50+ Etymology Quiz Q&A | Quiz on Where did these words come from?

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Etymology Quiz Questions and Answers

These are the set of 50 etymology quiz questions and answers, every 10 questions follow the answers. Hope you enjoy the etymology quiz. Credits for the etymology quiz- Rajiv

etymology Quiz

  1. The ancient Greeks were fascinated by astronomy and the cosmos and believed wholly in the influence of celestial bodies on terrestrial life. For them, an X was a particular kind of calamity, the causes of which could be attributed to an unfavorable and uncontrollable alignment of planets. The word literally can be interpreted as a bad star or an ill-starred event. Which word?
  2. The phrase ‘Ship high in transit’, a label used on shipments of manure to prevent them from becoming waterlogged and releasing explosive methane gas is falsely credited to be the origin of which popular word?
  3. Historically, the width of the _____, or “_____’s breadth”, was used as the equivalent of an inch in the cloth trade; similar expressions existed in Latin and French as well. The _____ has also been used in brewing beer, to gauge the heat of the brewing
    vat. Ebenezer Cobham Brewer writes that X(a phrase) means a “rough measurement”. He says that “Ladies often measure yard lengths by their _____. Indeed, the expression ‘sixteen nails make a yard’ seems to point to the _____-nail as a standard”The above is the origin of which popular phrase?
  4. Two popular things are named after the Greek God of the sky. The first is X, discoveredin 1781. The second is a chemical element. Give me either X or the other thing.
  5. Which non-European country is named after a king of Spain?
  6. The word means a madhouse, a word being derived from the hospital of St Mary, Bethlehem, used for that purpose in London. ID the word
  7. Which English word, very popular in the FMCG space, is derived from a Hindi word for head massage?
  8. The first English meaning of the word X was, as the Oxford English Dictionary put it, “to break wind,” that is, to fart. By the mid- 19th century, however, the word took on the meaning of “to hiss,” the word probably first used in this sense to describe the hissing of fireworks. Which word?
  9. etymology-quiz
  1. In Greek mythology, X was the offspring of Ares(God of war) and Aphrodite(Goddess of love and pleasure). X was himself associated with fear.

Answers to Etymology Quiz Questions

Q1. Disaster


Q3. Rule of Thumb

Q4. Uranus

Q5. The Philippines, after king Philip II of Spain

Q6. Bedlam

Q7. Shampoo from champi

Q8. fizzle


Q10. Phobia from Phobos

Etymology Quiz Questions ( Answers after 10 questions)

11. X, a period of four years, by which the ancient Greeks reckoned time, being the interval from one celebration of the Olympic games to another, beginning with the victory of Corbus in the foot race, which took place in the year 776 BC; as, the era of the Xs. X is also very commonly associated with the field of Science. ID X

12. X, though commonly used in the U.S. for over a century, is not of American origin. It is an Old English word meaning “torch” that is related to the word burn. The ancient Egyptians marked their cows thousands of years ago to identify them from the other cows.

13. As a synonym for money, X is an underworld term, first recorded in 1935 but not widely used until the late 1950s. Several English proverbs equating X with one’s livelihood, such as taking the X out of someone’s mouth, could have suggested the coinage, or, more likely, it may have been suggested by the common term dough for money.

14. In the time of Emperor Napoleon III, the imperial architect Haussmann made plans for the broad, straight boulevards with rows of square houses in the center of Paris, along which army divisions could march with much pompous noise. The plans forced many dealers in second-hand goods to flee their old dwellings; the alleys and slums were demolished. These dislodged merchants were, however, allowed to continue selling their wares undisturbed right in the north of Paris, just outside the former fort, in front of the gate Porte de Clignancourt. This is one of the origin stories of which popular term from the world of shopping?

  1. X derives ultimately from Latin ____, birth. There is no definite period of years for an X; it is the average interval of time between the birth of parents and the birth of their children. An X is a period of more than 50 years in the Old Testament. Today an X is generally considered to be 30 to 33 years in length, about three Xs to a century.
  2. This popular Spanish word(commonly used in the English language) comes from words meaning ‘towards God’. Which word?

17. The Romans used this material to make their sewer and water systems. Thus X was named after a Latin word for pipes. Give me X which has a special association with the number 82

  1. Most experts believe this word arose from a children’s mispronunciation of brother, children frequently having trouble with the letter r in that word and pronouncing it as X. From its use as a substitute for brother, X was extended to mean a close friend as well.
  2. The word X comes from the name of Ancient Greek goat-God Pan, who spread terror among the nymphs.
  3. A theory about the juxtaposition of X and Y comes from the Elizabethan era blood sports “X baiting” and “Y baiting.” Arenas full of people would sit back and watch either an X or Y be chained in the middle of a ring, and then attacked by a pack of dogs. This practice began as early as the late 1500s and wasn’t banned in England until 1835. Considering that the terms X and Y in this aspect originated around 1714, many believe that this is where the idea that Ys is the opposite of X began.

