John Gordon Ross

A Man for All Reasons

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Etymology Knowledge Test

December 11th, 2008 · No Comments

A post on Talk Wordy to Me led me to an entertaining on-line etymology quiz which I recommend to language buffs. It is, as TW puts it, “freaking hard.” TW got 6 out of 10 right on two occasions before deciding enough was enough, and I am pleased to say that I got 7 out of 10 on my first and so far only attempt – I think it was something of a fluke,* and there’s no sense in pushing my luck. You’ll find the quiz at

* Middle English floke, fluke, from Old English flōc; akin to Old English flōh chip, Old High German flah smooth, Greek plax flat surface, and probably to Old English flōr floor — more at floor. That’s the trouble with etymology, once you get going it’s hard to stop.

Tags: Language

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