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Don’t Say America (Taboos and Tokens)

Materials Needed

  • A taboo word
  • Tokens(usually clothespins)
  • Taboos and Token is an entertaining game that has become all the rage at parties. One major reason why is the game is flexible enough to fit almost any event. Independence Day is no exception, so get out your clothespins and start up a game!


    This game is an excellent choice to lead off your 4th of July party. Since you play it passively throughout the event, it is a good idea to start it as soon as possible.

    The Set Up: The first thing to do is to select a taboo word, meaning a word(or short phrase) your guests are not allowed to say. The most obvious choice is “America” which will work just fine, but if you wish you can choose another word like fireworks, July, hot dogs, beer, or anything you wish that is likely to be said frequently at your party. Now you need tokens. Clothespins are commonly used since they are easy to clip onto and remove from clothing without doing any damage.

    The Rules: To start the game inform all of your guests of the taboo word. Give them each a token and explain to them that whenever they say the taboo word they will lose their token to the first player to call them out. Now start the game. If Aunt Sue accidently says the taboo word and Cousin Earl is the first to point out her mistake, then Aunt Sue must give Cousin Earl her token. Now Sue has no tokens and Earl has two tokens. The only way for Aunt Sue to get a token back is to be the first to call out someone else when they say the taboo word.

    The game continues throughout the party until a predetermined time close to the end when the game is called to a halt. The person who has the most tokens at the close of the game is declared the winner and gets a prize.

    Craft Option: You can add red, white and blue ribbons, stickers, paint or anything else you can imagine to your clothespin tokens. Since guests will be wearing them throughout the party , many people choose to fancy them up.