Word chain

Word chain, also known as grab on behind, last and first, alpha and omega, and the name game.[1][2][3] is a word game in which players come up with words that begin with the letter or letters that the previous word ended with. A category of words is usually chosen, there is a time limit such as five seconds,[1][4] and words may not be repeated in the same game.[5] The version of the game in which cities are used is called geography.


An example chain for food would be: Soup - Peas - Sugar - Rice.[1]

The game is used as a tool for teaching English as a second language[6][7] and as a car game.[5]

Related gamesEdit

A similar Japanese game is Shiritori, in which the word must begin with the last syllable, or kana, of the previous word. It includes a rule for loss: words ending with N may not be used since the kana is never used in the beginning of words. The game Antakshari (ant means end, akshar means letter), played in India, Pakistan and Nepal also involves chaining, but with verses of movie songs (usually Bollywood songs). In Russia a game similar to the Word chain is called Words (Russian: слова). In French-speaking countries, the game Marabout involves the last syllable.

Writing poetry following the same principle is called capping verses.[8][9] Various other variants exist, such as Ancient Greek skolion.

Examples from popular cultureEdit

  • In the European Version of Tomodachi Life there is an event called Word Chain, it is the English version of Shiritori Tournament but the North American Version lacks it and replaced with a similar event called Rap Battle.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Wise, Debra; Sandra Forrest (2003). Great big book of children's games: over 450 indoor and outdoor games for kids. McGraw-Hill Professional. ISBN 0-07-142246-3.
  2. ^ Wood, Clemend; Gloria Goddard (1940). The complete book of games (2 ed.). Garden City.
  3. ^ "How to Play the Name Game!". The Van Gogh-Goghs. 1999. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  4. ^ Cullen, Ruth (2004). Brainiac's Gross-Out Activity Book. Activity Journal Series. Peter Pauper Press. ISBN 0-88088-448-7.
  5. ^ a b Rosenthal, Aaron. "Are We There Yet?". Street Directory. Retrieved 8 December 2009.
  6. ^ Sperling, Dave. "w-o-r-d c-h-a-i-n". Dave's ESL Cafe. Retrieved 8 December 2009.
  7. ^ Hill, Monica (2005). "Fun Vocabulary Learning Activities". Harsh words: English words for Chinese learners. Hong Kong University Press. p. 138. ISBN 962-209-717-0.
  8. ^ Cap Verses (To)., Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, Brewer, 1898
  9. ^ Brewer, E. Cobham (1898). "Cap Verses (To).". Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.