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Etymology Trivia and Quizzes

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This section features quizzes on the origins of words and phrases.   

There are 118 quizzes and 1,180 trivia questions in this category.
Take this hour's trivia quiz: Etymology - Mixed Questions

A quiz every hour! Over 1,180 questions in rotation. Recent Scores
Explore Etymology Quiz Sub-Categories:
folder Eponyms (Words from Names) (22 quizzes) folder Place Names (16)
Etymology of the Funtrivia Categories

A journey through the word roots of all 20 FunTrivia Category names.
Average (20 qns)
1950 plays
It's All Geek to Me!

Many English words are derived from Greek roots. "It's All Geek to Me" is my husband's punny way of teasing his geeky wife about her geeky major.
Average (10 qns)
1536 plays
Neologogenesis: Words That Don't Exist, But Could

The words which are the subject of this quiz don't appear in any dictionary, and have never appeared in print until now. But each nevertheless has a clear meaning, dictated by etymological and other word-formation principles.
Very Difficult (10 qns)
5544 plays
Love, Etymologically

I was researching the etymology of the tennis term "love" the other day and was struck by the histories of the names of some popular sports. What do you know about the origins of some of their names?
Average (10 qns)
5430 plays
Words Derived from Falconry Terms

The ancient sport of falconry has added many words to our vocabulary. Can you recognize some of them?
Tough (10 qns)
1140 plays
Nerdy Words For Wordy Nerds

After a tough day of train spotting, sucking seer and biting the heads off of chickens, it might be nice to settle down, hang up your anorak and play with words.
Difficult (10 qns)
2532 plays
More Tea, Vicar?

A not overly serious look at how those in Holy Orders have left their mark upon the English Language.
Average (10 qns)
1308 plays
Daffy Derivations

The English language contains an abundant supply of words that communicate impaired sanity or intellect. Can you connect some of these "dotty" words to their origins? I'll supply information regarding origin and usage, and you can guess the word.
Tough (10 qns)
2052 plays
Goat Words

A surprising number of English words and phrases are derived from words having to do with goats. How many do you know?
Tough (20 qns)
1887 plays
Where Did You Get That Name?

There are a large number of words commonly used in the English language that are derived from an individual or a brand-name of a product. This quiz examines some common, and some more surprising, examples of this etymology!
Easy (10 qns)
1659 plays
Veg-Etymology: Linguistic Roots Exposed

Sink your teeth into this succulent assemblage of herbal verbiage as we burrow into the fertile soil of the linguistic origins of vegetable names. You will find that a few hints have been planted to assist you.
Tough (10 qns)
1335 plays
Green Invasion

A number of terms derived from (or giving rise to) words meaning 'green' are in common use. How many of them can you recognize?
Average (10 qns)
1494 plays
The Quirkiness of the English Language

The English language is a hotchpotch of foreign words. This quiz is about the origin of words in everyday English usage.
Tough (15 qns)
1734 plays
Word Origins from Around the World

Words in common usage today derive from sources the world over. Do you know which words come from the source word with which I will provide you? Good luck - all is not as it appears!
Difficult (10 qns)
1632 plays
Where Everyday Phrases Come From

We use these in our everyday speech. See if you can identify their origins.
Tough (10 qns)
2226 plays
Can You Rephrase That? - Part Deux

Quite a few folks asked for a sequel to "Can You Rephrase That?", which was undertaken originally as an author's challenge. Here is the follow-up to the last quiz. Be sure to "think outside the box" and I hope you enjoy!
Tough (10 qns)
615 plays
Ancient Word Origins

Understanding the word origins may give us a better and deeper insight of the terms we use daily.
Average (10 qns)
3483 plays
I Say Arcana, You Say What?

There are a number of words associated with a deck of tarot cards which come to English from other languages. Can you identify the language from which each of the selected terms originates? Source is the Online Etymology Dictionary.
Difficult (10 qns)
144 plays
Searching for Words

For the final stage of the Amazing Race 2, The NaMaPoJo GoGo Quiz Pros have been exploring word etymology. So why not join us as we learn all about the ten miscellaneous words contained in this quiz?
Average (10 qns)
1281 plays
'Body Language'

Tests your knowledge of words etymologically derived from anatomical roots. xaosdog ( attests that each word appearing in this quiz has been accepted as a legitimate English word by at least one major dictionary AND one minor dictionary.
Tough (10 qns)
2814 plays
Word Origins

Etymology is like linguistic archeology. You dig into words and you discover earlier forms, meanings, etc. Have a try with these - occasionally surprising - word origins.
Tough (10 qns)
3075 plays
Non-Indo-European Words in English

Trivia fiends like me know all the German and Latin roots in American English, but what about those non-Indo-European loan words we use? I'll give you two or three words and you tell me in what language they originated.
Average (10 qns)
687 plays
Yada, Yada, Yiddish!

Many everyday words come from the Yiddish language. See how many you know.
Easy (10 qns)
1233 plays
I Can't Find What I Need!

This challenge is by WesleyCrusher. I'm borrowing from the smaller group of languages that contribute to English because I can't find what I need in the major groups. Please choose the language that represents the BOLD words.
Easy (10 qns)
870 plays
Word and name origins

Many words and names have pretty banal origins, hopefully here are some that will make you say 'Oh really?'. There is a slightly anatomical bias to many of the questions. British based.
Very Difficult (10 qns)
1083 plays
An Etymological Smorgasbord

Are you a word lover? Here are a diverse group of questions relating to word origins.
Difficult (10 qns)
1311 plays
Word Marathon

It's all Greek to you but in this case, not so much. Find the English words of Greek origin in the following sentences.
Average (10 qns)
411 plays
Where'd it come from?

Many of the everyday words and phrases we use have interesting origins. Here a a few that may be of interest.
Average (10 qns)
2151 plays
Odd One Out

In this quiz three of four options concern words that are etymologically related via Latin or Greek. Find the one that is not.- Questions may include AE orthography.
Tough (10 qns)
1689 plays
And Now, a Few Words From Our Guild

Welcome to Guilder's World of Words, where you can find all kinds of words to suit all your vocabulary needs! We have some wonderful specials here at the World of Words. This week's specials are:
Tough (10 qns)
495 plays
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This is category 4567
Last Updated May 27 17 5:46 AM

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