What it is: More of an activity or chant than a game with a winner and loser, but a perfect activity to occupy long car trips.

Best for: Smaller group of 3 to 6 players.

What you need: Just people to play!

How to play: Players take turns going through the alphabet and saying the following sentence:

My name is ___, my husband’s/wife’s name is ___, we live in ___, and we sell ___.

The first two blanks are always filled by names, the third blank by a place, and the fourth blank by anything you could sell (which often leads to silly results).

So, the first player would start with A and say something like this:

My name is Abigail, my husband’s name is Adam, we live in Amsterdam, and we sell apples.

Then the next player would take the next letter, B, and say something like this:

My name is Bridget, my husband’s name is Brandon, we live in Bermuda, and we sell bouncey balls.

Players just take turns, going in a circle, until you go through the whole alphabet. I suppose you could play this game competitively: If a player takes longer than three seconds to fill a blank, they’re out. But me and my sisters always just played for fun and helped each other think of words when we got stuck. It’s a nice, calm activity, if you want one of those. 🙂 And it can help younger kids with their phonics skills, too.

Variations: Hmm, I can’t think of any variations. Anyone have any to share?


  1. We sang it when I was young with a bouncing ball. Saying “A my name is Anna” etc while bouncing ball and crossing our leg over and under the ball.

  2. You could make a million variations of this game. Instead of wife or husband you could say “partner,” which these days could be a business partner or boyfriend-girlfriend partner. Or, replace the partner with “sister,” or “friend.” Or you could get silly and change the other person to a pet and the activity from “sell” to “like.” This is great! I can play it with my special education students, Thank you!

  3. I learned this game as a child in the 70s. The version I sang was, “A my name is ___and my boyfriend’s name is ___. We come from ____ and we eat ____” Then on to “B”. I use this song now, in my 50s, to fall asleep, instead of counting sheep 🙂 I was looking for other songs like it and stumbled on your page, it’s wonderful!

  4. In Milwaukee, WI, in the 50’s, we said it while jumping rope. Only, we said it like this: A, my name is—my boyfriend’s name is—-he comes from—with a carload of—.

  5. I’ve heard and extended version- one more blank to fill after what you sell, where?
    Hi my name is Bethany my husband is Bernie, we live in belgium and we sell beignets by the boardwalk

  6. Played this game in the early 60’s. We used a bouncing ball and would bounce the ball under our leg according to whatever letter of the alphabet we were on. So when working on the letter A – we would bounce the ball EACH time a word began with A. So if we said: A my name is Alice and my husband’s name is Al. We live in Alabama and we sell apples – we would bounce the ball 7 times. It took a bit of concentration to remember what letter to bounce the ball on.

  7. 50’s Bouncing a ball… A my name is Annie my husbands name is Andy we come from Alabama and in our Airplane we carry Apples etc… you have to keep bouncing until done with each letter… Now teaching my granddaughter 👍

  8. We played that variation in Brooklyn in the late 40s and 50s. I’ve been sharing with my granddaughter. WHAT did we call it? It must have had a name!

  9. I played it in the 30s in Manhattan. I don’t think it had a name. Kids then gathered on the sidewalks in front of their apartment houses and someone would start playing and someone else would join.

  10. I like a variation where instead of double dipping on names, you add a hobby. “My name is Daniel, I live in Denmark, my hobby is dancing, and I sell durians.”

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