D-I-C-K-E-N-S and there were 101 possible playing words. Including, “cedi” which means a monetary of Ghana, “cis” which means having certain atoms on the same side of the molecule, and “den” which means to live in a lair.

  36. I chose Sir Arthur Conan Doyle– which far exceeds the seven-letter limit– and entered the letters “D-O-Y-L-E-S-I”. My results stated that one hundred and forty-two words could be made from those seven letters. One word result that I received was “dol”, which is a unit of pain intensity that I did not know existed previously.

  37. Carlyle I entered the word C-A-R-L-Y-L-E ans scrabble word builder told me their was 81 possible word choices. Most of the words on the list I had no idea were playable such as, aryl and erya. I also didn’t know their was so many choices for two letter words to be played

  38. I used the letters D-I-C-K-E-N-S for the author Charles Dickens. I found that there were 101 different possible words that could be made with these letters. One word that I did not know the meaning of was scend, meaning to rise upward, as a ship on a wave.

  39. I decided on Option 1 and used Edith Cooper’s name. I entered the letters C-O-O-P-E-R-E and got 50 possible word combinations. Out of the words given, a few were unknown to my vocabulary. The word “coper” is defined as someone who deals horses and a “Pe” is a letter in the Hebrew alphabet.

  40. I decided to use the author George Eliot. I used the letter E-L-I-O-T-G-E and found 60 possibilities. Of the unknown words I found, EL means an elevated railroad or train.

  41. The author I chose for this assignment was “Huxley, Leonard”. I used the seven-letter word “Leonard” and found 162 possibilities for a word that has these letters in it. With 162 possibilities there were a lot of unfamiliar words to me. The one I found really unfamiliar was Ladrone. The definition I found for ladrone was “a thief or a robber”.

  42. The seven letters I entered are STNBEOW. This combination has a total of one hundred and forty-four playable words. One word that I am unfamiliar with is owse. This word is basically a Scottish version of the word OX.

  43. For this assignment, I enter the letters E-B-E-N-E-Z-E, as in Ebenezer Scrooge in the “A Christmas Carol”. The seven letters I chose only yielded a small amount of 11 possibilities of words I could use in scrabble. However, I still found two new words I never heard before. Furthermore, these new words include neb, which is the beak of a bird, and nee, which means the born with the name of.

  44. I chose to do Annie Besant and entered the letters B-E-S-A-N-T-A. Out of those letters, there was a total of 122 playable words. One of the words I was unfamiliar with was “bas”, which means the eternal soul, in Egyption mythology.

  45. I chose to do Charles Dickens and entered the letters D-I-C-K-E-N-S. From these letters, there are 101 possible playable words. A few words I was unfamiliar with is “Cedis”, which is the monetary unit of Ghana. Another word is “Ins”, which is to harvest.

  46. I chose to do C-O-B-B-E-F-P (For Cobbe Frances Power) and came up with 25 possible played words. Two words I was not familiar with were Bebop, a type of jazz and Bob which means to move up or down.

  47. I used the letters B-R-A-D-L-E-Y from author Katharine Bradley. There were a total of 161 possilbe word combinations given the letters. One word I was unfamiliar with was ¨AL¨. According to scrabble, Al is an Eastern Indian Tree.

  48. For my Victorian Author I chose Charles Dickens. The word Dickens is 14 points. Scrabble toos said there are 101 possible words I could make with all the letters in Dickens. I wasn’t familiar with the word “Ens” which means an entity.

  49. I used the Victorian author Katharine Bradley. Entering the 7 letters B-R-A-D-L-E-Y into the Scrabble Word Builder, there were 161 possibilities for words found. One word that I was unfamiliar with was “Lyard” which means “streaked with gray”.

  50. From the word Dickens (Charles Dickens) you can make 101 words. One word I was not familiar with is “kines”. Kines is an archaic word for cowsor cattle.

  51. For this assignment, I chose the author Mary Elizabeth Coleridge. I entered the first seven letters of her last name C-O-L-E-R-I-D. There were a total of 125 word possibilities for these letters. One word I was unfamiliar with is “loid,” which mean to open a spring lock by using a piece of celluloid.

  52. I used the seven letters DICKENS for the Victorian author Charles Dickens. My search found that there are 101 different word possibilities from using these letters. One word that was unfamiliar to me was “Din”. The definition of this word is to make a loud sound.

  53. I entered the letters D-A-R-W-I-N-C for Charles Darwin. These letters yield 78 word possibilities. One word that was unfamiliar to me was the word “airn.” The definition of airn is iron (a mineral element). Some other words that were unfamiliar to me were cad, cairn, and wadi.

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