Answers to Etymology Quiz Questions

Q11. Olympiad

Q12. Brand

Q13. Bread

Q14. Flea Market

Q15. Generations

Q16. Adios

Q17. Lead

Q18. Buddy

Q19. Panic

Q20. Bulls and Bears

Etymology Quiz Questions continued ( Answers after 10 questions)

21.The name of which Asian capital city comes from Sanskrit words for ‘that which causes victory’?

22. X is derived from the Sanskrit word ____, which means “in the heart of the Banyan tree”. Before X, the city used to be called Chandanavati after its ruler Raja Chandan of the Dor tribe of Rajputs.

23. X derives its name from ____, the warrior Avatar of Goddess Parvati, and ___, meaning fort. The city was thus named because of ____ Mandir, an ancient temple devoted to Goddess ____ located near it.

24. The origin of the name X is thought to be from the native word ____ ___, meaning small sea or lagoon. Another theory is that it is derived from the word kaci, meaning harbor.

  1. While ____ means buffalo in Sanskrit, the name refers to the mythological demon _____, who could assume both human and buffalo form. According to mythology, ____ used to rule here before being killed by the Goddess Chamundeshwari. The blanks give a name to this city. Which city?
  2. The city may have derived its name from ‘Mayarashtra’, the capital of the kingdom of Mayasura, Mandodari’s father, and Ravana’s father-in-law. This name may have mutated to Mairashtra, Mai-dant-ka-khera and eventually X.
  3. According to the legend the Raja of Orchha was sitting on the roof of his palace with his friend, the Raja of Jaitpur, and asked the latter whether he could discern this new fort that he had built on Bangara hill, and he replied that he could see it ____ (meaning rather indistinct). This name in course of time became corrupted to ‘X’. It was one of the most strategically situated forts of central India being built on an elevated rock rising out of the plain and commanding the city and the surrounding country.
  4. In order that Brahma who out of arrogance arising out of his power to create the universe, sat penancing to redeem himself from the curse of Shiva, Lord Shiva appeared in front of him from the ears of a cow. So the place came to be known as X or ear of the cow. Hindu mythology says that when Lord Parashurama, the sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu created Kerala, it was from X to Kanyakumari.
  5. According to a plaque underneath a painting of ____ donated to Cambridge Guildhall, ____ had an extensive stable of some 40 horses. This gave the appearance to his customers that, upon entry, they would have their choice of mounts, when in fact there was only one: Hobson required his customers to choose the horse in the stall closest to the door. This was to prevent the best horses from always being chosen, which would have caused those horses to become overused. Which saying derives from this story?
  6. During the eleventh century, every member of a poor British family did not eat the same food at the table. When a stag was caught in a village, the tenderest meat went to its captor, his eldest son, and the captor’s closest male friends. The man’s wife, his other children, and the families of his male friends received the stag’s “X”-the heart, liver, tongue, brain, kidneys, and entrails. To make them more palatable, they were seasoned and made into an “X ___.” Long after the dish was discontinued (and Americans added an h to the word), ________became a punning allusion to a humiliating drop in social status, and later to any form of humiliation. Which phrase?

    Answers to Etymology Quiz Questions

    Q21. Jakarta

    Q22. Baroda

    Q23. Chandigarh

    Q24. Kochi

    Q25. Mysore

    Q26. Meerut

    Q27. Jhansi

    Q28. Gokarna

    Q29. Hobson’s Choice

    Q30. Eat humble pie

    Etymology Quiz Questions continued 

    1. ______ was a medieval bat-and-ball game, similar to hockey. To ‘______’ words is to knock them back and forth as one would ______ a ball.
      Meaning: To argue, discuss in a lively fashion
      Which phrase? Answer: Bandy around
    2. The term derives from the place called X in Roman Catholic theology that is located on the border of Hell, a place where souls reside that cannot enter into Heaven. The Roman Catholic church no longer teaches this doctrine.
      Answer: Limbo
    3. The origin of the phrase is obscure, with multiple different explanations and no evidence to support any particular one over the others. For example, a commonly repeated suggestion is that it comes from X Head in Wexford, Ireland and the nearby village of Y, in Waterford, Ireland. Another is that it comes from the customs regulating which firewood local people could take from common land; they were allowed to take any branches that they could reach with an X or a shepherd’s y(used to capture sheep). Answer: By hook or by crook
    4. They were historically the period following the heliacal rising of the star
      system Sirius, which Greek and Roman astrology connected with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck. They are now taken to be the hottest, most uncomfortable part of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
      What is being talked about? Answer: Dog days
    5. The term __ _____ has something in common with ‘run amok’. The two phrases, as well as sounding rather similar, mean virtually the same thing. Their sources though could hardly be further apart. ‘Run amok’ derives from the Far East, whereas __ _____ is of Viking (Norse) origin. In that tradition, a ______was a warrior of great strength and courage, who fought with wild ferocity. Which word/term? Answer: Go berserk
    6. When the Danes conquered Ireland in the ninth century, they took a census by “counting X”. Exorbitant taxes were imposed on each “X”, thus one had to ________________. There is a myth that anyone who did not pay his X tax had his X slit in punishment, though there is little support for this addendum to the story.
      Which idiom? Answer: To pay through the nose
    7. The _______________ is exceedingly old and first appears in Old English in a work attributed to King Aelfred (the Great) of Wessex, AD 885, titled Gregory’s Pastoral Care.
      Much later, Shakespeare used the phrase in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1600:

