Quiz about Arabic Words In English
Quiz about Arabic Words In English

Arabic Words In English Trivia Quiz


The influence of Arabic civilisation on Europe can hardly be underestimated. It left traces in most West- European languages, and English is no exception to this. See what you can identify.

A multiple-choice quiz by flem-ish. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
flem-ish
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
93,208
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
5396
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 172 (10/10), Peachie13 (10/10), Guest 82 (5/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Various borrowings from Arabic relate to foodstuffs that were imported after the Crusades. One such foodstuff is an expensive yellow spice that
the Arabs called "zafaran". What does English call it?

Answer: (Seven letters.)
2. More terms from "cookery". Which of these is not a foodstuff, but refers to the use of an oven? Hint

tandoori
tamarind
tahini
tabbouleh

3. Various "exotic" fruits (such as lemons, limes, apricots, etc.) found their way to Europe via the Middle-East. Sometimes via Spanish because that was Muslim territory for quite some time. Which name of a fruit did English borrow from Arabic via Spanish naranja? Hint

nectarine
grapefruit
tangerine
orange

4. What type of frozen dessert got its name from an Arabic word for a cold drink the name of which is related to the Arabic word for drinking: shariba? Hint

tartuffo
stracciatella
sherbet
cassata

5. Though Muslims are not supposed to drink alcohol the word alcohol (al- kohl) itself comes from Arabic. So does the word for a "still": "alembic" (al-ambicq) and even the popular "julep". Among Arabs a julep was a sweetish non-alcoholic mix with ____________. Hint

orange-blossom flavour
mint flavour
coffee flavour
rose flavour

6. It's not just food-and-drink words that were exported by the Arabs. English also took over the names of some animals. One such an animal is the gazelle (from "ghaza:l"). Another derives from "zara:fa" and refers to our ___________. Hint

zebra
giraffe
antelope
camel

7. There of course are a lot of "political" words too that were taken over. One of them is "assassin" which referred to a sect of fanatic murderers who called themselves the "h'ashsha:shi:n", which meant: _______________. Hint

holy martyrs
suicide-bombers
the guided ones
hashish eaters

8. Which of these terms refers to Muslim "fighters in a jihad"? Hint

Mujahedeen
Hezbollah
Fedayeen
Mullah

9. What is the basic root meaning of Arabic "shaikh" (English sheikh)? Hint

little king
judge
holy man
elder

10. A notorious term in recent political history was the name Taliban. It came from "talib" which meant: _____________. Hint

soldier of God
believer
servant of God
student


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Various borrowings from Arabic relate to foodstuffs that were imported after the Crusades. One such foodstuff is an expensive yellow spice that the Arabs called "zafaran". What does English call it?

Answer: saffron

Gives colour and flavour to your paella.
Not to be confounded with 'safflower', the seeds of which are used for oil.
Other Arab imports were the artichoke (al kharshuf); caraway (al karawya) and apricots (alburquq).
2. More terms from "cookery". Which of these is not a foodstuff, but refers to the use of an oven?

Answer: tandoori

Tandoori is an Arabic word for a type of oven that is very popular in India.
Tamarind is "literally speaking" a "date from India".
Tahini is a paste which you obtain by crushing sesame seeds.
Tabbouleh is a popular preparation of couscous grains and a basis for a cold summer-salad.
3. Various "exotic" fruits (such as lemons, limes, apricots, etc.) found their way to Europe via the Middle-East. Sometimes via Spanish because that was Muslim territory for quite some time. Which name of a fruit did English borrow from Arabic via Spanish naranja?

Answer: orange

The Arabic word is naranj. Dutch has sinaasappel (literally apple from China) and the Germans invert that word and call the orange "Apfelsine".
4. What type of frozen dessert got its name from an Arabic word for a cold drink the name of which is related to the Arabic word for drinking: shariba?

Answer: sherbet

Tartuffo (cold ice cream with a hot filling); cassata (comes in nice layers of different colours) and stracciatella all are Italian types of ice cream.
Sherbet is a popular "cooler" in between courses at a dinner. It originally referred to sweetened ice-water with a few extra flavours. Also the word syrup derives from shariba.
5. Though Muslims are not supposed to drink alcohol the word alcohol (al- kohl) itself comes from Arabic. So does the word for a "still": "alembic" (al-ambicq) and even the popular "julep". Among Arabs a julep was a sweetish non-alcoholic mix with ____________.

Answer: rose flavour

Modern juleps are mixes of liquor, sugar, shaved ice and MINT flavouring.
Sugar is an Arabic word too (from sukkar) and so is coffee (from qahwah).
6. It's not just food-and-drink words that were exported by the Arabs. English also took over the names of some animals. One such an animal is the gazelle (from "ghaza:l"). Another derives from "zara:fa" and refers to our ___________.

Answer: giraffe

Even the word safari is of Arabic origin. For Arabs it had the more general meaning of "journey". From "safari:y", which means: to travel.
Now a safari is a more specific type of journey. A hunting or wildlife-exploring expedition, specifically in Africa.
7. There of course are a lot of "political" words too that were taken over. One of them is "assassin" which referred to a sect of fanatic murderers who called themselves the "h'ashsha:shi:n", which meant: _______________.

Answer: hashish eaters

They are rumoured to have drugged themselves with hashish to be "in the right mood" to carry out their political murders.
"Guided One" in the singular is the translation of another Arabic term with politico-religious implications: the Mahdi.
8. Which of these terms refers to Muslim "fighters in a jihad"?

Answer: Mujahedeen

In itself mullah simply means "master". Hezbollah stands for "the party of God". Fedayeen are just "elite fighters", "commandos". (From fi:da'yi:n.) Mujahedeen derives from muja:hidi:n in which a form of the word jihad is easily recognizable.
9. What is the basic root meaning of Arabic "shaikh" (English sheikh)?

Answer: elder

A (civilian) judge in Arabic countries is a mufti. A mufti's verdict is called a fatwa. For reasons that are rather obscure in the British army "mufti" began to mean: civilian dress.
10. A notorious term in recent political history was the name Taliban. It came from "talib" which meant: _____________.

Answer: student

The Taliban were mainly students of Muslim theology.
Source: Author flem-ish

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor thejazzkickazz before going online.
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