During the 19th century, wealthy men and women had more leisure time than people of previous generations. This led to the creation of a variety of parlour games to allow these gentlemen and ladies to amuse themselves at small parties. Parlour games decreased in popularity in the first half of the 20th century as radio, movies, and later, television captured more of the public's leisure time. Though decreased in popularity, parlour games continue to be played. Some remain nearly identical to their Victorian ancestors; others have been transformed into board games such as Balderdash.
Many parlour games involve logic or word-play. Others, such as blind man's bluff, are more physical games, but not to the extent of a sport or exercise. Some also involve dramatic skill, such as in charades. Most do not require any equipment beyond what would be available in a typical parlour. Parlour games are usually competitive, but cumulative scores are not usually kept and the only reward for winning a round is the admiration of one's peers. The length and ending time of the game is typically not set; play continues until the players decide to end the game.
The phrase "parlour game" has entered political dialogue, and is used to accuse opponents of using deliberately nebulous or confusing language when describing a particular position on an issue.
IT'S the most popular parlour game in town -- putting names to the 10 members of the Golden Circle who carved up a '300m Anglo Irish Bank shareholding on extraordinarily favourable terms.
Feb 19, 2009; FG tries to connect dots in 'golden circle' parlour game IT'S the most popular parlour game in town -- putting names to the 10...