The Time Traveller's Vocabulary Challenge
How much has the English vocabulary changed in the last 100 years? Find out by playing The Time Traveller's Vocabulary Challenge.
The Time Traveller's Vocabulary Challenge is programmed with words that were in use in the United States of America in the 1910s.
Your job is to guess words that were in the century-old dictionary.
Press "Help" for a quick introduction on how to play. For detailed instructions, see below (under the High Score Table)
- Register or login (look for the login section at the bottom-right of this page) to record your high scores
- Make sure you have the latest version of Flash
- Think of words that might have been used 100 years' ago
- Use American spelling
- Don't rely on plurals to save you
- Be careful of place names
- Think strategy as well as vocabulary: the word you use now will decide the word you use next!
Top 20 Players
How To Play
1. The Vocabulary Challenge presents a random word from a dictionary.
2. For example, assume the game displays the word "Fence". You must now type in a word that begins with the second-last letter in "Fence" (ie "C") and ends with the second letter in "Fence" (ie "E").
3. For example, you might type "Concave".
4. Since "Concave" appears in the dictionary, you score, and the game continues.
5. You must now enter a word that starts with "v" and ends in "o" (since these are the second-last and second letters of the word "concave").
6. For example, you might type "volcano".
7. Longer words score higher points.
8. If you enter 10 correct words before time runs out, then you progress to the next round.
9. The game has 5 rounds.
10. The game gets harder each round by asking you for longer words.
11. In each round, you have 2 lifelines to help you if you get stuck: press the dictionary button to reveal a word that might fit; press the switch button to get a fresh word.
12. Login to record your high score.
13. Press the game's "Back" button (next to the mute button) to finish the game early; if you have improved your high score, then your high score will be recorded.
14. Acknowledgments: OPTED, Project Gutenburg, and the 1913 edition of Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.