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School Quiz  By Atulaa Krishnamurthy Etymology of Words.
1) The Rath Yatra at Puri, Orissa has led to the creation of an English word, which means ‘any large, overpowering, destru...
Juggernaut, from Jagannath.   Devotees are said to have thrown themselves to be crushed under the wheels of the Rath, hen...
2) A word derived from an animal. It means ‘any crudely or irregularly operated court, esp. one so controlled as to render...
Kangaroo Court. It is  because this setup describes courts whose opinions wander ‘all over the place’ and ‘bounce’ too fre...
<ul><li>X is a word which is said to be got from the Hindi word  Chedda  (hole), and it means a small piece of paper gener...
Chad.
4) Sitter. This is a word coined by Milton Sirota, nine year old nephew of mathematician Edward Kassner. It is used to des...
Googol.
5) X means ‘a brief description or review, especially on the cover of a book.’ It was coined by Frank Burgess, a humorist ...
Blurb.
6) A verb which means ‘to leave in a hurry.’ It is derived from the Spanish word ‘ vamos ’ (let’s go), and from Latin  vad...
Vamoose.
7) Words with colour as metaphor are always interesting. A _____ is ‘a brilliant passage in an otherwise dull and uninspir...
Purple passage/ purple prose. (Purple was the colour of royalty)
8) More colour. ___ is an adjective pertaining to the type of jobs, such as telephone operator or secretary, traditionally...
Pink collar job. Built on the model of phrases blue collar and white collar. The feminist brigade won’t like this I’m sure.
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...
Pain intensity. From Latin ‘ dolor’  (pain). Sorry for the weird passage.
10) Spell it right, or no marks. This word comes from the Tamil word  paraiyan , meaning drummer, considered to be lower i...
Pariah. Noun, meaning ‘an outcast’.
11) What is singular for the word ‘opera’?
Opus.  FYI, the diminutive form of opus is opuscule. Its what we call a minor novel or symphony. A great work is, yes, a m...
12) If progenitor means ‘an ancestor or a forefather’, what is the word for the  earliest  ancestor? It is derived from th...
Primogenitor. Latin for first is  primo.
13) What is the collective noun for CDs? And no, its not a stack. But if you’re thinking visually, you’ll get there.
A cylinder of CDs. Other collective nouns from the world of computers are,  a  sneer  of Mac users,  a  clique  of compute...
14) X is word which can mean a ‘group of birds’, ‘a collection of ladies or female animals’ or ‘an abbreviation for bevera...
Bevy. From Middle English ‘ bevey’.
15) Again, spell it right. ___ is a noun, meaning ‘a look’, derived from the Hindi word ‘ dekho’,  imperative of  dekhna  ...
Dekko.
16) Athanaeum (ath-uh-NEE-yum) or atheneum, is noun derived from the Greek word  Athenaion  (a temple for Athena, the godd...
Library. It is also used to refer to a literary or knowledge-related club.
17) The shortest word with each vowel used once is the name of perhaps the largest tree. Name it.
Sequoia. A few interesting words that contain all the vowels are armigerous, epuration, inquorate, ossuary, uvarovite, to ...
18) X means ‘a low-paying, non-challenging job with few benefits or opportunities, typically in the service sector.’ Coine...
McJob.  
19)Another word from an animal. It means ‘a period of economic hardship’, and was coined by Winston Churchill to refer to ...
Locust Years.
20) A ___ is a pessimist-cum-alarmist, one who constantly warns of the possibility of calamities. From a children’s tale. ...
Chicken Little.
21) If an epiphany is the occurrence of a sudden thought or a deeper understanding, what is theophany the appearance of? T...
The appearance of god to a person.
22)In an orchestra, the position of concertmaster is given to the first chair violinist, based on whose instrument everyon...
Second fiddle. The composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein was once asked what he thought was the most difficult instrume...
23) What is Retail Therapy?
The use of shopping as a means of relaxation or cheering up. :D
24) X is a legendary place in South America sought after for its treasures by 16 th  century explorers. It is used today t...
El Dorado.
25) A __ is the transposition of usually initial sounds of words, producing a humourous result. Named for William Archibal...
Spoonerism. Examples are- to a truant student, “You have tasted two worms, and hissed most of my mystery lectures, you wil...
Theeeee End. Thank you Anu Garg and your Wordsmith.org.
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The etymology quiz

