blindman's buff


blindman's buff
/bluynd"manz' buf"/
a game in which a blindfolded player tries to catch and identify one of the other players. Also called blindman's bluff.
[1580-90]

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game
      children's game played as early as 2,000 years ago in Greece. The game is variously known in Europe: Italy, mosca cieca (“blind fly”); Germany, Blindekuh (“blind cow”); Sweden, blindbock (“blind buck”); Spain, gallina ciega (“blind hen”); and France, colin-maillard (named for a medieval fight between a French lord of Louvain [Leuven] and a man named Colin who fought with a mallet and was blinded in the battle). The game blindman's buff is played in many areas other than Europe, however. For instance, in Papua New Guinea the game is known as kamu namu.

      Among the Igbo in Nigeria, a version of the game is called Kola onye tara gi okpo? (“Can you find the person who knocked you on the head?”). In this version one child covers another child's eyes with his hands, then a third child hits the “blind” child on the head and goes back to the circle of children. When the child who was struck is allowed to look, he must guess correctly who hit him. If he guesses correctly, the child who hit him must take his place as the next to be “blinded.”

      To play the standard game of blindman's buff, one player is blindfolded and then disoriented by being spun around several times. The other players, who are not blindfolded, amuse themselves by calling out to the “blind man” and dodging away from him. In the Middle Ages blindman's buff was an adult game, and the blindfolded player was usually struck and buffeted as well, hence “buff.” A player touched or caught by the blind man takes on the blindfold, although sometimes the blind man must guess the identity of his captive before the blindfold is removed (if the guess is wrong, the captive is released and the game continues).

      The game has been popular at later times among adults. The English diarist Samuel Pepys reported a game played by his wife and some friends in 1664, and the English poet laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson, is said to have played it in 1855.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Blindman's buff — Blind man s buff , Blind man s buff Blind man s buff [See {Buff} a buffet.] A game in which one person is blindfolded, and tries to catch some one of the other players, and tell who it is. [1913 Webster] Surely he fancies I play at blindman s… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • blindman's buff — [blīnd′manz΄] n. [buff contr. < BUFFET1] a game in which a blindfolded player has to catch and identify another player: also blindman s bluff …   English World dictionary

  • blindman's buff — noun a children s game in which a blindfolded player tries to catch and identify other players • Syn: ↑blindman s bluff • Hypernyms: ↑child s game * * * ˈblīn(d)ˌmanz , ˌmaa(ə)nz noun Etymology: blind man + buff (buffet) …   Useful english dictionary

  • blindman's buff — noun Date: 1599 a group game in which a blindfolded player tries to catch and identify another player called also blindman s bluff …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • blindman's-buff — n. Hoodman blind, blind man buff …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • blindman's buff — blind•man s buff [[t]ˈblaɪndˌmænz ˈbʌf[/t]] n. gam a game in which a blindfolded player must catch and identify one of the other players. Also called blind′man s bluff′ • Etymology: 1580–90 …   From formal English to slang

  • blindman's buff —   Pō ai puni makapō …   English-Hawaiian dictionary

  • Buff — Buff, n. [See {Buffet}.] A buffet; a blow; obsolete except in the phrase Blindman s buff. See {blindman s buff}. [1913 Webster] Nathless so sore a buff to him it lent That made him reel. Spenser. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • buff — buff1 [buf] n. [earlier buffe, buffalo < Fr buffle < It bufalo,BUFFALO] 1. a heavy, soft, brownish yellow leather made from the skin of the buffalo or from other animal hides 2. a military coat made of this leather 3. a) a stick or small… …   English World dictionary

  • blindman'sbluff — blind·man s bluff (blīndʹmănz ) n. A game in which a blindfolded player tries to catch and identify one of the other players. Also called blindman s buff.   [Alteration of blindman s buff, from buff, a blow, short for buffet2.] * * * …   Universalium