Kimball Pairs: A Quirky Word Game

Kimball Pairs is a homemade word game.

A Kimball Pair is two words which have idiomatic meaning in either order.  For example, “rat pack” and “pack rat”.  These are also called “transpograms” and “switch words”.  We started playing this little game on a Flying Karamazov Brothers tour.  I don’t remember where we were, but across the road from our hotel was a very run-down antique shop, the exterior of which was made in the image of a small ship.  Until I found out it was a store, I thought it was a house.  This left me to ponder as to whether it was a houseboat or a boathouse.  I told Howard Patterson about this verbal mechanism, and he named it after me.  Hours of bus time were spent in the search for new pairs.  Here’s a list of my favourites.

Nicely laid out website with examples here. Careful, it’s addictive.

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