Have a look at your breakfast. Did you know your cappucino derives from the Capuchin monks who wore brown hooded habits? That the avocado on your toast comes from the Aztec word for testicle, given the rough resemblance in shape and outer texture?
It's likely you wouldn't, but the word origins are fun to know anyhow. So are learning collective nouns like a parliament of owls and interesting phobias like zidongshophobia (the fear of vending machines) along with clever sayings and tricky tongue-twisters.
This is what a trio of former Landor employees are hoping, as they've moved on from their Asia-based jobs at the brand-design firm to work on a new kind of pitch and a new kind of campaign.
The group, composed of former Landor & Fitch senior strategist Emily Sheen, strategy director Freddie Luchterhand-Dare and former Landor creative director Mo Saad have moved on to new roles, but took the time in between jobs to create a new game which just might appeal to marketers, journalists and other fellow word lovers.
It's called playwordplay, and it brings together the weirdly wonderful world of words and their origins in a truly entertaining way, with five brilliantly entertaining categories aimed at having friends and family learning, lampooning and laughing out loud.
Having written all 950 cards and desperate to see this passion project come to life, the group has been running its first kickstarter campaign. If you like what you see, make a pre-order to support local creative talent. Word up!
What made several members of a creative team want to make a new game together?
Freddie, Mo and Emily used to play “guess the word origin” over lunch in the office. The game became addictive and we decided to bring it to life for others to play too.
What design agency skills did you employ in making the game?
Mo’s design skills were instrumental in bringing the idea to life, whilst Freddie and Emily’s strategy brains and creative writing skills were needed to write the 950 cards, rulebook and kickstarter copy.
What are a couple of your favourite words in the game? Why?
That a “cappuccino” is named after the pale brown colour of a capuchin monk’s hood. Or that the collective noun for a group of pugs is a “grumble”. We find words get fantastically wordier the more you get to know them. Learning the origins of well-known words and sayings completely changes the way you see them.
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