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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)
1
Etymology of the Funtrivia Categories

A journey through the word roots of all 20 FunTrivia Category names.
Average (20 qns)
kscleaves
1947 plays
2
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)
Sabrina0001
1521 plays
3
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)
xaosdog
5544 plays
4
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)
adams627
5409 plays
5
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)
crisw
1125 plays
6
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)
uglybird
2520 plays
7
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)
glendathecat
1308 plays
8
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)
uglybird
2049 plays
9
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)
crisw
1887 plays
10
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)
MikeMaster99
1650 plays
11
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)
uglybird
1332 plays
12
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)
looney_tunes
1479 plays
13
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)
sunfloweruk23
1728 plays
14
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)
alliefarrell
1626 plays
15
Where Everyday Phrases Come From

We use these in our everyday speech. See if you can identify their origins.
Tough (10 qns)
simjazzbeer
2223 plays
16
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)
logcrawler
612 plays
17
Ancient Word Origins

Understanding the word origins may give us a better and deeper insight of the terms we use daily.
Average (10 qns)
thejazzkickazz
3477 plays
18
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)
looney_tunes
Apr 23 16
141 plays
19
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)
poshprice
1215 plays
20
'Body Language'

Tests your knowledge of words etymologically derived from anatomical roots. xaosdog (xaosdog.com) 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)
xaosdog
2814 plays
21
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)
flem-ish
3072 plays
22
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)
shvdotr
687 plays
23
Yada, Yada, Yiddish!

Many everyday words come from the Yiddish language. See how many you know.
Easy (10 qns)
Jordanar18
1110 plays
24
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)
alexis722
867 plays
25
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)
satguru
1080 plays
26
An Etymological Smorgasbord

Are you a word lover? Here are a diverse group of questions relating to word origins.
Difficult (10 qns)
uglybird
1308 plays
27
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)
tiye
405 plays
28
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)
Richicago
2151 plays
29
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)
flem-ish
1686 plays
30
Where Everyday Phrases Come From, Part Two

If you enjoyed the first of my quizzes on this subject, try your hand at another collection of everyday phrases.
Difficult (10 qns)
simjazzbeer
471 plays
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This is category 4567
Last Updated Mar 25 17 5:47 AM

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