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Quizzes - Etymology


Fun Trivia : Quizzes : Humanities : English : Etymology

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Quizzes on the origins of words and phrases.
Play Etymology Topic Mash! (experimental)
What do you know about this topic? Play this mixed game to try a little bit of everything!
folder Eponyms (Words from Names) (22) folder Place Names (13)
Editors: LadyCaitriona, looney_tunes Quiz Search:
1 Etymology of the Funtrivia Categories
A journey through the word roots of all 20 FunTrivia Category names.
Average
20 Q
kscleaves
Aug 30 09
1455 plays
2 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 Q
xaosdog
May 29 02
5346 plays
3 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 Q
Sabrina0001
Nov 18 12
1131 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 Q
adams627
Feb 06 10
4374 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 Q
crisw
Feb 12 07
1014 plays
6 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 Q
crisw
Jan 04 02
1794 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 Q
glendathecat
Aug 04 09
1089 plays
8 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 Q
uglybird
Sep 04 07
2316 plays
9 '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 Q
xaosdog
Nov 21 01
2739 plays
10 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 Q
uglybird
May 24 04
1911 plays
11 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 Q
MikeMaster99
Jul 27 12
1158 plays
12 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 Q
poshprice
Oct 11 13
441 plays
13 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 Q
uglybird
Nov 30 04
1260 plays
14 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 Q
looney_tunes
Dec 14 08
1251 plays
15 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 Q
logcrawler
Mar 08 10
552 plays
16 Where Everyday Phrases Come From
We use these in our everyday speech. See if you can identify their origins.
Tough
10 Q
simjazzbeer
Sep 10 07
2148 plays
17 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 Q
sunfloweruk23
Jan 24 04
1608 plays
18 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 Q
alliefarrell
Dec 02 06
1566 plays
19 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 Q
alexis722
Sep 26 12
693 plays
20 Ancient Word Origins
Understanding the word origins may give us a better and deeper insight of the terms we use daily.
Average
10 Q
thejazzkickazz
Sep 02 02
3288 plays
21 An Etymological Smorgasbord
Are you a word lover? Here are a diverse group of questions relating to word origins.
Difficult
10 Q
uglybird
Jun 01 04
1275 plays
22 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 Q
flem-ish
Sep 02 02
3009 plays
23 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 Q
satguru
Jul 10 07
1044 plays
24 Yada, Yada, Yiddish!
Many everyday words come from the Yiddish language. See how many you know.
Easy
10 Q
Jordanar18
Mar 03 10
873 plays
25 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 Q
shvdotr
Jan 01 10
627 plays
26 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 Q
flem-ish
Sep 19 02
1650 plays
27 Interesting Origins of Food-Related Words
Everybody eats, but few people bother to think about how what they are ingesting got its name. This quiz takes a look at some delightful delectables, and how they were named.
Difficult
15 Q
jgiles
Nov 23 04
1311 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 Q
Richicago
Jan 24 08
1968 plays
29 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 Q
simjazzbeer
Mar 02 10
432 plays
30 Etymological Tidbits
By looking at faces you often recognize family features. Something similar is true about words. Try your luck.
Average
10 Q
flem-ish
Sep 21 02
2745 plays
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This is category 4567
Last Updated Jun 18 14 1:53 PM


Some sample questions from this category:

* Italian 'carne' (meat) and Latin 'vale' (farewell) may be the roots of:
* Femto-, a prefix denoting ten to the negative fifteenth power, comes from Danish or Norwegian 'femten', which means:
* What group uses verbs, nouns, adjectives, and interjections rooted in the ethnic name of the group?
* 'Gnat' is ultimately related to Old English 'gnagen', meaning what?
* 'Algebra' comes from the Arabic 'al jabara', meaning:


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