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Quiz about Hastings and the English Language
Quiz about Hastings and the English Language

'Hastings' and the English Language Quiz


It's common knowledge that after the Battle of Hastings, the 'Norman Conquest' created a mixed language with Anglo-Saxon and French vocabulary overlapping each other. This quiz deals with some of the more remarkable effects.

A multiple-choice quiz by flem-ish. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
flem-ish
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
71,931
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
10761
Awards
Editor's Choice
Last 3 plays: jeremygilbert (9/10), emmal2000uk (0/10), mandy2 (6/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. When English took over French words it often changed their stress pattern, and adapted it to the Germanic first-syllable stress tendency. MariAge became MARRiage. SerVICE became SERvice. What English word was born from a new way to pronounce the French 'maniere'? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Many words that look as if they were pure English are in fact French in disguise. Example: 'beast' is from Old French 'beste', modern French 'bete'. The original Anglo-Saxon word for an animal had been 'deer'. What English word derives from the French 'coupe'? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. More intriguing is the fact that very often the French vocabulary that got mixed up with English did not come from Parisian French but from EITHER Northern French OR Norman French. Northern French had W-, where Parisian French had GU- or G-. Sometimes English derived from BOTH types of French. From Parisian French gardien it derived guardian and from Northern French warden. Un garde became either a guard or a ward (the person to be 'guarded). What English word was derived from the North-French for 'guerre'? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. In a number of words Northern French had 'hard c' pronunciation as in 'cat', whereas Parisian French in similar words had the 'ch' of 'cheese', 'chat', etc. This led to parallel borrowings such as 'cattle', from Northern French, and 'chattel' (legal term for movable possessions) from Parisian French. As a parallel to a derivation 'chase' from Parisian French 'chasser', there was one from the Northern French word for 'running and seizing': to __________ ? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. From Parisian French, English borrowed a word 'champagne' (wine from the plains near Reims) with 'ch'-pronunciation as in 'chat',whereas from Northern French it took the parallel word 'campaign' (= battle in a plain) with 'hard c' as in 'cat'. The proper name 'Campion' is from Northern French and originally meant 'a fighter in a field', later 'fighter in a tournament', and still later 'somebody who fights to defend the honour of a lady' or more generally 'defender of a cause'. The equivalent of that word in Parisian French and in modern English is of course:___________

Answer: (Eight letters. Nowadays: somebody who defeats all the other competitors.)
Question 6 of 10
6. For a long period the two languages were used in a kind of coexistence. There were even a number of 'double phrasings'. In which of the following examples does the 'French' word precede the 'Anglo-Saxon'? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Very often English kept the original Anglo-Saxon root-word as the substantive, but borrowed from French (and indirectly from Latin) to create an adjective. Which of these words is the Romanic adjective form that compensates for the absence of an Anglo-Saxon adjective for 'belonging to the house? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Sometimes French words went new ways in English. Old French "noise" meant 'an outcry'. In English it developed the meaning: unwanted, unpleasant or loud sound, which in French is "bruit". In the same way French "lard" originally had the meaning of fat bacon or pork, or the internal fat of a swine's abdomen. In English "lard" got the exclusive meaning of 'soft white creamy substance made from pig fat', used in cooking. What is the modern French word for the English "lard"? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. 'Hastings' had its effects on the grammar of English as well. One of the examples: English took over some phrases in which the adjective FOLLOWS the substantive (as happens mostly in French). Examples: Lords TEMPORAL and Lords Spiritual, States GENERAL, from times IMMEMORIAL, the body POLITIC. You find another example in the title for the 'official poet of the nation' in Great Britain. That poet, who is honoured by the monarch and may occasionally be asked to write poems about important public events, is traditionally called the: _____
_______ ?
Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. The ultimate effect of the French (or 'Romance') influence on English vocabulary is that it became an extremely rich language in which Romance words often offer good (near- or semi-) alternatives for the original Anglo-Saxon words. Which of these is however NOT a correct example of an 'Anglo-Saxon vs. French' pair, because neither word is Anglo-Saxon? Hint



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quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. When English took over French words it often changed their stress pattern, and adapted it to the Germanic first-syllable stress tendency. MariAge became MARRiage. SerVICE became SERvice. What English word was born from a new way to pronounce the French 'maniere'?

Answer: manner

In the same way priSON became PRIson, marCHE MARket, chancellIER CHANcellor. First syllable stress is typically the dominant stress pattern in Germanic languages.
2. Many words that look as if they were pure English are in fact French in disguise. Example: 'beast' is from Old French 'beste', modern French 'bete'. The original Anglo-Saxon word for an animal had been 'deer'. What English word derives from the French 'coupe'?

Answer: cup

French 'coupe' was a small open drinking vessel. The word comes from Latin 'cupa'. Another derivation from Latin 'cupa' was French 'cuve' (tub) and 'cuvee' (what you 'brew' in a tub). 'Coup' as in 'coup d' etat' is an altogether different word, from Latin 'colpus' a hit or stroke.

Other common cases are: 'oil' from 'huile'; 'country' from 'contree'; 'proud' from 'preux'; 'castle' from 'castel', a variant of 'chateau'.
3. More intriguing is the fact that very often the French vocabulary that got mixed up with English did not come from Parisian French but from EITHER Northern French OR Norman French. Northern French had W-, where Parisian French had GU- or G-. Sometimes English derived from BOTH types of French. From Parisian French gardien it derived guardian and from Northern French warden. Un garde became either a guard or a ward (the person to be 'guarded). What English word was derived from the North-French for 'guerre'?

