Transcript of "Solutions to Etymology and word origins quiz"
Etymology and Word Origins
The story goes that a Dublin theatre proprietor by the name of Richard Daly
made a bet that he could, within forty-eight hours, make a nonsense word
known throughout the city, and that the public would supply a meaning for it.
After a performance one evening, he gave his staff cards with the word X
written on them, and told them to write the word on walls around the city.
The next day the strange word was the talk of the town, and within a short
time it had become part of the language.
The most detailed account of this supposed exploit (in F. T. Porter's Gleanings
and Reminiscences, 1875) gives its date as 1791. The word, however, was
already in use by then, and had been used by Fanny Burney in her diary entry
for 24 June 1782.
What is the word?
According to legend a man
named Leofric taxed the people
of Coventry heavily. His wife,
lady Godiva, begged him not to.
Leofric said he would end the
tax if she rode through the
streets of Coventry naked. So
she did. Everybody in Coventry
was supposed to stay indoors
with his or her shutters closed.
However _____ _____ had a
sneaky look at Godiva and was
What nickname commonly
given to voyeurs arose from
X (319-272 BC) was one of the
greatest Greek generals of the
Hellenistic era. His greatest
political weaknesses were the
failure to maintain focus and the
failure to maintain a strong
treasury at home.
His name is famous for the
phrase Y which refers to an
exchange at the Battle of
Asculum. The battle, though
successful, cost him heavy losses,
from which the term Y was
coined. In response to
congratulations for winning a
costly victory over the Romans,
he is reported to have said: "One
more such victory will undo me!”.
What is the phrase Y?
In medieval music, the Guidonian hand was a mnemonic
used to assist singers to learn how to sing by viewing notes,
in which each portion of the hand represented a specific
note within the hexachord system.
The lowest note in this scale was represented by the Greek
letter γ followed by ‘ut’ and would span 3 octaves.
This notation gave rise to a word that was initially used in
music to represent the entire musical scale but has gone
on to be used beyond music as well.
This familiar word comes from an alteration of the
Middle English for odour or taste, and is derived in
turn from a Middle French term meaning
something left behind, or released.
What noun, more familiar to us as verb?
This term was originally applied in the
19th century to describe plays dealing
with contemporary moral and social
issues and has been used to describe
the work of Ibsen, John Galsworthy
and GB Shaw’s early efforts.
In 1896, F.S. Boas used this term to
describe these Shakespeare plays,
because they apparently brought a
harshness not seen in any of his
comedies to bear upon the
interconnections between private and
The phrase X has entered common use as
a reference to an unpleasant situation that
continually repeats, or seems to.
In the military, referring to unpleasant,
unchanging, repetitive situations as “X ”. A
magazine article about the aircraft carrier
USS America mentions its use by sailors in
September 1993. X was a favourite one
among the Rangers deployed for
Operation Gothic Serpent in Somalia in
1993, because they saw X as a metaphor
of their own situation, waiting long
periods between raids and monotonous
Give the phrase X.
The current name came about almost by chance,
according to a tale recounted in Windsor Revisited,
written by HRH The Duke of Windsor. About 1830, a
London merchant received a letter from a Hawick firm
about some tweels. The London merchant
misinterpreted the handwriting, understanding it to be
a trade-name taken from the name of the river which
flows through the Scottish Borders textile areas.
Subsequently the goods were advertised as X and the
name has remained so ever since.
Amitav Ghosh, in his new
book River of Smoke, traces
the origin of this common
Hindi word to a Portuguese
word meaning ‘lacking’ or
‘deficient in character’. A
related English word,
meaning mistake is also
known to exist. It is also the
title of this Bollywood film
released in 2011.
This word was from a Hindi word meaning press.
This word was used during the 18th century by
the Europeans who were in the Turkish baths.
This is basically a word to give instruction to the
masseur to press and massage. Somehow or
rather along the way, the word became X.
This word came from the
name of a city in west India.
The men in this city wore a
type of garment. In late
19th century, the English
used similar type of
garments, i.e. trousers that
are loose above the knee
and tight from the knee to
ankle, worn when riding a
What is the word?
The name has its origins in a Test match played
between the West Indies and England at Old Trafford,
Manchester, in the year 1933. Elliss “Puss” Achong ,
was a leftarm orthodox spinner, playing for the West
Indies at the time. According to folklore, Achong is said
to have had Walter Robbins stumped off a surprise
delivery that spun into the righthander from outside
the off stump. As he walked back to the pavilion,
Robbins said to his teammates "Fancy being done by a
bloody_______!", leading to the popularity of the term
in England, and subsequently, in the rest of the world.
This phrase X has its origin in
the following Biblical verse
But I was like a gentle X; And I
did not know that they had
devised plots against me, "Let
us destroy the tree with its
fruit, And let us cut him off
from the land of the living,
That his name be
remembered no more."
The allusion to the especial
helplessness of _____ was
made use of in this 1991 film.
What is the phrase X?
The term was coined by Ludwig August von Rochau, a
German writer and politician in the 19th century,
following Klemens Metternich's lead in finding ways to
balance the power of European empires. The term
refers to politics or diplomacy based primarily on
practical considerations, rather than ideological
notions. The term is often used pejoratively to imply
politics that are coercive, amoral or Machiavellian.
