Hers was “a culture of silences, reticences, charades and circumlocutions.”
Just a few episodes before we were laughing and playing charades, and now I have to knock her out.
"I have played in charades and small pieces," wondering how he knew she had been in Canada.
And the round games, and the charades, and the family posts!
And now there was a suggestive flutter in the Dean's study, behind whose large folding doors the charades were to be acted.
"I protest I have no head for charades," said Count Victor, with a gesture of bewilderment.
Here is a brief statement about charades taken from a cyclopedia.
But do you, my dear, gather part of your friends about you and arrange the charades.
But when next there are people here I shall be arranging the charades, and I shall invite them to go out into the grounds.
None of the girls had meant to dress up to any great extent for the charades.
1776, from French charade (18c.), probably from Provençal charrado "long talk, chatter," of obscure origin, perhaps from charrar "to chatter, gossip," of echoic origin. Cf. Italian ciarlare, Spanish charlar "to talk, prattle." Originally not silent, but relying rather on enigmatic descriptions of the words or syllables.
As we have ever made it a Rule to shew our Attention to the Reader, by 'catching the Manners living, as they rise,' as Mr. Pope expresses it, we think ourselves obliged to give Place to the following Specimens of a new Kind of SMALL WIT, which, for some Weeks past, has been the Subject of Conversation in almost every Society, from the Court to the Cottage. The CHARADE is, in fact, a near Relation of the old Rebus. It is usually formed from a Word of two Syllables; the first Syllable is described by the Writer; then the second; they are afterwards united and the whole Word marked out .... [supplement to "The Universal Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure," volumes 58-59, 1776]Among the examples given are:
There is one species of charade which is performed solely by "dumb motions," somewhat resembling the child's game of "trades and professions"; but the acting charade is a much more amusing. and more difficult matter. ["Goldoni, and Modern Italian Comedy," in "The Foreign And Colonial Quarterly Review," Volume 6, 1846]An 1850 book, "Acting Charades," reports that Charades en Action were all the rage in French society, and that "Lately, the game has been introduced into the drawing-rooms of a few mirth-loving Englishmen. Its success has been tremendous." Welsh siarad obviously is a loan-word from French or English, but its meaning of "speak, a talk" is closer to the Provençal original.