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The first US version.

Balderdash is a board game based on an older parlor word game called Fictionary. It was created by Laura Robinson and Paul Toyne and first published by Canada Games in 1984. In the game players take turns presenting an obscure word and all the other players create false definitions for the word. The definitions, including the correct one, are anonymized, then each definition is read aloud and players attempt to guess the correct definition. Guessing correctly gives you points, writing a definition that's believable enough for others to guess yours also gives you points, and, knowing the correct definition ahead of time gives you even more points. The first player to score 18 points wins.

Balderdash was originally published by Canada Games in Canada and The Games Gang in the USA, later, it was published by Western Publishing Company, Parker Brothers, Milton Bradley (in the UK), Hasbro, and finally Mattel. Although Balderdash is essentially the same as Fictionary, it has the benefit of having a large assortment of obscure words and their definitions already prepared for you, so you don't have to own an unabridged dictionary or spend time trying to find an obscure word.

A few sequels have been made. In 1989 Bible Balderdash was made which uses obscure words from the bible. In 1991, the kid's version, Balderdash Junior was created. In 1993, Beyond Balderdash (or Absolute Balderdash in the UK) was made which introduces variations on the game like bluffing historical events, movie plots, acronyms, and the like. In 2004, the game was adapted into a television game show, though it only lasted one season. After that, in 2006, Balderdash was reworked to be more like Beyond Balderdash.


I first played Balderdash with the aunts and uncles on my father's side of the family around 1990, while on a break from school. Although I was still too young to play the game very well, I still enjoyed it a lot, and, later in my teens, I bought the game. I've played it with a variety of my friends and typically enjoy it every time.

I own the game.



  • The first few times you play the game, you'll find it to be a whole lot of fun, especially if you're playing with people who are good bluffers or are already familiar with the play style.


  • Like most games with prepared cards, once you play the game long enough, you being to memorize the cards.
  • By focusing solely on word definitions, it doesn't take long before you start to get bored of it. Beyond Balderdash help alleviate this problem.


  • Nothing.