Nothing passes the time like a game of Hangman (or Hang-spider, if you prefer). But it’s not much fun when the other person guesses the puzzle right away – or when the puzzle is too hard to figure out! Learn the secret behind choosing Hangman phrases that are both hard and fun to guess.
Hard (but Fun) Hangman Phrases
Hangman Words That Are Hard (But Fun)
The trick to creating Hangman clues and phrases is the same, no matter the players’ age level: use fewer vowels and avoid repeated words. Players can guess every vowel in the first five (or six, if you count Y) turns, making the rest of the puzzle easy to solve. And if your phrase repeats a word, that’s less work for your opponent to do.
Remember, you only need to beat them in as many moves as it takes to draw the hangman!
Fun Hangman Phrases
You also don’t want to make your puzzle too easy by making it an everyday saying. There are lots of different phrases and idioms to choose from that don’t repeat words. Try out these phrases in your next Hangman game:
- Ignorance is bliss
- Knee jerk reaction
- A weight off my shoulders
- My Achilles’ heel
- Cog in the machine
- Burning the midnight oil
- The world’s mine oyster
- Don’t muddy the waters
- Upset the apple cart
- A bite at the cherry
- A cast iron stomach
- Batten down the hatches
- Flogging a dead horse
- Point of no return
- Shiver me timbers
- Tell it to the judge
Tricky Hangman Quotes
There are some quotes that practically everyone can recite from memory. But for those puzzles that need an extra challenge, you might want to pick more obscure quotes to guess. You can even add the speaker’s name as part of the game!
Try out these quotes that are just tricky enough to work:
- “No hour of life is lost that is spent in the saddle.” - Winston Churchill
- “Skinned knees are easier to fix than a broken heart.” - Julia Roberts
- “All great change in America begins at the dinner table.” - Ronald Reagan
- “Journalism is the first rough draft of history.” - Phillip L. Graham
- “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.” - Albert Einstein
- “Puns are the highest form of literature.” - Alfred Hitchcock
- “When you arrive at a fork in the road, take it.” - Yogi Berra
- “Courage is the magic that turns dreams into reality.” - Richter Abend
- “Your sense of responsibility to others can never be excessive.” - Dean Koontz
Challenging Hangman Words
Maybe you’d rather make up your own Hangman phrases. Consider the best words to use when creating a Hangman puzzle. It might seem like longer words are your best bet, but if you want to win, you’re better off with shorter words.
Short Hangman Words
The key to making your Hangman phrase challenging is to give your opponent fewer chances to guess. That means choosing short words with repeating unusual consonants and minimal vowels (since players can technically guess all vowels in five to six turns). According to Reader’s Digest, the hardest word to guess in Hangman is jazz.
Some other short Hangman words include:
Hangman Hints for Wordsmiths
If you’re playing against a real logophile, you’ll need to bring out the big guns. That doesn’t mean you should play long words like antidisestablishmentarianism anytime soon! Remember: short words with lots of consonants are your path to victory.
Check out these surefire winners:
Building Vocabulary With Word Games
Playing word games like Hangman is an excellent way to increase your vocabulary. Not only do you get to learn new words, you can also practice your spelling skills by guessing the correct letters. If you’d like more practice building vocabulary, check out these vocabulary games that are perfect for elementary and secondary readers.