What is the term?
This motorsport which
essentially comprises of a
series of timed stunts
done in a predetermined
order owes its name
eventually to the Hindi
word meaning ‘Ball
What is this sport called?
Motorkhana, derived from
Gymkhana, which in turn comes
___ _____ is a derogatory term used to refer to
appropriation of government spending for localized
projects which benefit only the representative’s
The term may have originated in the US during the pre-
Civil War days when slaves were given 1 salt ____ ____
as reward and requiring them to compete amongst
themselves to get their share of the handout.
In an 1863 story by Edward Hale, the term began to be
associated with public spending for the citizenry.
John Dennis, a popular English critic playwright of the
1700s, wrote a play called Appius & Virginia
Story goes that Dennis developed a unique background
effect for the stage during the play but the play was
cancelled by the theatre due to lack of audience
When Dennis returned to the theatre for another play, he
saw his effect being used without permission and
“That’s my _____, by God! The villains will play my ____
but not my play!”
What phrase did English language gain due to this
On December 8, 1869 Leopold and Fanny (both writers)
signed a contract making Leopold the slave of Fanny Pistor
Bogdanoff for the period of six months.
The stipulation on the contract stated that the Baroness
(as Fanny called herself) wear furs as often as possible
especially when she was in a bad mood. Leopold would be
disguised as a servant and travel in the 3rd class while
Fanny would travel in the 1st class.
The real life contract served as the base for a novel in
which the character represented by Fanny acquired a
lover to arouse jealousy in the character represented by
What is the significance of this story?(Looking for a
Leopold’s full name
was Leopold Von
Sacher Masoch. His
last name inspired
First used in late 14th century, the word in Homeric
Greek means "pure, fresh air" or "clear sky", imagined
in Greek mythology to be the pure essence where the
gods lived and which they breathed, analogous to the
air breathed by mortals. It corresponds to the concept
of Akasha in Hindu philosophy and is linked to
Brihaspati (or the planet Jupiter) and the centre
direction of the compass. This word and the concept
it stood for was very influential in the Greek (and
hence the whole) scientific world.
. According to the Oxford English
Dictionary, the word dates to the mid-
17th century. The word X can be
traced to Urdu قلی word.
This Urdu form has an initial uvular
velar, which indicates its foreign
origin. It is probably a borrowing from
a Turkic language (via Persian),
possibly a shortening of
Arabic ghulam "servant".
The Chinese word 苦力 literally
means "bitterly hard (use of)
strength", the Mandarin
pronunciation, in Cantonese, the
term is 咕喱 .The word is referred as
an Asian slave.
What is the term?
Some reports date the phrase from 1769 when it is said that a
seaman called George Wood confessed to a chaplain in Newgate
Prison the he and his shipmates had forced others to commit
something. These reports derive from Douglas Botting's
authoritative book The Pirates, 1978. Botting himself doesn't set
much store by it, describing the 'alleged confession' as 'an
obscure account ... which may or may not be true, and in any
case had nothing to do with pirates'.
There are documentary records of the phrase's use dating from
the late 18th century.
What is the phrase?
This phrase is the modern English for the Old
English term for Ragnarök, the great
catastrophe of Norse mythology. The term
became used for the Christian Day of
Judgement, as by William Shakespeare
Thou art too like the spirit of Banquo: down!
Thy crown does sear mine eye-balls. And thy
Thou other gold-bound brow, is like the first.
A third is like the former. Filthy hags!
Why do you show me this? A fourth! Start,
What, will the line stretch out to ____ __
This appealed to Tolkien as can be seen in The
Lord of the Rings.
What is the phrase?
It originally meant "provider
of shelter, innkeeper" and
later "one sent ahead to
arrange lodgings" (for a
monarch, an army, etc.) It is
this usage which has led to
today’s sense of the word –
an omen, or a forerunner.
Hint for DOTA players
X is said to originate from the Cantonese dialect for
the word 快快 (kuài kuài) which is said to urge
someone to hurry up. Kuai means hurry in Chinese.
The earliest known citation of X in print is from the
English language newspaper that was printed in
Canton in the early 19th century - The Canton
Register, 13 May 1834: "We have also... ‘____ _____
What is the term?
X in its oldest form has now gone out of regular use
and has been replaced by its modern compatriot . It is
first found in Richard Taverner's Prouerbes ,gathered
out of the Chiliades of Erasmus:
"Ye set the cart before the horse - clean contrarily and
____ _____ as they say."
X is found in print quite early, as in Anthony
Copley's An answer to a letter by his cousin :
"They are like to bee put to such a penance and the
Arch-Priests X to be suspended and attained as
In 1915, the psychologist Edgar Rubin created a
cognitive illusion that is a visual equivalent of the
phrase. Sadly, being Danish, Rubin described the
conundrum as a 'synsoplevede figurer' (visual figure).
Give the phrase X.
Odysseus learns from the blind
seer Tiresias that he must
journey through a strait where
the path breaks into two; no
matter what path he and his
crew choose, Tiresias forebodes,
the outcome will be equally
perilous. For on one side is the
Scylla monster who gobbles up
his men like chickens and on the
other side is a gaping whirlpool
with teeth called the Charybdis,
which swallows his men alive.
What popular phrase arises
Caught between rock and hard
Caught between Scylla and
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.