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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 117 quizzes and 1,170 trivia questions in this category.
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folder Eponyms (Words from Names) (22) folder Place Names (15)
31
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
129 plays
32
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
Mar 02 10
459 plays
33
Etymological Tidbits

By looking at faces you often recognize family features. Something similar is true about words. Try your luck.
Average (10 qns)
flem-ish
Sep 21 02
2790 plays
34
Demonyms and Nicknames Around the World

Most people know that an Oklahoman is often called a "Sooner" or a native Londoner a "Cockney." There are a great many such "demonyms" or geographical nicknames...this quiz invites you to identify some of them...
Tough (10 qns)
tartandisco
Oct 08 11
513 plays
35
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)
ertrum
Jun 30 06
480 plays
36
"Alfresco" English: Words From The Out of Doors

Foreign words ("foreign" originating from the Latin "foris", meaning "out of doors") are generally welcomed warmly into the English language. This quiz will test your knowledge of some of our adopted words.
Average (10 qns)
uglybird
Jun 10 04
876 plays
37
Where Did That Word Come From?

Most English words come from Latin or 'Old English'. Here are some that don't. But where DID they come from?
Average (15 qns)
Baloo55th
Apr 26 03
1653 plays
38
Zaftig?

Got zaftig? Here are some Z words that may or may not be derived from other languages. Please enjoy!
Average (10 qns)
alexis722
Mar 29 15
246 plays
39
Can You Rephrase That? Numero Tres

Third in a series of the origins of words and phrases in the English language. Now, let's see if you can get the first question "right on the nose."
Difficult (10 qns)
logcrawler
Mar 27 10
480 plays
40
Origins Of First Names

Many English names happen to be foreign names in disguise. This quiz deals with the meaning and origins of names that were borrowed from Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Scandinavian and a few other languages.
Difficult (10 qns)
flem-ish
Jan 21 04
984 plays
41
Origins of Some English Words

Here are questions on the origins of some English words.
Average (20 qns)
chessart
Oct 05 00
1203 plays
42
Can You Rephrase That? Nummer Vier (4)

Since this quiz is "nummer vier" (4) in Dutch, appropriately the first question is about the Dutch. (Sources include, but are not limited to: "I've Got Goose Pimples"; "Reader's Digest" & "Why We Say It".)
Difficult (10 qns)
logcrawler
Mar 30 10
276 plays
43
True Word Origins

Have you ever wondered where some words originated? Here are ten possible sources for useful words in the English language...enjoy!
Tough (10 qns)
thejazzkickazz
Dec 31 01
1545 plays
44
Can You Rephrase That?

In response to another author's challenge, I decided to research some common phrases and words that Americans and other English speakers use. Hope you enjoy the quiz!
Difficult (10 qns)
logcrawler
Mar 04 10
960 plays
45
What 's In A Word ?

There often is more in a word or name than meets the eye. Understanding the background and origin of a word helps us to know what we are talking about. Have a try.
Difficult (10 qns)
flem-ish
Apr 18 02
1041 plays
46
Word Origins From Mythology

Some mythical characters have worked their way into everyday language
Average (10 qns)
robert362
Feb 26 01
3441 plays
47
Month Origins

This quiz is on where the names of months came from.
Average (10 qns)
napierslogs
Apr 18 02
2682 plays
48
Word Families

When learning a language, it matters that one recognizes related words. Sometimes appearances are deceptive. See which of the four words is "the unrelated outsider".
Tough (10 qns)
flem-ish
Sep 20 02
864 plays
49
Greek and Latin in English

Greek and Latin have influenced the whole Western civilisation, especially in the fields of science and learning. See how well versed you are in that type of vocabulary.
Tough (10 qns)
flem-ish
Sep 06 03
804 plays
50
Origins of English words and phrases

Interesting origins to common words and phrases.
Tough (10 qns)
vendome
May 22 00
2178 plays
51
Pseudograms - Fabricated Words

Use your knowledge of prefixes and suffixes to determine the made-up word from the given definition!
Average (10 qns)
logikzer0
Aug 07 14
384 plays
52
Words Too Have Family

Many modern words describe a former function or are derivatives of words enclosing that function. E.g., a 'Colonel' was a leader of a 'COLONNA ' (Italian for column). In this quiz, identify the modern words that evolved from their various roots.
Average (10 qns)
chrissie_26
Apr 20 01
1512 plays
53
Word Origins

This is a quiz about some obscure origins of words in the English language. Enjoy!
Tough (10 qns)
fuadj
Apr 01 03
921 plays
54
Phrases, Myths and Ancient History

Myths have made their way into our language in so many ways. The following involve some common idioms which relate to myths and a little bit of history...
Difficult (10 qns)
alkmene
Feb 02 04
1194 plays
55
Word Links

We often are blind to the historic links there are between words. This quiz points out some such 'unexpected' relations between words.
Average (10 qns)
flem-ish
Mar 28 02
1464 plays
56
Son of Origins of Words and Phrases

More strange origins of familiar words and phrases.
Difficult (10 qns)
vendome
May 22 00
1956 plays
57
What's in a Name?

Imagine if we were called by the meaning of our names rather than by the names themselves. Some of us might have a hard time living up to our appellations! Can you figure out the names that match these meanings?
Very Difficult (10 qns)
Cymruambyth
Jan 26 10
606 plays
58
Surprising Words and Word-Origins

If you take a second look at a word you often are in for a surprising link with another one. See if you can find the 'hidden origins' of some common and less common English words.
Tough (10 qns)
flem-ish
Nov 22 01
843 plays
59
Words With A Story

There are so many words we use frequently without noticing there is some kind of story linked to them. See if you can link these with their supposed origin, meaning etc.
Tough (10 qns)
flem-ish
Nov 23 01
1053 plays
60
Insults and their Origins

Most insults, taken literally, mean the same thing (a part of the body not suitable for mention in a quiz). However, some have more obscure derivations.
Difficult (10 qns)
Islingtonian
Feb 17 05
2238 plays
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