Chinese whispers

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

Chinese whispers pl (plural only)

  1. (games, usually Britain) A game for several players in which a phrase, whispered by each person in turn to their neighbour, is often unwittingly misunderstood as it is transferred, to humorous effect by the time it reaches the last person and is compared with the original phrase.
    Synonyms: telephone (Canada, US), broken telephone, operator, pass it down, Russian scandal, telephone game, a whisper down the lane
  2. Anything resembling this particular game, for instance a verbal misunderstanding.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Even though the noun is originally a plural form, it is treated as if singular.
    The Chinese whispers is definitely not my favourite game.

Translations[edit]