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Shiritori Word Loop

By Shamus
on Saturday Feb 3, 2007
Filed under:


I’m still working on Word Loops. I like the Japanese term “Shiritori”, which Steven proposed. I’m not sure it’s technically correct. From the way I read how a Shiritori is played, it uses the last “part” of a word, but my understanding of Japanese language is too crude to take that any further. At any rate, Shiritori is a better term than “thingy”.

You can take the movie Blondes Prefer Gentlemen and the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and make a stupid little two-element loop.

Not very interesting.

Someone else suggested a one-element loop: Duran Duran. Ha ha.

I did manage to close the loop on the one from the previous post, but I needed a little help from IMDB to come up with “Blue Water, White Death” as well as “Gentlemen of the Hunt”, neither of which I’ve ever heard of.

So here is my 29 element Shiritori Word Loop, which started with Paris Hilton:

  1. Paris Hilton
  2. Hilton Hotel
  3. Hotel California
  4. California Girls
  5. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
  6. Fun With Dick and Jane
  7. Jane Eyre
  8. Eyre Affair
  9. Affair to Remember
  10. Remember the Titans
  11. Titans of Justice
  12. Justice League
  13. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
  14. Gentlemen of the Hunt
  15. Hunt For Red October
  16. October Sky
  17. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
  18. Tomorrow People
  19. People are Strange
  20. Strange Days
  21. Days of Thunder
  22. Thunderball
  23. Ball of Fire
  24. Fire in the Deep
  25. Deep Blue
  26. Blue Water, White Death
  27. Death be Not Proud
  28. Proud to be an American
  29. American Werewolf in Paris

I could easily pad this list in a few spots. In particular, there are several movie and song titles that go “People [something] People”, and so I could chain them all together and stick them in right before “People are Strange”. I was trying to stick to famous movies and top 40 songs (from any time period) and other things that should be easily recognized by the average English-speaker. Making a “themed” list – such as anime, song titles, might be interesting.

Anyway, I’m done with this for now.

Comments (11)

  1. Da Penguin says:

    Very nice… i was trying to come up with some of my own but being Australian (hence non American) my pop culture references are not all that great..

    Hate ot be technical – but shouldn’t it be Balls of Fire?

    Also – (and I know you have heard this before), came here for DM of the Rings and stayed for everything else… Great Job man.. your posts and everyhing – remind me of a lot of what i got up to in my youth.

    Keep up the good work.

    Steve (da penguin man)

  2. Teddust says:

    A word loop is not the same thing as Shiritori. The english equivalent of Shiritori would be a game where one person says a word, then the next person says a word that begins with the last letter of the previous word. For example “Ninja -> apple -> eggplant -> train”. Of course, the japanese writing system is based on syllables rather than single sounds. For example there is no Japanese symbol for the sound “k”, rather they have different symbols for differnt syllables that have the “k” sound (ka, ke, ki, ko, ku). So for example if your first word was ninja, which in Japanese would be three symbols (ni-n-ja), then the next person would need to start their word with ja.

  3. Karaden says:

    Well, in the jap version it basicly works out that you use the last character of the previous word as the first of the next word. In english it would work out something like takeing the last silabol (misspelt I’m sure) of the previous word and useing it as the first for the next word. So mabye Gr-ate then Eight-teen then Teen-ie-boper then… something else. Could also be done with first and last letter, but that would be way too easy, maybe last two letters have to be the first two letters would be more interesting.

  4. Karaden says:

    Oh, and in Japaneese it ninja would actualy be something more like shi-no-bi :P

  5. Nice.

    Except the song with the chorus “And I’m proud to be an American” is called “God Bless The U.S.A.”

  6. Rebecca says:

    “From the way I read how a Shiritori is played, it uses the last “part” of a word, but my understanding of Japanese language is too crude to take that any further.”

    It’s the last syllabic character of the word. The basic building block of Japanese are what we would think of as consonant+vowel syllables, like ku or ji or ba, so a Japanese shiritori might be going from “Katakana” to “Nagasaki” to “kimono.”

    Or Wikipedia says kanji count, but that’s kind of complicated.

  7. Ishmael says:

    Saying that kanji are “kind of complicated” is like saying the sun is “kind of hot.” :P

  8. “Ball of Fire” is correct, it’s an old Barbara Stanwyck/Gary Cooper film.

    This reminds me a bit of the old Monty Python “Word Association Football” skit.

  9. Free Loops says:

    Oh, and in Japaneese it ninja would actualy be something more like shi-no-bi

    Most def! lol

  10. DownloadPimp says:

    What the heck are you talking about

    “Oh, and in Japaneese it ninja would actualy be something more like shi-no-bi

    Most def! lol”

    • kharon says:

      They’re referring to the fact that ninja and shinobi are the same thing, though written slightly differently.

      忍者 = ninja
      忍び = shinobi

      Ninja and shinobi are 100% identical, though, and they are really just two different readings of the initial kanji pair above, and as both on’yomi and kun’yomi are considered to be “proper” Japanese in the modern language, the origin of ninja as the on’yomi reading doesn’t make it less truly Japanese than shinobi. It always bugs me when people act like they’re so cool because they know a word or two of a different language, but proceed to either trash equally valid words from that language, or use what they know with no regard for the actual meaning of the word or words.

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