An English Language Expert Should Be Able to Get 29/35 on This Quiz. Can You?
By: Monica Lee
Image: skynesher / E+ / Getty Images
About This Quiz
If you are well-versed in Latin or have a good grasp on European languages, then this quiz is for you. You may also do well if you have a comprehensive and sophisticated vocabulary, as this test is peppered with words of medium to advanced difficulty. Unfortunately, for those without these achievements and capabilities, it can be an arduous and Herculean task to command a high score.
Be prepared to disassemble words into their roots, prefixes and suffixes. Then, you'll scrutinize the options and make the best possible decision. A score of 29 or above will corroborate your mastery of vocabulary. And we will be pleased to call you an expert.
Some questions will be helpful in that clues will be provided within the query itself, while others may require a hint to help you verify the correct answer. From abstruse (difficult to understand) to enervate (wear down mentally) it will take indefatigable effort (unflagging vitality) to be on the winning side of this quiz. If we haven't frightened you yet, and you can see through our scare tactics, then you're ready to take the quiz. Do it now and let us bequeath the honor of Language Expert when you procure your high score.
We hope you don't think this quiz will be abstruse. What does "abstruse" mean?
Difficult to understand
Abstruse things are difficult to understand because they are so deep and intellectually challenging. But that's for ordinary people, not those who know languages. The root word, abstusu,s is taken from Latin, meaning "hidden, concealed, or secret."
"Ignominy" looks similar to various words. How would you define it?
Breaking this word down, either from the French, ignominie, or from Latin, ignominia, this word is created from the prefix "in," meaning "no or not," plus nomen, meaning "a name." Therefore, it means ruining your name or reputation.
The Latin root of "ineffable" comes from "ineffabilis," which joins the prefix "in," meaning "not," with the adjective "effabilis," meaning "capable of being expressed." Together it means incapable of description.
This word can be traced back to Old French when the combination of "en," meaning "make, put in," and enfranchir, meaning "to set or make free," came together to mean a group of people given the right to vote, or "to admit to membership in a state."
She was an independent and often irascible author. What is "irascible"?
Quickly aroused to anger
Irascible comes from the Latin root "ira," which means "anger" or "rage," the same root that gives us the word ire, "anger." However, the "sc" in the middle of irascible, means "becoming." So the anger hasn't exploded yet.
Most people tend to stay away from mendacious co-workers. How would you define "mendacious"?
A mendacious person is one who tells lies habitually and intentionally. The root word is from the Middle French, "mendacieux," and from the Latin, "mendacium," which means a lie, untruth, falsehood, or fiction.
Though "officious" sounds like official, what does it really mean?
When the suffix, -osus ("full of"), is added to "officium," the Latin word officiosus came into being. It means"eager to serve, help, or perform a duty," but in an annoyingly eager way that is more than what is required.
Panache is a word of French origin that carries the connotation of flamboyant manner and reckless courage. Specifically, from Middle French, it meant "a tuft or plume of feathers." Today, it means distinctive and stylish elegance.
We may resort to dilatory tactics so you don't go through this quiz so quickly. What does "dilatory" mean?
This word comes from the Latin root word, "dilator," which means someone who puts things off, or a procrastinator. So dilatory tactics would be tactics used to delay. Or in this case, we might use harder words, so you have to consider the options for a longer time.
When "mileu" is discussed, what exactly is being described?
The cookware needed to create a souffle
The inner workings of an assembly line
Fashionable outer wear
The surroundings and conditions
From French, "milieu" means middle place. A milieu is both the surroundings and everything that makes up the surroundings. Sometimes a milieu shapes a person, as when a "milieu of abuse and poverty" inspires someone to improve things for others.
The chief librarian could be considered a "martinet." How would you define that word?
Someone who demands conformity to rules
Martinet was coined after General Jean Martinet (died in 1672) who invented the military drills. He was a stickler for rules and regulations. Martinet is also used to describe someone who stubbornly adheres to methods or rules.
When you feel compunction you feel very, very sorry, usually for something you did to hurt someone or mess something up. The origin of this word is from Latin, "compungere," which is to prick hard or sting,
If you "contravene" something in practice, what are you doing?
Break the rules
This word comes from late Latin where "contravenire," or contra- + venire, means "against to come." Today, this word is synonymous with violation. For instance, "She might contravene her parents' ban on sweets if her friend offers her some licorice."
Statistics that come from "empirical" data is what type of data?
D) B & C
Empirical looks like empire but comes from a completely different origin. It is from the Greek empeirikos, meaning experienced. It's now used for any kind of knowledge that comes from experiment and observation.