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Mad Gab

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Mad Gab is a different kind of word game. Created in 2004 by Mattel, it isn't about the words themselves but what you hear when you say them. How many times do you have to say, "Ask Rude Arrive Her" out loud before you hear, "a screwdriver"?

A Game of Mondegreens

Mad Gab is made up of mondegreens. These are "mishearings" of words and phrases, which creates other phrases. For example, in the song, Bad Moon Rising, by Creedence Clearwater Revival, the line "There's a bad moon on the rise" is often heard as There's a bathroom on the right. Another common mondegreen has been turned into an animated holiday special, Olive, the other Reindeer. In case you don't recognize it, it is the line from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, which begins, All of the other reindeer...

In the game, team players repeat mondegreens out loud until they can understand the phrases. While it may seem to be just a fun game, it can actually help with linguistics ability by training the brain to pick up individual sounds.

Playing Mad Gab

This game is for two to twelve players. The players split up into two teams, and team members work together to translate groups of words, mondegreens, into understandable phrases before their time runs out.

Each team has thirty seconds to solve three word puzzles. If a puzzle is answered incorrectly, the other team gets the chance to solve the puzzle and steal your points. Solving the word puzzles in the time frame given is difficult, however, when you are laughing so hard that you can hardly form the words. If your team guesses all three puzzles in the thirty seconds given, bonus points will be awarded.

When playing the game, it is helpful to remember to say the words aloud. In fact, reading the words can actually make it harder to guess the correct phrase.

With two difficulty levels, it is a great game to play for family game night when you may have several ages and abilities.

Winning the Game

The game is over when one team reaches twenty five points. One complete game will take about forty-five minutes to an hour.

Reading the Reviews

The reviews for this game seem to be evenly divided between those that love it and those that hate it.

Those reviewers that liked the game described it as being hysterically funny, hilarious, and side splitting. They described laughing uproariously while listening to their friends try to sound out the phrases. There were many comments that it was a great game for parties. One teacher shared that she uses the game in the classroom to help students with their sound-symbol awareness, a critical reading skill.

Those that disliked this game described it as difficult, stupid, and hard to follow.

Game Pieces

  • 1,200 puzzles on 300 cards
  • a timer unit
  • a flipper unit
  • timer/flipper label
  • a score pad
  • instructions

If you have this game, but have lost the instructions, you can download the instructions from Mattel website.

Where to Buy

Mattel games are available at any store that carries toys and games. Some of the online sites that carry this game are:

Other Versions

Several other versions of this game have been created:

  • Mad Gab Mania, a DVD version
  • Mad Gab Card Game
  • Bible Mad Gab

If you like Mad Gab, you may also like:

  • Balderdash
  • Apples to Apples
  • Catch Phrase
  • Taboo

Whichever version you decide to use, Mad Gab is a great way to include a game night in your week, keep a party going, or spend an evening with friends. Oh, and the caption in the image at the beginning of this article says, "Can you guess the word?". If you got it, you may be a champion at this game.

Mad Gab