Louisa May Alcott
is My Passion
Begun in 2010, this blog offers analysis and reflection by Susan Bailey on the life, works, and legacy of Louisa May Alcott and her family. Susan is an active member and supporter of the Louisa May Alcott Society, the Fruitlands Museum, and Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House.
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See Susan’s article, ” Experiencing The Wayside as Hillside, Home of the Alcotts” on pages 48-49 in the Fall 2021 edition (
click here to read)
See Susan’s article, “Alcott’s Hidden Critics: An International Sleuthing Project” (co-authored by Lorraine Tosiello) on pages 56-57 in the Spring 2021 edition (
click here to read)
See Susan’s article, “Bronson Alcott’s Search for Eden: Fruitlands” on pages 64-65 in the Winter 2020 edition (
click here to read)
See Susan’s article on Thoreau on page 44 of
Discover Concord magazine’s Summer 2020 edition ( click here to read)
See Susan’s article on page 12 of
Discover Concord magazine’s Winter 2019 edition (click here to read)
The Lives of 5 Historical Figures Intersect in “A Worse Place Than Hell” by John Matteson
“Recently uncovered story by a teenaged Louisa May Alcott creating quite the buzz”
“Louisa May Alcott: Inspiring Women Writers, Rocking the Vote”
“Little Women’s Infinite Playlist”
Read Susan’s book reviews on BookTrib
Susan Bailey’s book reviews on Discovery
Quoted in IODonna Article
Little Women 2020: why it is better to reread the book before seeing the film
Note: Open in Google Chrome to translate into English
4 things you didn’t know about classic Puffin children’s books
10 Replies to “What is “Buzz”? From Little Women, Chapter 3”
My daughter, Elisabeth Hirschhorn Donahue — an Alcott devotee — finds the answer at this website: http://voices.yahoo.com/victorian-parlor-games-amuse-educate-7696032.html
Cool! Thanks for that information.
Martha writes, “I found this by googling old-fashioned Buzz game. Came up with a book, Old Fahsioned Children’s Games: Over 200 Outdoor, Car trip, Song, Card adn…by Sharon Elizabeth O’Bryan.
Has part of the directions listed, but I can’t copy/paste it.
Says “This exciting counting game should be played at a fast pace by older children who have adding skills. Players sit in a circle. One player begins by counting “one”, the next says, “two,” and so on around the group. When the word “seven” is reached, the word “buzz” is substituted. Multiples of seven should also be skipped and the word “buzz” used.
It’s not allowing me to scroll down to copy the rest.
This actually sounds familiar! I wonder if we used to play this at youth group, or maybe I even used it teaching third grade?? It’s jogging my memory!
Here’s another reference:
Again, I can’t copy or paste, but if you scroll down, similar directions are there, saying Buzz in place of multiples of 7. Said it’s a very old game, but “always a very great favorite.”
Hope that helps!”
My daughter adds the following:
“So in looking this up it reminded me that my kids have played a similar game. In math team in elementary and camp, they played bizz buzz.
Every time a player hits a 3 or multiple of 3 he says buzz (e.g. 6) and every time he hits a number with a three in it he says bizz (e.g. 13) and when he hits a number that is both he says bizz buzz. (E.g. 3 or 33 or 36).
So not just an antique parlor game. Good for learning the times tables.
Sylvia writes, “I believe it was another name for the game of whirligig, a saw-edged wheel that you shot from a taught string that made a loud noise as it flew. I could see Laurie and the girls playing that! It was one of the games I played as a child too, as were so many of the 19th cent games we played before the advent of children’s tv, computers, etc! ”
The version where one says buzz for a number with a seven in it or a multiple of seven is the classic one. The game is also referenced in the Betsy-Tacy books – the girls say that if they are not asked to dance they will hide in the cloakroom and play ‘buzz’ (from memory, not an exact reference.)
Thanks for that!
I just realized…I think I played this game as a kid also! (The version with the 7s and multiples of 7.)