Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
with erect male organ. Such representations were not unusual in ancient bacchic festivals and processions.
wild and frenzied music. Derives from the word Corybant, a priest of the worship of Cybele.
summer - party. From Latin aestivalis, belonging to the summer.
Aestivare meant to spend the summer (e.g. in a summer-residence).
Compare French estivant for summer-holidaymaker. Related to French "ete".
a comfortable life. From the Irish name Reilly or O'Reilly. Possibly from the idea that Irish people tend to be "happy and carefree" by nature, whatever befalls them.
pertaining to actors or to the theatre. Latin 'histrio' was an actor in stage plays.
music sung from written notes. From late Middle English 'pricked song'. Pricking originally meant marking a surface with a pointed instrument such as a pen or a pencil.
thirteen. For fear they might not have reached the "minimum weight requirements"
stipulated by the authorities, some bakers gave an extra thirteenth item.
a branch-covered shelter. Ramada is not a fleet as in its anagram "Armada" (Invincibile) nor a period of fasting as in the word "ramadan". It's not a type of Turkish delight either. The word derives from Spanish rama branch and is related to ramification.
hypocritical person. After the Dickens character in "David Copperfield"..
|Hey! I'll tell you, Marvin, I'm afraid to come to your house because your mother is such a harridan. She is so mean and overbearing, and even yells at your father. Sorry, Marvin. Which word would NOT normally be associated with Marvin's mother?||Word Meaning Quiz for Kids and Big People Too
widow. Today, a harridan is most associated with a difficult and very unpleasant woman. If she yells at her husband, she cannot be a widow (ignoring the convoluted possibilities of remarriage after being widowed). The other terms could possibly be applied to her.
|I once referred to my antique clock collection as "great old trash" or "funky junk" until I realized those terms had a pejorative effect on this collecting hobby. Pejorative words or terms tend to have what kind of effect on the subject in question?||Word Meaning Quiz for Kids and Big People Too
negative. Pejorative comments or words can purposely or inadvertently diminish the value of a subject or topic. Sometimes the comments are subtle or unintended, but they inevitably "bring down" the value of what is being discussed -- such as the antique clock collection above.
|Hi. I'm Bartholomew. Mom and Dad put the kibosh on my idea of turning my bedroom into a rodent museum. What did Mom and Dad most likely do when they put the kibosh on Bartholomew's idea?||Word Meaning Quiz for Kids and Big People Too
squelched or stopped it. Kibosh is actually considered a slang word, but is widely used and appears regularly in dictionaries. You can be sure Mom and Dad stopped or squelched the rodent museum idea.
|Mom accidentally left the steak on the counter when we went away on a three week trip. When we came back, the meat was putrid. What condition would this putrid steak most likely be in?||Word Meaning Quiz for Kids and Big People Too
rotten. Rotten is the best choice. The word putrid comes from Latin "to stink". In three weeks the steak would not likely be petrified and would only be missing if ants carried it away.
|Our military outfit came across a dangerous enemy. All of us were brave, strong, and ready to defend ourselves except for Edgar who was always described as pusillanimous. What choice best describes Edgar?||Word Meaning Quiz for Kids and Big People Too
weak of spirit, cowardly. Edgar would be cowardly, or weak of spirit. The lion in "The Wizard of Oz" was pusillanimous until he was given courage.
|The afternoon zephyr brought welcome relief to us on an otherwise hot and still day. It was pleasant to watch the zephyr make the trees move. Can you conclude what zephyr means here?||Word Meaning Quiz for Kids and Big People Too
the west wind, possibly any gentle breeze. The word zephyr comes from the Greek 'zephyros' or 'zophos' relating to darkness, gloom, and the west. Today, the word has settled into the correct choice given here: the west wind, possibly any gentle breeze.
blood pressure. A sphygmomanometer is used for measuring blood pressure. Almost everyone has had their blood pressure taken with a sphygmomanometer. Your blood pressure is considered a vital sign along with temperature, pulse, and respiration.
|The party-goers spilled juice on the floor, broke dishes, and were rude to their host. Their behavior was reprehensible. What is the best choice for the meaning of reprehensible in this case?||Word Meaning Quiz for Kids and Big People Too
boorish. All of the choices could possibly be reprehensible, but overall, boorish is the choice that covers all of them in this case.
a scientist who studies insects. An entomologist studies insects. The job of an exterminator is to eliminate unwanted insects.
|Which word is best described?
"I like to take a stroll at night,
even when there is a chill.
The cricket is my favorite sight,
but its sound is rather shrill." ||Rhyming Vocabulary
Chirr. A chirr is a harsh trilling sound, such as that made by crickets.
Lout: "An awkward and stupid person; an oaf"
Stirrup: "A flat-based loop or ring hung from either side of a horse's saddle to support the rider's foot in mounting and riding"
Sobriquet: "A nickname; an assumed name"
|"So raise your glasses high
and take a drink with me.
It appears to be very dry,
this champagne from the sea."
Which description is mentioned?||Rhyming Vocabulary
Brut. Brut means very dry, usually referring to champagne. I apologize if the "from the sea" threw you off; it was simply there to rhyme with me.
Granadillo: "West Indian tree yielding a fine grade of green ebony"
Repute: "To ascribe a particular fact or characteristic to"
Rubato: "Rhythmic flexibility within a phrase or measure; a relaxation of strict time"
|Which word is best described?