    Flower of this purple dye, Hit with Cupid’s archery, Sink in _____________

    It also appears several times in the Bible; for example, in Deuteronomy 32:10 (King James Version, 1611)

    He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the ____________.

    Answer: Apple of my eye

    1. A group of eight entities is together named so because of a certain plant that grew around the walls of their buildings. What is being talked about here?
      Answer Ivy league
    2. Since the early 19th century this term, apparently an Americanism, has been applied to the low, marshy region overgrown with tall grass in Florida. It has been suggested that the ___(the first part of the word) in the word is used loosely in the sense of “interminable.” Answer: Everglades
    3. Connect the words Bandit, Critic, Dauntless, Lacklustre, Swagger, Uncomfortable, Unreal, Emulate, Mutiny,J ovial. Non exhaustive Answer: Words invented by Shakespeare
    4. When a ship _____(s) it fills with water and goes to the bottom. And the bottom is the key to the ancestry of the word X, which comes from the Latin fundus, meaning “bottom.”
      Answer: Founder
    5. In 1971, five high school students – Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel, Larry Schwartz, and Mark Gravich– in San Rafael, California, calling themselves the Waldos because “their chosen hang-out spot was a wall outside the school”, used the term in connection with a 1971 plan to search for an abandoned cannabis crop that they had learned about, based on a treasure map made by the grower. The Waldos designated the Louis Pasteur statue on the grounds of San Rafael High School as their meeting place, and _____, as their meeting time. The Waldos referred to this plan with the phrase “____ Louis”. After several failed attempts to find the crop, the group eventually shortened their phrase to simply “____”, which ultimately evolved into a code-word that the teens used to mean consuming cannabis.What is being talked about? Answer: 420
    6. From German ____, which means “evil spirit”. The metal was named Goblin by miners because it was poisonous and troublesome (polluted and degraded other mined elements, such as nickel).
      Which metal?

Answer: Cobalt

  1. In Greek mythology, the X was an elaborate, confusing structure designed and built by the legendary Daedalus for King Minos of Crete at Knossos. Its function was to hold the Minotaur, the monster eventually killed by the hero Theseus. Daedalus had so cunningly made the X that he could barely escape it after he built it Answer: Labyrinth
  2. An Italian high fashion women’s clothing and accessory brand and a fully
    owned subsidiary of Prada is named after the nickname of the youngest granddaughter of Mario Prada.
    Answer: MiuMiu
  3. ___ _ __ is an old English trading game and the term itself is the origin of the modern word XIn this game, two players want to trade possessions. An umpire decides whether the items have the same value, and if not, what the difference is. Both players and the umpire then put some forfeit money in a cap. The players put their hands in the cap, and then remove them either open, to signal agreement with the valuation, or closed, to signal disagreement. If both players agree, the difference in valuation is paid, the items are traded, and the umpire collects the forfeit. If both players disagree, the items are not traded, and the umpire collects the forfeit. If one player agrees and the other does not, the items are not traded, and the player who agreed to the valuation collects the forfeit. Answer: Handicap
  4. This word meaning “tearful, weeping” is from Middle English proper
    name Magdalene (Old French Madelaine), woman’s name, originally surname of Mary, the repentant sinner forgiven by Jesus. In paintings, she often was shown weeping as a sign of repentance.
    Answer: Maudlin
  5. The community was previously known as Shanar but legally changed its name to X in 1921. The title X is believed to be derived from the Nelamaikkarars, the aristocrats of the Shanar community who had previously used it exclusively. Xs claim that the original name of the community was Shantror or Shandrar (noble one) which, in course of time, was corrupted to Shanar. Historically, most Xs were cultivators of palmyra trees and jaggery and a few were also involved in the toddy trade. Answer: Nadar
  6. What piece of clothing, modeled after the knitted wool waistcoat that British officers supposedly wore during the war, is named after James Brudenell, 7th Earl of X,
    a British Army Major General who led the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War?Answer: Cardigan
  7. The name of this island country may have come from the appearance of fig trees which grew in plenty in the area or from the beards of indigenous people in that area. Which country? (Another island country shares a part of its name to this origin story)

    Answer: Barbados( the other one being Antigua and Barbuda)

    Credits for this set of well-researched etymology Quiz questions – Rajiv

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