For those who speak English every day, it may feel like we know every word there is to know, which would make this online quiz a breeze. However, estimates have suggested that an average adult English speaker has an active vocabulary of 20 thousand words. There are over 170 thousand words in the English dictionary, and when adding in things like different terminologies, jargon, and prefixed and suffixed words, some estimates place the amount of words in the English dictionary as up to a million!
This short online quiz will test your knowledge of all the words you never knew, and will likely never use again (although congratulations if you do manage to fit any of these into your conversations today!).
Which of these terms refers to ‘A kind of volcanic lava that forms jagged masses with a light frothy texture’?
Aa is the correct answer here, a word which does not look like a word at all! Abaya is actually an item of clothing worn predominantly in Arab countries. Abomasum refers to an internal part of the digestive system of animals such as cows or sheep, and absquatulate is a word which means ‘to leave somewhere abruptly’.
Which of these words beginning with B refer to a drink which includes sugar, nutmeg, rum and water?
A drink which includes all of these ingredients is known as a ‘bumbo’. Amongst the incorrect answers here, Bobsy-die means ‘a great deal of fuss or trouble’. Bruxism is perhaps a more common word, and refers to grinding of the teeth. Finally, benthos is the plants and wildlife found at the bottom of a deep body of water such as a sea or a lake.
Which one of these four terms describes something which resembles tufts of wool?
Fugacious is a descriptive word which means ‘transient or fleeting’. Flews are the lips of some breeds of dog, such as a bloodhound. Finally, famulus is a title of an assistant or a helper who works for someone such as a scholar. That means flocculent is the correct word!
‘A type of loose breeches worn in the 16th and 17th centuries’ are also known by which of the following?
Galligaskins is the word you were looking for. Gaita is a musical instrument, more specifically a bagpipe type instrument which is played predominantly in Spain and Portugal. Gnathic means something which has to do with the jaws (similar to gnawing) and gasconade means ‘extravagant boasting’.
Which word beginning with the letter L is a type of pine tree?
A loblolly is a type of tree found in North America, which is characterised by its thin needles. A liripipe is an older term and one which does not get much use nowadays. It refers to the tail of a medieval item of clothing. Lolygag means to waste time or to dither, and finally logomachy is a debate or argument concerning words.
Which of the following refers to a colour?
The answer is Nacarat, which is an orange-red colour. The other words here do have some hints if you are to break them down. Netizen means a frequent user of the internet (think net-citizen). Nagware is another term for a computer software which starts with a free trial then asks you to pay for the full version (think nagging-software). Finally, noctambulist means a sleepwalker.
Which of these words beginning with P describes something to do with fishermen or fishing?
A hint is in the name for the correct answer here, as the word you were looking for is piscatorial (think Pisces or pescatarian). Posology is a field of medicine which looks specifically at dosage of medicine, pinguid means something oily or greasy, whilst a periapt is something which is worn as a charm.
‘Resembling a net’ links to which following word?
Something which resembles a net is also known as retiform. Rubricate is the act of capitalising and styling a manuscript or piece of text. Rawky means damp and cold, and rubiginous is something which is rust-coloured.
A Celtic symbol, characterised by three curved lines and legs, is called a what?
Triskelion is the answer, and the clue here is in the first part of the name. Transpicuous simply means transparent, and thalassic is something which relates to the ocean. A tigon is actually an animal similar to a ‘liger’. Whereas a liger is the offspring of a male lion and female tiger, a tigon is a female lion and a male tiger’s offspring.
Finally, which of these words means a set of 8 things?
The correct answer is Ogdoad. Amongst the incorrect answers, o-o is in fact a real word, and refers to a type of Hawaiian bird. Otalgia is simply another word for earache, and finally obnubilate means to obscure something.
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