"Rock paper scissors" vs. "Rock scissors paper"

FRITZ JUENGLING juengling_fritz at SALKEIZ.K12.OR.US
Wed Sep 13 17:44:53 UTC 2006

In a quick poll, all 23 of my little Webfoot (that's Oregonians)
students  say 'rock paper scissors', although some of say they have
heard paper, rock, scissors.  Your order got goofy looks and one kid
said, 'that's just.....' He didn't finish what he was going to say.  3
kids know Roshambo as another name for RPS, but several others claim
it's a different game.
Fritz J

>>> james.callan at COMCAST.NET 9/13/2006 10:33 AM >>>
I realized the other day that, while I almost always call the game
"rock scissors paper," it's far more popularly known as "rock paper
scissors." (I know Google results aren't gospel, but 58,700 vs.
2,000,000 is a victory of several significant decimal places. Plus, the
game's World Society uses Rock Paper Scissors.)

Is there any regional variation in which order people use for the 3
elements of this game, or is this just my own quirk?

Bonus question: is "roshambo" (450,000 ghits) a recent retitling of the
game, or have people grown up calling it that for decades? I first heard
the term a few years ago.

James Callan

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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