the etymology quiz

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A set of 25 questions on words, their origins and meanings by Atulaa Krishnamurthy


  • 1.School QuizBy Atulaa Krishnamurthy Etymology of Words.

2. 1) The Rath Yatra at Puri, Orissa has led to the creation of an English word, which means any large, overpowering, destructive force or object. What word, and from what exactly has it been coined? 3. Juggernaut, from Jagannath. Devotees are said to have thrown themselves to be crushed under the wheels of the Rath, hence the word. 4. 2) A word derived from an animal. It means any crudely or irregularly operated court, esp. one so controlled as to render a fair trial impossible. Speculated origins of the word are that the Brits thought theAustralianpenal code couldnt achieve anything. 5. Kangaroo Court. It isbecause this setup describes courts whose opinions wander all over the place and bounce too frequently to ensure a fair trial. 6.

  • X is a word which is said to be got from the Hindi wordChedda(hole), and it means a small piece of paper generated from punching holes in a paper. Some claim X to be an acronym of Card Hole Agglomerate Debris.
  • X is?

7. Chad. 8. 4) Sitter. This is a word coined by Milton Sirota, nine year old nephew of mathematician Edward Kassner. It is used to describe a number equal to 1 followed by hundred zeroes. 9. Googol. 10. 5) X means a brief description or review, especially on the cover of a book. It was coined by Frank Burgess, a humorist and illustrator. The original X was a Miss Blinda X on Burgess book covers, and X first referred to pictures of big women, but is now used to denote praise on the cover of books. What is X? 11. Blurb. 12. 6) A verb which means to leave in a hurry. It is derived from the Spanish word vamos (lets go), and from Latinvadere(to go). 13. Vamoose. 14. 7) Words with colour as metaphor are always interesting. A _____ is a brilliant passage in an otherwise dull and uninspiring work. It is derived from Latinpannus purpureus , a phrase used by poet Horace to suggest a patch ofroyal fabricon ordinary cloth. Fill in the blank. 15. Purple passage/ purple prose. (Purple was the colour of royalty) 16. 8) More colour. ___ is an adjective pertaining to the type of jobs, such as telephone operator or secretary, traditionally held by women. Derived from a colour traditionally associated with women. Fill up. 17. Pink collar job. Built on the model of phrases blue collar and white collar. The feminist brigade wont like this Im sure. 18. 9) I put my right hand in the hold and found the pipe that fed the radiator- God, it was hot. I took the pipe in hand and overrode the reflex to pull away. Two dols, no, seven dols- maybe even eight dols. Wait. Five dols, four dols. Minutes later it was still a comfortable four dols. Richard Kopperdahl, in Bettervue Hospital Dol is a unit for measuring what? 19. Pain intensity. From Latin dolor(pain). Sorry for the weird passage. 20. 10) Spell it right, or no marks. This word comes from the Tamil wordparaiyan , meaning drummer, considered to be lower in rank in the caste system in India. 21. Pariah. Noun, meaning an outcast. 22. 11) What is singular for the word opera? 23. Opus.FYI, the diminutive form of opus is opuscule. Its what we call a minor novel or symphony. A great work is, yes, a magnum opus. 24. 12) If progenitor means an ancestor or a forefather, what is the word for theearliestancestor? It is derived from the Latin word for first +genitor(begetter) 25. Primogenitor. Latin for first isprimo. 26. 13) What is the collective noun for CDs? And no, its not a stack. But if youre thinking visually, youll get there. 27. A cylinder of CDs. Other collective nouns from the world of computers are,asneerof Mac users,acliqueof computer mice,a404of websites,ahindranceof tech support people. 28. 14) X is word which can mean a group of birds, a collection of ladies or female animals or an abbreviation for beverage in the United Kingdom. What is X? 29. Bevy. From Middle English bevey. 30. 15) Again, spell it right. ___ is a noun, meaning a look, derived from the Hindi word dekho,imperative ofdekhna(to look). 31. Dekko. 32. 16) Athanaeum (ath-uh-NEE-yum) or atheneum, is noun derived from the Greek wordAthenaion(a temple for Athena, the goddess of wisdom.) Athenaeum is actually a lesser known synonym of a common everyday word. What word? 33. Library. It is also used to refer to a literary or knowledge-related club. 34. 17) The shortest word with each vowel used once is the name of perhaps the largest tree. Name it. 35. Sequoia. A few interesting words that contain all the vowels are armigerous, epuration, inquorate, ossuary, uvarovite, to name a few. Facetious, abstemious and annelidous contain the vowels in order, and uncomplimentary and subcontinental contain them in reverse order. 36. 18) X means a low-paying, non-challenging job with few benefits or opportunities, typically in the service sector. Coined by Douglas Coupland in his 1991 novel Generation X after a famous food chain. 37. McJob. 38. 19)Another word from an animal. It means a period of economic hardship, and was coined by Winston Churchill to refer to the mid-30s in Britain, after the Bible passage the years that the X hath eaten (Joel 2:25) 39. Locust Years. 40. 20) A ___ is a pessimist-cum-alarmist, one who constantly warns of the possibility of calamities. From a childrens tale. Fill in the blank. 41. Chicken Little. 42. 21) If an epiphany is the occurrence of a sudden thought or a deeper understanding, what is theophany the appearance of? Think Dhritarashtra. 43. The appearance of god to a person. 44. 22)In an orchestra, the position of concertmaster is given to the first chair violinist, based on whose instrument everyone tunes theirs to, and from whom they take their cues when playing without a conductor. So the one sitting right behind him is in a subordinate position. This has led to a oft-used phrase. What? 45. Second fiddle. The composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein was once asked what he thought was the most difficult instrument to play. He said, Second fiddle, not referring to the skill required but the difficulty most of us have to be in a secondary position. 46. 23) What is Retail Therapy? 47. The use of shopping as a means of relaxation or cheering up. :D 48. 24) X is a legendary place in South America sought after for its treasures by 16 thcentury explorers. It is used today to refer to places that offer fabulous wealth or opportunity. In Spanish, this literally means the gilded one. Whats the good word? 49. El Dorado. 50. 25) A __ is the transposition of usually initial sounds of words, producing a humourous result. Named for William Archibald Spooner, a master of the art. Fill in the blank. 51. Spoonerism. Examples are- to a truant student, You have tasted two worms, and hissed most of my mystery lectures, you will now leave by the town drain. Toasting the queen, heres to our queer old dean! 52. Theeeee End. Thank you Anu Garg and your