is an old rhyming game
which, according to Strutt
, was played as early as the 14th century
under the name of the ABC of Aristotle
. In the days of the Stuarts
it was very popular, and is frequently mentioned in the writings of the time. Thus Congreve
's Love for Love
, i. 1, contains the passage, "Get the Maids to Crambo in an Evening, and learn the knack of Rhyming." Crambo, or capping the rhyme, is now played by one player thinking of a word and telling the others what it rhymes with, the others not naming the actual word they guess but its meaning. Thus one says "I know a word that rhymes with bird." A second asks "Is it ridiculous?" "No, it is not absurd." "Is it a part of speech?" "No, it is not a word." This proceeds until the right word is guessed. In Dumb Crambo the guessers, instead of naming the word, express its meaning by dumb show, a rhyme being given them as a clue.