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

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The etymology quiz

  1. 1. School Quiz By Atulaa Krishnamurthy Etymology of Words.
  2. 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. 3. Juggernaut, from Jagannath.  Devotees are said to have thrown themselves to be crushed under the wheels of the Rath, hence the word.
  4. 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 the Australian penal code couldn’t achieve anything.
  5. 5. Kangaroo Court. It is because this setup describes courts whose opinions wander ‘all over the place’ and ‘bounce’ too frequently to ensure a fair trial.
  6. 6. <ul><li>X is a word which is said to be got from the Hindi word Chedda (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. </li></ul><ul><li>X is? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Chad.
  8. 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. 9. Googol.
  10. 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. 11. Blurb.
  12. 12. 6) A verb which means ‘to leave in a hurry.’ It is derived from the Spanish word ‘ vamos ’ (let’s go), and from Latin vadere (to go).
  13. 13. Vamoose.
  14. 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 Latin pannus purpureus , a phrase used by poet Horace to suggest a patch of royal fabric on ordinary cloth. Fill in the blank.
  15. 15. Purple passage/ purple prose. (Purple was the colour of royalty)
  16. 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. 17. Pink collar job. Built on the model of phrases blue collar and white collar. The feminist brigade won’t like this I’m sure.
  18. 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. 19. Pain intensity. From Latin ‘ dolor’ (pain). Sorry for the weird passage.
  20. 20. 10) Spell it right, or no marks. This word comes from the Tamil word paraiyan , meaning drummer, considered to be lower in rank in the caste system in India.
  21. 21. Pariah. Noun, meaning ‘an outcast’.
  22. 22. 11) What is singular for the word ‘opera’?
  23. 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. 24. 12) If progenitor means ‘an ancestor or a forefather’, what is the word for the earliest ancestor? It is derived from the Latin word for first + genitor (begetter)
  25. 25. Primogenitor. Latin for first is primo.
  26. 26. 13) What is the collective noun for CDs? And no, its not a stack. But if you’re thinking visually, you’ll get there.
  27. 27. A cylinder of CDs. Other collective nouns from the world of computers are, a sneer of Mac users, a clique of computer mice, a 404 of websites, a hindrance of tech support people.
  28. 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. 29. Bevy. From Middle English ‘ bevey’.
  30. 30. 15) Again, spell it right. ___ is a noun, meaning ‘a look’, derived from the Hindi word ‘ dekho’, imperative of dekhna (to look).
  31. 31. Dekko.
  32. 32. 16) Athanaeum (ath-uh-NEE-yum) or atheneum, is noun derived from the Greek word Athenaion (a temple for Athena, the goddess of wisdom.) Athenaeum is actually a lesser known synonym of a common everyday word. What word?
  33. 33. Library. It is also used to refer to a literary or knowledge-related club.
  34. 34. 17) The shortest word with each vowel used once is the name of perhaps the largest tree. Name it.
  35. 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. 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. 37. McJob. 
  38. 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. 39. Locust Years.
  40. 40. 20) A ___ is a pessimist-cum-alarmist, one who constantly warns of the possibility of calamities. From a children’s tale. Fill in the blank.
  41. 41. Chicken Little.
  42. 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. 43. The appearance of god to a person.
  44. 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. 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. 46. 23) What is Retail Therapy?
  47. 47. The use of shopping as a means of relaxation or cheering up. :D
  48. 48. 24) X is a legendary place in South America sought after for its treasures by 16 th century explorers. It is used today to refer to places that offer fabulous wealth or opportunity. In Spanish, this literally means ‘the gilded one’. What’s the good word?
  49. 49. El Dorado.
  50. 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. 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, “here’s to our queer old dean!”
  52. 52. Theeeee End. Thank you Anu Garg and your Wordsmith.org.

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