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(Click on the question number for the answer.)
Old West Words
"Buckaroo" is a corruption of what Spanish term for cowboy?
Word Evolution
Our tenth goes by the name of the eighth. Our ninth uses the name of the seventh. Our eleventh uses the name of the ninth. And our twelfth uses the name of the tenth. What is all this about?
Other Myths
Which word is derived from a mythology other than Greek or Roman?
A. chaotic
B. psychic
C. discord
D. January
E. Thursday
Deadly Derivations
A small Islamic sect terrorized the Middle East for two hundred years with its secret murders. The Crusaders brought the name of this sect into the languages of Europe as what synonym for "murderer"?
Small Words
"Atom" was derived from a Greek word that means ...
A. tiny
B. change
C. clinging
D. flammable
E. indivisible
Weather Words
What English word was derived from the Mandarin toi fung meaning "great wind"?
Ancient Plumbing
Given Roman technology, "plumbing" must come from the Latin for what metal?
State Names
The names of which states were not derived from an American Indian tribe or language?
A. Oklahoma, Ohio, Kentucky
B. Minnesota, Arkansas, Texas
C. Utah, Mississippi, North Dakota
D. Nebraska, Missouri, Massachusetts
E. Virginia, South Carolina, Pennsylvania
The Write Word
Telegraph means "at-a-distance writing" and phonograph means "sound-writing." So what word means "light-writing"?
Mythology Etymology
Which adjective was derived from the name of three avenging Roman goddesses?
A. lethal
B. erotic
C. furious
D. titanic
E. psychic
Paradise Lost
The prefix pan means "all." What word with this prefix did John Milton use for the capital of Hell, "the place of all demons"?
Sum Numbers
What is the sum of the numbers associated with the etymology of these words?
Which word is not an eponym?
A. boycott
B. Stetson
C. loganberry
D. cartography
E. Constantinople
Based on his early experiments with inoculating people for smallpox, Edward Jenner coined the word "vaccination" from vacca, the Latin word for what kind of mammal?
Fashion History
What item of clothing was named after a Pacific atoll used for atomic-weapons testing from 1946 to 1958?
Cloth Eponyms
The name for cashmere, a fine soft wool, comes from a city in what range of mountains?
A. Alps
B. Urals
C. Andes
D. Pyrenees
E. Himalayas
Latin Land Forms
The name for what land form is derived from Latin words which mean "almost an island"?
Elemental Names
Which chemical element was named after the messenger of the Roman gods?
A. mercury
B. thorium
C. titanium
D. neptunium
E. promethium
Distance Derivations
What common English measurement comes from the Latin phrase, mille passum, which means "1000 paces"?
Food Facts
In 1675, after the Duc de Richelieu captured Port Mahon on Minorca, his cook took some oil, vinegar, egg yolk, salt, and pepper and beat it into a sauce which was named after the captured port. That sauce is now known as ...
Language Development
Words such as "cookie," "boss," and "waffle" were contributed to English by the ...
A. Dutch
B. French
C. Spanish
D. Vikings
E. Chinese
Sports Officials
The title of what sports official who acts as the arbiter of disputes on the playing field comes from the French nonper meaning "not equal"?
Medical Etymology
Which medical term was derived from the Greek words which mean "against" and "life"?
A. antibiotic
B. immunologic
C. posthypnotic
D. psychosomatic
E. submicroscopic
Chess Lingo
"Checkmate" is derived from the Persian phrase, shah mat , which literally means ...
Drug History
A drug was named after which person?
A. Georg Ohm
B. Jean Nicot
C. Louis Braille
D. Franz Mesmer
E. Joseph Guillotin
Bird Beaks
The phrase, "an aquiline nose," taken from the Latin word, aquila, indicates what bird?
Home Sweet Home
"Galactic"  is based on the Greek name for our home galaxy which contains a root word meaning ...
Borrowed Words
Which word is not paired with the language from which it was borrowed?
A. blitz - Spanish
B. arpeggio - Italian
C. sputnik - Russian
D. kowtow - Chinese
E. slalom - Norwegian
Both czar and Kaiser were derived from the name of what Roman leader?
Wartime Words
The name for what vehicle used extensively in World War II was derived from the first two initials of the General Purpose Vehicle?
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Answers to Etymology
1. vaquero
2. months
3. E
4. assassin
5. E
6. typhoon
7. lead
8. E
9. photograph
10. C
11. Pandemonium
12. 23
13. D
14. cow
15. bikini
16. E
17. peninsula
18. A
19. mile
20. mayonnaise
21. A
22. umpire
23. A
24. the king is dead
25. B
26. eagle
27. milk
28. A
29. Julius Caesar
30. jeep
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