Jinx (children's game)

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A jinx is a game with a myriad of highly varied rules and penalties that occurs when two people unintentionally or intentionally speak the same word or phrase simultaneously.[1][2]


A jinx can be initiated when at least two people say any same word or phrase at the same time.[3]

The game ends when someone speaks the jinxee's name, or when the jinxee "breaks" the jinx by speaking while in a state of being jinxed. In the latter case, the jinxee loses the game, and often a penalty is exacted, typically a soda.[4]


The historic penalty for losing or violating a jinx is a pinch, poke or a punch in the arm.

Another penalty is that the loser owes the winner (that is, the person who called jinx) "a Coke" (cola beverage). Victory is often announced when the jinxed person speaks out of turn and the winner yells enthusiastically, "Pinch, poke, you owe me a Coke!"[citation needed].

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Roud, Steve (2010). The Lore of the Playground: One Hundred Years of Children's Games, Rhymes & Traditions. Random House UK. p. 379. ISBN 1905211511. 
  2. ^ Oremland, Jerome D. (1973). "The Jinx game: A ritualized expression of separation-individuation.". The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child 28: 419–431. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Rapoport, Judith (1989). Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Children and Adolescents. Amer Psychiatric Pub Incorporated. p. 292. ISBN 0880482826. 
  4. ^ Leonard, Henrietta L.; Goldberger, Erica A.; Rapoport, Judith L.; Cheslow, Deborah L.; Swedo, Susan E. (1990). "Childhood Rituals: Normal Development or Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms?". Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 29 (1): 18. doi:10.1097/00004583-199001000-00004. 

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