Strange Words is a simple activity that is aimed at intermediate and above students. In this activity students are given unusual and strange words from the English language. In teams, students must invent a definition for the word. Later, the teams are shown all the definitions plus the actual definition and each team must guess what is the correct definition.
Activity time: 15 minutes + (shorter or longer rounds can be played)
Materials required: List of unusual words and their definitions. See the download below.
Skills practiced: Brainstorming, writing and negotiating.
Level: Teen and Adults intermediate +
- Divide the class in equal teams of no more than four students.
- Write one of the words on the board from the list below. Next, tell students what part of speech the word is (noun, verb, adjective etc).
- Explain to your students that they must invent a definition for the word and make it as believable as possible.
- As soon as each team is finished writing their definitions they must give it to the teacher. Once the teacher has all the definitions, the teacher reads them out in a mixed order including the actual definition.
- Next, students decide what the real definition to the word is. Award points for each correct answer.
- Award points to teams who can guess which team wrote each definition.
A list of words you could use:
|Word||Part of speech||Definition|
|Shallop||Noun||A light sailing boat used mainly for coastal fishing or as a tender.|
|Spurrier||Noun||A person who makes spurs.|
|Verjuice||Noun||a sour juice obtained from crab apples or unripe grapes.|
|Petrichor||Noun||the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil.|
|Xenology||Noun||the scientific study of extraterrestrial phenomena.|
|Abomasum||Noun||the fourth stomach of a ruminant, such as a cow or sheep.|
|Dismurderized||Adjective||Divested of the character of murder; pronounced to be not murder.|
|Zoolatry||Noun||the worship of animals.|