Many Americans might be surprised to learn that the board game Clue goes by the name Cluedo outside of the United States. It all traces to World War II, when inventor Anthony Pratt allegedly thought to make a murder-mystery game during a Nazi bombing in England. In 1944, he filed a patent for this, intending to name the game Murder!, but when it was bought out by the publisher Waddingtons, it was renamed to Cluedo, which is a clever amalgam combining the English word clue with the Latin word ludo, meaning "I play". However, when Parker Brothers brought the game to the United States, they felt that the name was too abstract and clipped it to just Clue, alongside other changes like eliminating some extra rooms. The game's slogan also changed throughout the years, from "The Great Detective Game" at the 1949 launch to "The Great New Sherlock Holmes Game" to "The Parker Brothers Detective Game" and finally "The Classic Detective Game" around the turn of the century.
Adam Aleksic is a 220-month-old, 2800-ounce high school senior with disturbing interests in etymology, vexillology, geography, board games, limericks, and law. Adam will be studying linguistics at Harvard University in the fall.
The Etymology Nerd