We cannot say with authority when the charade was first played; it is, however, without a doubt, one of our oldest games, and always popular. Players love charades and at a party generally, wish to know when they are o b played.

By way of the preparation a few shawls, hats and jackets will suffice. If some false hair is available so much the better. It is best to select the players for the principal parts, as special intelligence is here needed. The word chosen for the charade must be of two syllables. We give her a few words that are suitable: Willow, milkmaid, hardship, earshot, mistake, madcap, playerhood, grandfather, grand player, namesake, waistcoat, joyful, full-blown, handsome, quicksand, nutmeg, quick time, roundhead, tearful, tunnel, tartar, outside, inside, homesick, armchair, bonfire, daybreak, surname, perform, intent, leap year, footman, wayward, tintack, lifelong, lifelike, cutlet, cupboard, starting, thoughtful, damage, watchman, encase, indent, inform, Moonstruck, indoor, outdoor.

Now for an example.

Say we take the word “Milkmaid”. The first scene must then introduce the word “Milk”. The stage setting should be a drawing room with a lady sitting on a settee.


Lady of the House                  MRS FLAIRUP

Maid                                       JACKSON

Visitor                                    MRS KNOWALL


JACKSON: Mrs Knowall has called, madam.

MRS FLAIRUP (rising): How do you do, Mrs Knowall? I am so glad to see you. (Says aside to JACKSON) Bring in Tea.

MRS FLAIRUP: Come and sit down and we will have a cosy little chat before tea.

(They talk ordinary conversation)

Enter JAKSON with tea. She upsets milk.

MRS FLAIRUP: How dare you be so careless, Jackson. You have stained my dress.

JACKSON: It was an accident, madam.

MRS FLAIRUP: That will do, Jackson.

MRS KNOWALL: Milk stains so. I should sponge it with very hot water.

MRS FLAIRUP: Yes, I think I must. It is so annoying to spoil a new dress in these terrible times, but I am afraid I spoke a little too severely to Jackson. I was annoyed.

MRS KNOWALL (rising) I think I must be going. It has been such a pleasure seeing you again I hope you will pay me a visit before long.

MRS FLAIRUP, also rising, rings the bell;

MRS KNOWALL departs.

End of the first scene.



Lady of the House                  MRS FLAIRUP

Maid                                       JACKSON

(In this scene we must introduce the word “Maid”. Setting same as last – a drawing room. MRS FLAIRUP reading a book).


JACKSON: If you please, madam, I have come to give you notice; and I wish to leave as soon as possible.

MRS FLAIRUP: Why, Jackson, what is all this about? I thought you were very comfortable here and would stay with me for quite a long time.

JACKSON: Yes, madam, I am very comfortable here; and I was happy up to yesterday. But I have never before, in all the places I have had (which I must say are not many, as I always kept my situations), been “told off” as I was yesterday – and in front of visitors, too. I was never so insulted in my life.

MRS FLAIRUP: Now Jackson, calm yourself and remember to whom you are talking. You know I was very much annoyed. I wore that new dress yesterday for the first time, and to be so spoilt – well it would annoy anyone

JACKSON: I grant all that, madam, but I gave never been “told off” before in front of visitors.

MRS FLAIRUP: Well, Jackson, forget it. I am sure we suit each other very well and you know I should have great difficulty in getting another maid -they are so scarce. I will consider raising your wages at the end of the month.

JACKSON: Very well, madam; if you put it that way, I withdraw my notice.


End of the second scene.



MRS SNOWBALL                  Who keeps a dairy

JACKSON                               Mrs Flairup’s maid

(In this scene we must introduce the whole word “Milkmaid”. Setting a dairy, with the woman – MRS SNOWBALL – behind the counter).



JACKSON: Good morning, Mrs Snowball; a beautiful morning.

MRS SNOWBALL: Yes, you’re right, t is; but what brought you out so early?

