Etymology Quiz

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Welcome to our Etymology Quiz!

Are you ready to unravel the mysteries of words and their origins?

Dive into our Free Online Etymology Quiz and embark on a journey through the history and evolution of language. This interactive quiz is perfect for language enthusiasts of all levels—from casual word lovers to language aficionados.

Discover the fascinating stories behind words, trace their roots, and expand your linguistic knowledge. It’s engaging, informative, and best of all, it’s free!

Why wait? Begin your etymological adventure today and delve into the captivating world of word origins!

Disclaimer: The hard questions in the Etymology Quiz are challenging. To finish the game and reaching the master level typically requires a significant amount of grit, determination and perseverance. I you want to learn more about etymology check out our article about Etymology as a passion.

Question 1:

What is the origin of the word 'troll' in folklore, often used to describe mischievous or supernatural beings?

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The word has its origins in a specific ancient language.
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Old Norse - The term 'troll' finds its roots in Old Norse, where it was used to refer to a variety of supernatural beings in folklore.

Question 2:

What does the term 'aileron' mean in French?

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The term 'aileron' is of French origin.
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Little wing - The term 'aileron' is derived from the French word for 'little wing', reflecting its function as a small hinged wing-like surface on the trailing edge of the main wing.

Question 3:

What is the origin of the word 'batik'?

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The origin of the word is related to Javanese culture.
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Javanese - The word 'batik' is derived from the Javanese word 'amba' (to write) and 'titik' (dot), reflecting the technique's characteristic patterning.

Question 4:

What is the literal meaning of the word 'omphaloskepsis'?

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The literal meaning relates to a specific body part.
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Meditation on the navel - The term 'omphaloskepsis' is derived from the Greek words 'omphalos' meaning 'navel' and 'skepsis' meaning 'contemplation' or 'reflection'.

Question 5:

What is the origin of the word 'quiz'?

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Consider the historical roots of the word.
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Latin - The word 'quiz' is derived from the Latin term 'quies,' meaning 'quiet.' Its modern meaning as a test or examination emerged in the late 18th century.

Question 6:

What is the origin of the word 'karaoke'?

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The origin of the word is related to the absence of the lead vocal.
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Japanese - The term 'karaoke' originates from Japan and translates to 'empty orchestra', representing the absence of the lead vocal in the musical accompaniment.

Question 7:

What language does the word 'piano' come from?

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Think of famous Italian composers.
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Italian - The word 'piano' is derived from the Italian word 'pianoforte', which means 'soft-loud' in reference to the instrument's ability to produce both soft and loud sounds.

Question 8:

What is the origin of the word 'chocolate'?

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Think of famous chocolate-producing countries.
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Spanish - The word 'chocolate' comes from the Spanish word 'chocolātl', which in turn has roots in the Aztec word 'xocolātl'.

Question 9:

From which language does the word 'robot' originate?

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Think of famous Czech literary works.
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Czech - The term 'robot' was coined by Czech writer Karel Čapek in his play 'R.U.R.' (Rossum's Universal Robots) in 1920.

Question 10:

What language does the word 'ballet' come from?

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Think of famous ballet performances.
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French - The term 'ballet' is derived from the French word 'ballette', which means 'dance' or 'to dance'.

Question 11:

What language does the word 'typhoon' come from?

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Think of regions prone to typhoons.
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Chinese - The term 'typhoon' is derived from the Cantonese word 'tai fung', which means 'great wind'.

Question 12:

What is the etymological origin of the word 'avocado'?

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The word originates from an indigenous Mesoamerican language.
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Nahuatl - The word 'avocado' is derived from the Nahuatl word 'āhuacatl', which refers to the fruit of the avocado tree.

Question 13:

What is the etymology of the word 'quarantine'?

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The word has its origins in a Mediterranean language.
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Italian - The term 'quarantine' is derived from the Italian word 'quarantina', which means a period of forty days.

Question 14:

What is the etymological origin of the word 'ketchup'?

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The word's origin is in East Asia.
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Chinese - The word 'ketchup' is derived from the Chinese word 'kôe-chiap', which refers to a sauce made from fermented fish.

Question 15:

What is the etymology of the word 'safari'?

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The word has its origins in an African language.
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Swahili - The term 'safari' is derived from the Swahili word 'safarī', which means a journey or expedition.

Question 16:

What is the etymological origin of the word 'pajamas'?

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The word's origin is in the Middle East.
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Persian - The word 'pajamas' is derived from the Persian word 'pāy-jāmeh', which refers to leg garments.

Question 17:

What is the etymological origin of the word 'serendipity'?

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The word has connections to a Persian tale.
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Persian - The term 'serendipity' was coined by Horace Walpole, inspired by the Persian fairy tale 'The Three Princes of Serendip'.

Question 18:

What is the etymology of the word 'assassin'?

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The word has connections to a secretive Islamic sect.
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Arabic - The term 'assassin' comes from the Arabic 'hashshashin', denoting a secretive Islamic sect known for their deadly tactics.

Question 19:

What is the etymological origin of the word 'decimate'?

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The word has connections to Roman military punishment.
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Latin - The word 'decimate' is derived from the Latin 'decimare', originally referring to the punishment of killing every tenth soldier in a mutinous Roman legion.

Question 20:

What is the etymological origin of the word 'nemesis'?

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The word has connections to a Greek goddess.
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Greek - The term 'nemesis' originates from the Greek goddess of vengeance and retribution, often associated with bringing downfall to those with excessive pride.

Question 21:

What is the etymological origin of the word 'laser'?

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The word is an acronym related to light technology.
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Acronym - The term 'laser' is an acronym derived from 'light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation', reflecting the technology's fundamental principles.

Question 22:

What is the origin of the term 'gongoozler'?

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The term has its roots in a specific language.
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English language - The term 'gongoozler' is believed to have originated in the English language, specifically in the canal regions of England.