Dad Libs!

Click on one of the links below, and we will provide for you an unusual and entertaining story. We hope you will find our prose striking and enlightening. (We're not quite ready to provide poetry!) The story is different each time it's generated, so you can click the Rewrite link at the bottom for a new version of the story, or click a different button for a completely different story. Here are the stories we have to choose from.

When you combine young girls who have a love of wordplay and a programmer father, this is what can happen. Some of the stories and many of the words that you see today were contributed by the girls many years ago. The program has been updated over the years, from DOS and QBasic to web-based PHP and MySQL.

There have been lots of word substitution games over the years. You have probably played some of them. The popular "Mad-Libs" books have been loved by kids and adults for quite a few years, and there are several "Web-Libs" sites on the Internet.

This site is different because it supplies the fill-in words from its own database, which contains thousands of appropriate (or not) words and names.

As evidence that games such as these considerably predate the "Mad-Libs" books, I can share with you a book I own that was published around 1900 called "Revelations of My Friends." It consists of one-page stories with blanks for key words, each covered by a die-cut page which prevents the user from seeing the text until after the blanks have been filled in (photos below).

The humor in "Revelations" was quite a bit gentler and more refined than what you find on this site. Maybe it's a sign of the times.

Someone else who has a copy of the book was featured in a segment on NPR's Weekend Edition. Here is his web page referring to the interview: Edwardian Mad Libs.

Revelations Cover

On your honor, "play the game,"
Fill the spaces, sign your name,
Then tear off the upper leaf,
Revelations lie beneath!

Revelations Fill-In Revelations Story

Most, but not all of the stories in my copy have been filled out. Here is this story as completed in the book:

From my infancy I have had a passion for sweets and my first recollection is being spanked for stealing [chocolate]. Apart from this failing, which has never been cured, I am considered [angry]. Also I have a remarkable taste for dress, and always design my own clothes, which cost [$1] per annum. My favorite hat at present is a Dolly Varden tied with [blue] ribbons. When walking down Bond St. in this hat and the latest thing in [pink] boots, I attract considerable attention. My enemies call me [damn], but that is jealousy. I should like to add that I have been proposed to [11] times! This portrait I am having enlarged.

Revelations Portrait

And lastly, here's what a Dolly Varden hat is about.

Dolly Varden