Balderdash is a board game of confusions about words, bluffing people and language trivia. It was created by Bradyn Blower and Mark Powell and is now owned by Mattel (The company that also makes UNO, Hot Wheels, Kerplunk, and Magic 8 Ball to name a few). It is based on a classic parlor game called Fictionary.
It basically relies on the fact that the English language is so massive and diverse that no one knows what all the words mean. Balderdash has these rare and obscure words on cards and players compete to guess the correct definitions. In each round one person has the correct definition with the other players having to write their own guessed definition.
The aim, is of course to fool everyone, and guess yourself.
It’s a game of bluff and Machiavellian duplicity. Anyone who’s played Balderdash, or games like this, will know that soon they find out a side of certain friends they never knew existed! A calculating and devious side! Or friends find out that side of you...
There is of course the rather fun tactic of just writing absurd and insane definitions and seeing if you can get a laugh. In fact that tactic can sometimes win you a game. As people begin to double think themselves they can easily begin the “that’s so absurd, it might actually be TRUE!” thought process.
There have been a number of TV panel games based ont his concept of course, including on in the US with comedian Elayne Boosler as host and in the UK “Call my Bluff” with Tap dancer extra-ordinaire, Lionel Blair.