My informant (18), from Lebanon, describes a joke he would play on his peers as a child. “Me and my cousins used to play it. It’s not a game, well it is a game, but it’s also a joke, where you would whisper something incomprehensive at like, let’s say around a group of people, and if [someone says] “What?” I go “Akal!” […] It means “You ate it!” And then it’s like a progressive game. And whoever can get it the most gets treated to dinner, or gets to do something, or gets a favor. Usually it’s the person who falls for it the most has to do something for whoever won it the most.”
“It’s a game that’s mostly played by the younger generation of course, it’s mostly played around families. It’s kind of a tradition, to mock somebody, make a joke of them.”
In this joke, the teller proves their wisdom and the responder proves their foolishness. This suggests that intelligence is valued in these social group. Especially interesting is the gamification element of the joke: The fact that it is an extended game leads me to believe that this game could establish a sort of social hierarchy among the children in a family. This hierarchy between children in an extended family suggests that the connection of extended family is important in the culture, and that families gather often enough for this game to be maintained.