The Game of Fibble
The first Game of Fibble of which actual record exists was played in Portland, Oregon, in December of 2015. A well-attested rumor has it that the Game of Fibble was played in Cannon Beach, Oregon, a few years earlier, and this may well have been the first Game of Fibble played anywhere.
We know, however, that great scientific breakthroughs and intellectual discoveries are often made almost simultaneously by different geniuses in different places. And it is possible that many geniuses in the past have invented Fibble without publicizing their discovery — possibly without even knowing it.
It is a game of unique potential, with all but unlimited opportunities for silliness.
I present the rules of Fibble, as invented and developed by E. and C. Le Guin and L. Howell, and named by U. Le Guin.
Input from readers has led to certain clarifications to the Rules of Fibble.
The Rules of Fibble
(Revised 26 February 2016)
The Game of Fibble is played on a Scrabble board with Scrabble letters. The general rules of Scrabble obtain. (A suggestion of building words diagonally was rejected.)
- Two to four players, the more the merrier.
- The only words allowed are words that (so far as anybody there knows) do not exist.
- If another player recognizes that a word you made is a real English word, you have to take it apart and make one that isn’t.
- After you have placed this word on the board, you must pronounce and define it to the other players.
- English is the default language. Non-existent English words must be pronounceable in English.
- You may also make a word in dialect or another language — Wessex, Cajun, Old Norse, Inuit, Klingon, Finnish, etc — so long as the word doesn’t really exist in that dialect or language. You must say what language it is in, and be able to pronounce it (more or less) and define it. If any of the other players knows the language and recognizes the word as existing in that language, you have to take it apart and make another word.
- Words can be proper names, book titles, characters in books, slang, dirty, etc., so long as they are not real names, titles, characters, slang, dirty words, etc.
- If you use all seven letters in one word you may be applauded. The pink and red squares don’t count extra, because no score is kept.
- If the players want to, they may play collaboratively. Collaboration is often fruitful in regard to word definitions: other players discuss and refine the meaning and application of an invented word.
The Object of the Game
The Object of the Game is to use up all the letters. Since you can always make up a word or suffix that fits in somewhere, it is probably impossible not to achieve this goal.
Definitions of a few of these words:
ESWOX: a kind of footgear worn by the ZOMOI, a warlike people of the Albanian hinterland.
TORG: a piece of leg armor worn with eswox.
PURPODED: past tense of the verb purpode, to intend to do something which blows up in your face.
FLOTT: a wet fart.
LORPINE, adj.: lying around on your face not doing anything
The KOUDHIAD: the great epic of the grasslands, recounting the deeds of the hero Koudh.
NAGNEET, beloved of the hero Koudh, a beautiful maiden but ill-natured.
ANAGNEET, sister of Nagneet, less beautiful but much nicer.
I am sorry that the meanings of VINGULB and GNOOT have been forgotten, but perhaps our readers can supply them.