"It occurs in only an instant,
it can only be an omen.
A sign in the present,
of the future yet to come."
Portent. Perhaps it foreshadows an event or symbolizes something of great importance. In any case, it has a mysterious connotation.
Your other words were...
Gullible: "Easily deceived or duped"
Haw: "An utterance used by a speaker who is fumbling for words"
Gobbet: "A piece or chunk, especially of raw meat"
|Which word is best described?
"You say that this answer is right,
yet I simply cannot see.
I am willing to put up a fight,
to show that logic disagrees."||Rhyming Vocabulary
Incongruous. Incongruous refers to something that does not keep with what is proper or logical.
Portent: "An indication of something important or calamitous about to occur; an omen"
Salacious: "Appealing to or stimulating sexual desire; lascivious"
Gaudy: "Showy in a tasteless or vulgar way"
|"The room heats up when I look at you.
This feeling inside me starts to grow.
I wonder if you have this desire too.
When you are here, this is what I show."
What is being shown?||Rhyming Vocabulary
Libido. Ah yes, sexual desire.
Rather different from...
Fascination: "The capability of eliciting intense interest or of being very attractive"
Penitence: "The condition or quality of being penitent; regret for wrongdoing"
Complacence: "Contented self-satisfaction"
phraseology. I hope you enjoyed this quiz, and I leave you with a sentence from our beloved Mrs. Malaprop that contains not one, but multiple errors. See if you can work out how many there are!
"Sure, if I reprehend any thing in this world it is the use of my oracular tongue, and a nice derangement of epitaphs!"
There are four 'malapropisms' here. Reprehend should be comprehend (or possibly apprehend), oracular should be vernacular, derangement should be arrangement and epitaphs should be epithets! Did you find them all?
comprehend. I hope you do not 'reprehend' this quiz! Reprehend does of course mean to express strong disapproval of something. Comprehend, the correct word, means to understand. Both words share the same root, from the Latin 'prehendre' meaning to grasp.
Incidentally, George W. Bush has so often mixed his words up that the term Bushism has now come into use - he once referred to weapons of mass 'production'.
|This next example of a malapropism is one I have heard many times before from non-native speakers of English. What do you think the speaker intends to say?
Please pass this MASSAGE on.||Malapropisms - The Pineapple of Word Quizzes
message. In this example the word 'missive', meaning a written letter, could also make sense, but the word 'message' is a much closer rhyme, and therefore is the only real malapropism.
croutons. This is an example of a word mix-up in which neither word has any relation to the other whatsoever, except for the rhyme at the end of the word.
I wonder, if I did have neutrons instead of croutons on my salad, would that make it a light meal?
|My thanks to the sometimes verbally-challenged George W. Bush for this one. Which word do you think he meant to say in the sentence below?
"We cannot let terrorists and rogue nations hold this nation HOSTILE."||Malapropisms - The Pineapple of Word Quizzes
hostage. This example shows that malapropisms do not necessarily have to rhyme - in this example only the first syllable is the same, and the rest incorrect.
The words do not even share the same roots - hostile is derived from the Latin 'hostis' meaning enemy, but hostage comes from the French 'hoste' meaning guest.
Another example of verbal blundering from the field of politics was when then Vice-President Dan Quayle referred to the importance of 'bondage' between a mother and child!
|Is the capitalized word in the following sentence correct? Which word from the list below do you think makes more sense when used in its place?
The film 'The Sixth Sense' is about a boy with extra-CENTURY perception.||Malapropisms - The Pineapple of Word Quizzes
sensory. The words 'sensory' and 'century' do sound rather similar, but the meanings are completely different and only extra-sensory makes any sense!
As I wrote this quiz, I did wonder what it would be like to have extra-century perception, though - would it mean I could see into the future hundreds of years from now?
|Which word from the selection below would make more sense in place of the capitalised word in the following phrase?
My girlfriend told me that flying saucers are a PIGMENT of my imagination.||Malapropisms - The Pineapple of Word Quizzes
figment. The word figment is rarely used other than in the phrase "a figment of one's imagination". It means something made-up or fabricated, and therefore a figment of one's imagination is something that one has dreamt up.
Pigment on the other hand is either a colouring substance or a substance that produces colour. The words are similar but very different in meaning!
On the other hand, if flying saucers are indeed a 'pigment' of my imagination would that mean that I have a very colourful imagination?
|As you reach your final question, Master Aivirt makes this comment: "You have done well, initiate, but remember this: 'Everything I tell you is a lie. Every question I ask you is a trick. You will find no truth in me.'" You ponder that statement, and read the last challenge:
Darth Sidious accomplished great things for the Sith, but his success was relatively short-lived. During his tenures as Senator and Chancellor of the Republic, he concealed his true nature, and dealt duplicitously. His name is reminiscent of a similar-sounding word: "insidious." How would "insidious" be defined?||The Sith Academy: Vocabulary Class
Subtly treacherous, deceitful. "Insidious" would be used to describe something seemingly harmless or unnoticeable on the outside, but that, in reality, was causing destruction. Darth Sidious, in his beneficent shroud, was certainly a treacherous, harmful, insidious being. The quote in the quiz question above is from the novel, "Star Wars: Traitor."