Answer: war

Northern French dialect had words beginning in w- as equivalents of Parisian French words in g(u). Sometimes English borrowed from BOTH types of language. A wild rabbit's 'underground system of corridors' = French garenne but English warren from the North-French dialectical variant. War and guerra show the same g-w shift.

By the way, in English both guerrilla and guerilla occur as orthographies.
4. In a number of words Northern French had 'hard c' pronunciation as in 'cat', whereas Parisian French in similar words had the 'ch' of 'cheese', 'chat', etc. This led to parallel borrowings such as 'cattle', from Northern French, and 'chattel' (legal term for movable possessions) from Parisian French. As a parallel to a derivation 'chase' from Parisian French 'chasser', there was one from the Northern French word for 'running and seizing': to __________ ?

Answer: catch

'Capture' is from Latin capere and its past participle captus. 'Cache' is from French 'cacher', to hide. 'Cash' is surprisingly from an Italian word 'cassa' deriving from Latin 'capsa', 'a (money-)container'. A small 'capsa' was a 'capsule', which originally meant a 'dry seed-vessel'. 'Catch' is from 'cachier', the Northern French variant of Parisian French 'chacier', which later became 'chasser'.
5. From Parisian French, English borrowed a word 'champagne' (wine from the plains near Reims) with 'ch'-pronunciation as in 'chat',whereas from Northern French it took the parallel word 'campaign' (= battle in a plain) with 'hard c' as in 'cat'. The proper name 'Campion' is from Northern French and originally meant 'a fighter in a field', later 'fighter in a tournament', and still later 'somebody who fights to defend the honour of a lady' or more generally 'defender of a cause'. The equivalent of that word in Parisian French and in modern English is of course:___________

Answer: champion

In a similar way Norman French had words ending in -ey that alternated with Parisian French words in -oi or -oy. Sometimes the Parisian form was taken over: envoy; convoy. In other cases English borrowed the Norman-French pronunciation: prey (cp. Parisian French: proie;); veil (Parisian French: voile); receive (Parisian French: recoivre).
6. For a long period the two languages were used in a kind of coexistence. There were even a number of 'double phrasings'. In which of the following examples does the 'French' word precede the 'Anglo-Saxon'?

Answer: We pray and beseech you

'Beseech' is Germanic (compare Dutch verzoeken). 'Pray' is from French 'prier'. 'Leave' is related to German '(Ur)laub', Dutch '(Oor)lof.' 'Permission' is identical in appearance to French 'permission'. 'Testament' is French. 'Will' is Germanic. 'Master' is from French 'maistre, maitre'.
7. Very often English kept the original Anglo-Saxon root-word as the substantive, but borrowed from French (and indirectly from Latin) to create an adjective. Which of these words is the Romanic adjective form that compensates for the absence of an Anglo-Saxon adjective for 'belonging to the house?

Answer: domestic

From Latin bovinus via French bovin, English acquired 'bovine': literally ox-like. From Latin domesticus via French domestique it took 'domestic': belonging to the household. From Latin urbs (city) and urbanus (belonging to the city; having the polite manners of city people) it took 'urban' via French 'urbain'. From Latin mens via French 'mental', English 'mental': pertaining to the mind. Also Latin-French verbs were added to Anglosaxon substantives in this way: 'petrify' for 'making into stone'.
8. Sometimes French words went new ways in English. Old French "noise" meant 'an outcry'. In English it developed the meaning: unwanted, unpleasant or loud sound, which in French is "bruit". In the same way French "lard" originally had the meaning of fat bacon or pork, or the internal fat of a swine's abdomen. In English "lard" got the exclusive meaning of 'soft white creamy substance made from pig fat', used in cooking. What is the modern French word for the English "lard"?

Answer: saindoux

Modern French lard still is either the "piece of meat" (English bacon) or the "fat of pork". For "smoked lean pork" however the French reintroduced the English word "bacon",which originally had a more general meaning of "ham", lean or fat. Jambon blanc is lean cooked ham. Schmalz is German for English lard. Speck is an Italian "bacon" speciality from Alto Adige or Süd-Tirol.

There are many other "surprising" evolutions of French words getting new meanings in English. Dainty is from the extinct Old French daintie, a derivation from Latin dignitatem: beautiful and worth having. Mischief comes from extinct Old French meschief: bad luck;later trouble making. Revel is from an extinct French word reveler (to rejoice noisily) which itself derives from, of all words, rebellare (to rebel), which probably was a noisy activity as well.
9. 'Hastings' had its effects on the grammar of English as well. One of the examples: English took over some phrases in which the adjective FOLLOWS the substantive (as happens mostly in French). Examples: Lords TEMPORAL and Lords Spiritual, States GENERAL, from times IMMEMORIAL, the body POLITIC. You find another example in the title for the 'official poet of the nation' in Great Britain. That poet, who is honoured by the monarch and may occasionally be asked to write poems about important public events, is traditionally called the: _____ _______ ?

Answer: Poet Laureate

French alternates 'pre-position' and 'post-position' of the adjective. This can even be found in place names: there is 'Chateauneuf', but also 'Neufchateau', 'Neuchatel', etc. Especially in Northern France, 'pre-position' in proper names is frequent. This has been explained as evidence for stronger Germanic influences in the north.
10. The ultimate effect of the French (or 'Romance') influence on English vocabulary is that it became an extremely rich language in which Romance words often offer good (near- or semi-) alternatives for the original Anglo-Saxon words. Which of these is however NOT a correct example of an 'Anglo-Saxon vs. French' pair, because neither word is Anglo-Saxon?

Answer: recipe, receipt

Ask, heart and weak are Anglo-Saxon. All the others are from Latin and/or French. Receipt and recipe are from Latin recipere (originally: to take back), which became Old French receivre or recoivre.
Source: Author flem-ish

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