(as I call it anyway)
(photo by Benutzer)
Verb & noun. Late 16th century.
[Probably of dialectical origin & related to BOGLE, BOGGARD, etc.]
A1 verb intrans. Start with a fright, shy as a startled horse. L16
A2 Equivocate, quibble. E17
A3 verb intrans. Hesitate, demur at, about, etc.; (of the mind) be overwhelmed or baffled. M17
A4 verb trans. Cause to hesitate or demur; baffle, overwhelm mentally. (rare before M20.) M17
A4 mind-boggling: see MIND noun
B1 noun.The act of shying or taking alarm. dialectical. M17
B2 noun. Scruple, demur. Chiefly in make a boggle. M17
B3 noun. A bungle. M19
Also: boggler noun a person who boggles or hesitates E17
Boggle, by Parker Brothers, is a great game. It's a bit like Scrabble, but without the crippling tedium. There's no waiting for others, but rather you all have three minutes to find as many words as possible within the 4x4 grid. You may only use each letter once, and letters from a word must be connected in the correct order. As the time counts down, each player writes his words on a piece of paper, and these are scored at the end of the game. If you have the same word as another player, no point is awarded for that word, and more points are awarded for longer words. That's it. It's all childishly simple.
In my day (if I may toot my boggle bugle), I was rather good at Boggle. Like Scrabble, a good knowledge of short, unusual words is a telling advantage, and my strategy would generally involving blitzing through as many three and four letter words as I could, rather than going for the nine letter slam-dunk. Therefore, words like ben, tor and auk, as well remembering that individual letters have spellings too (ess, for example) will reap you a bounty of words with minimum risk that another player will write the same.
And if conversation is running a bit dry during a game of Boggle, you can always talk about what an interesting word boggle is. Not only does it mean to baffle, but it's also the verb for startling like a shying horse. In fact, if you really want to be the centre of attention, you can tell people that the related noun boggard is an 'object at which a horse boggles'. Armed with trivia like that, getting a date (or conversing during one) will never be a problem again.
Do you play Boggle?
Are you a boggler?
Adhering to the rules of Boggle, what's the longest word you can find in the grid above?
Do you please share this post and leave your most beboggling comments below.