JACKSON: Well, I had a bit of a tiff with the missus yesterday, and I told her off and gave her notice. But of course, she didn’t want me to go, as I am a good servant, and knows my job from A to Z. So, she asked me to stay on with a rise in wages. I say Yes, I would. This morning she says “Jackson, would you like to go for a walk? You look pale as if you want some air.” So, I say, “Yes, madam.  And she says, “Well, will you run along and pay Mrs Snowball’s bill? It is overdue.” So here I am to pay your bill.

MRS SNOWBALL: I think you did right in staying. Although there are plenty of places going, there are very few decent ones, and your lady is a good sort.

JACKSON: You’re not looking very grand, Mrs Snowball.

MRS SNOWBALL: Oh, I am alright; only a little worried one of our milkmaids has gone and poisoned her finger, and I can’t for the life of me get another. I don’t know what we shall do.

JACKSON: Well, worry doesn’t make it any better. You are sure to find someone to help you for a short time until she is better. Well, I must be going. Goodbye, Mrs Snowball.


End of Charade

The audience will most likely guess the word as it is a fairly easy one. But this charade is not at all difficult to play.


One person must go out of a room, leaving a confederate who remain. He, the confederate, must make a little speech on photography, and ay that he is prepared to take a photograph of anyone in the room, although it will not be visible to those in the room. The Master, who is out of the room, will readily recognise who it is.

He then secures a piece of paper, or a piece of music and asks who would like to have their photo taken.

When one has been chosen, he tells her to pose herself and look happy. He next proceeds to sensitize the piece of music, or paper, by rubbing it. He then holds it in front of the player who is to be photographed, telling her to keep quite still and look pleasant. After a moment or so he says it is taken and must now develop it. This he does by holding it to the fire, lamp or gas, for a few moments. He then says it is a fine photo and the Master is asked to come in.

One entering the room, the photo is handed to the Master, while his confederate (who has retired to a seat) at once assumes the attitude of the player he has taken – such as legs crossed, hands folded in lap, head to one side. The Master notices his attitude, looks for a player sitting in that position, and of course, at once recognises who it is. He then says “What capital photograph! There can be no doubt as to who it is.” and finally mentions the name.

Although this is all very simple, it will give rise to a deal of wondering as to how it is done, and you will surely be asked to do it again.


  1. Place a poker on the ground so that you cannot jump over it (it should rest against the wall)
  2. Bite an inch off the poker. (Hold the poker an inch from your mouth, and bite).
  3. Play a tune on the piano
  4. Sing a verse of a song
  5. Recite
  6. Put your right hand where your left cannot reach it (Place it on the left elbow).
  7. Kiss the boy or girl you like best in the room.
  8. Sing in one corner, cry in another, laugh in another, and dance in another.
  9. Dance a jig
  10. Kiss your shadow
  11. Kiss a book inside and out, without opening it. (Kiss a book inside the room, and then take it outside and kiss)
  12. Place two chairs Together. Take off your shoes and jump over them. (You put two chairs together. take off your shoes and jump over the shoes.)
  13. Place a candle so that everyone in the room can see it, but you yourself cannot. (On your head).
  14. Say the alphabet backwards.
  15. Hop around the room on one leg
  16. Repeat five times quickly, “The Horn of the Hunter was Heard on the Hill.”
  17. Touch thousands at the same tie. (Place your hand on your head.)
  18. Kiss yourself in a looking-glass.
  19. Spell “Constantinople” backwards.
  20. Put yourself through a keyhole. (Write “Yourself” on a piece of paper and pass it through the keyhole.)
  21. Jump over the moon. (Draw the moon on a piece of paper and jump over it).
  22. Kiss your hostess’ hand.
  23. Lie down on the floor, fold your arms, and get up again without unfolding them.
  24. Sit on the fire. (Write the words “the fire” on a paper and sit on it).
  25. Leave the room with two legs and return with six. (walk out of the room and return with a chair).

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