Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Charades: Rhyming Riddles from Jane Austen's Time

This blog is about charades, a kind of rhyming riddle that was popular during the Regency period, roughly from 1776 through the 1830s and afterwards (after about 1840, the term started referring to the acting game we are familiar with today). These appeared in magazines, books, and on the fans the ladies carried during this period. Charades started in France, and spread to Great Britain and the United States. They play a role in Jane Austen’s novel Emma.

Here is how they work: each charade is about a word. It gives clues to each part of the word (usually a syllable that is also a word), and a clue about the word itself. Here is an example:

My first is a preposition (for)
My next a composition (tune)
My whole is an acquisition (fortune).

Ready to try one?

My second’s a weapon of war,
My first a vibration.
My whole’s the delight and the pride of the nation.

Remember to set your mind back 200 years as you guess.




Lori said...

This is such a hard one. My head hurts!

ByMyFirst said...

Thanks for trying! Would you like a clue?


Oregon Regency Society said...

I have added your link to our blog-list and also as a link under the Regency Pastimes link on our blog page.

Miranda Mayer said...

Which nation, or is that relevant?

ByMyFirst said...

To Miranda: the nation is relevant; it's England.

Thanks to the Oregon Regency Society for linking to this blog from their excellent web page.


Adriana Zardini said...

That's such a lovely idea!

Congratulations from Brazil!

Adriana Zardini

Terezinha said...

Austensound Am I close?

Jolie said...


ByMyFirst said...

That's it! Congratulations to Jolie, and thanks to all who responded.

Ready for the next one?


Mariana said...

I feel a little stupid XD