Cross Questions and Crooked Answers

children standing in long line

cross questions and crooked answers noun phrase
A guessing game played in some Smokies homes in the 1930s and observed by Joseph Hall. The participants, often a dozen or more divided into two groups standing in rows opposite each other. The leader of the game gave those on one side questions and those on the other side answers, which were usu humorous and not at all appropriate to the questions. As each question was asked, the player opposite to him or her gave the answer previously assigned, which had no relation to the question. Since questions and answers might pertain to personal traits of each of those playing, but in an illogical order, there was much laughter and amusement.

Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English


I stumbled upon this entry in the dictionary a good while back. Sounds like a fun game to play. A quick google showed the game was common in other areas and is still played today.


canning jars full of food

Come cook with me!

Location: John C. Campbell Folk School – Brasstown, NC
Date: Sunday, August 23 – Saturday, August 29, 2020
Instructors: Carolyn Anderson, Tipper Pressley

Experience the traditional Appalachian method of cooking, putting up, and preserving the bounty from nature’s garden. Receive hands-on training to make and process a variety of jellies, jams, and pickles for winter eating. You’ll also learn the importance of dessert in Appalachian culture and discover how to easily make the fanciest of traditional cakes. Completing this week of cultural foods, a day of bread making will produce biscuits and cornbread. All levels welcome.

Along with all that goodness Carolyn and I have planned a couple of field trips to allow students to see how local folks produce food for their families. The Folk School offers scholarships you can go here to find out more about them. For the rest of the class details go here.

Subscribe for FREE and get a daily dose of Appalachia in your inbox

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    February 20, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Never heard of this game. I am so grateful we have such a grand school as the Folk School with skills taught and remember such old ways to do things. Tipper a big thanks to you to teach Southern ways of cooking. I am saying Olive Dane and Campbell would be so proud of you for caring on such s grand tradition they started in The Folk School

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 20, 2020 at 10:10 am

    I played the game when I was in school but don’t remember what we called it. I hope you are getting some snow********

  • Reply
    aw griff
    February 20, 2020 at 9:25 am

    That sounds like a fun game, but I don’t remember anything like it. Maybe someone will jar my memory with something similar.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    February 20, 2020 at 7:47 am

    I had never heard of this game. Sounds like the leader would need to be witty and inventive. I could see that it would be hilarious as the questions and answers got less and less related. Also could be a bit risky if it even so much as seemed mean spirited.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    February 20, 2020 at 7:26 am

    That sounds like fun!!

  • Reply
    Donald R. Byers
    February 20, 2020 at 6:55 am

    What an asset…..the Folk School… so grateful that we have it….

  • Leave a Reply