THE YACHT GAME
The game Yahtzee was invented by an unknown Canadian family in the mid-twentieth century. They originally called it the Yacht Game, because they played it on their yacht with their friends, and it was also sort of based on an existing dice game called Yacht. The rights were bought out by toymaker Edwin Lowe, the name was tweaked for commercial purposes, and the trademark for the game was registered with the US Patent Office by the Milton Bradley Company in 1956. Interestingly, the game has been marketed under different names in different geographic regions: it's spelled Yatzy in Scandinavia, Yams in France, and parts of Great Britain and Italy have used Yatzi and Yazzi. According to Google NGrams, Yahtzee makes up about 0.00000226% of all words in English literature, and peaked in usage in 2017.
It's also called Balut in Philippines and Kniffel in Germany. There are so many variants in the rule sets too, it's a strange game in that it has remained so popular until today!
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Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic. This year, I graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Government and Linguistics. There, I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society and wrote a thesis on Serbo-Croatian language policy, magna cum laude. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.