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Looking up what the name of the game Teekesselchen means, I saw that translates it as "homonym". It does, though, seem to be a diminutive of Teekessel (teapot).

Can it really be used to mean "homonym" outside the scope of the game?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

People who know the game will use it informally, not in written speech and it can easily happen that people don't know the game. Personally, I will only use it among my family who played the game with me when I was a child.

Maybe it is comparable to people using "Simon says" in informal speech.

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I would be rather confused by it. I think I've heard of the game once, but never played it and wouldn't be able to link "Teekesselchen" to it. :) Oh, and btw it does not only seem to be a diminutive of Teekessel, it actually is. ;) – ladybug Jun 7 '11 at 12:23

I haven't known the game until now and I've never heard anyone say Teekesselchen as synonym for a homonym. So I would say: no.

Otherwise: maybe you can use it, because someone having a clue of homonyms will know the game.

Can you try it?

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I'll try it next time I get an opportunity. – Tim Jun 6 '11 at 14:18

I wasn't aware it's a "game" (other than noun being a "game" with the goal of listing as many nouns as you can think of, and verb being a "game" with the goal of listing as many verbs as you can think of, etc.), but the term was routinely used where I went to elementary school in South-Western Germany many years ago and seemed to be familiar to elementary school teachers among my relatives from Northern Germany, as well.

I am not sure Teekesselchen is an exact synonym for homonym, though; I always felt ein Teekesselchen already denotes the pair of homonymous words.

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