Can You Tell Us the Meaning of These Old-Timey Words Without Asking Your Grandparents?

By: Teresa McGlothlin

Can You Tell Us the Meaning of These Old-Timey Words Without Asking Your Grandparents?
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About This Quiz

Let's take a trip back in time! While we're there, let's examine some of the words your grandparents or your great-grandparents would have used. We think you might be surprised by how many of them you actually know, but the only way to find out is to challenge yourself with this old-timey word quiz. 

As we open up the books to the past, we are going to challenge your knowledge of old-fashioned words like never before. While we're sure you will fly through this challenge without much of a problem, you might find yourself learning a few new words to add to your own vocabulary. Imagine the look on your sweetheart's face when you ask them for a buss! 

If you've ever heard your grandparents use strange words, imagine how they feel listening to your newfangled vernacular. For this quiz, put yourself in their shoes and see how many words from their time you can figure out. You might feel slightly challenged, but you'll walk away with a lot of insight about your elders' vocabulary. 

If you're ready to time travel with us, we're ready to see how many old-time words you know. Will get as many right as you think you will? 

Farm If you are talking about a problem in the backfield that's a little ways out there, where is the problem located?
Hither
From
Out yonder
When someone told you to go over yonder, you would have been going over there. Yonder is a word used to describe a different location.
Brute

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Rate These Foods and We'll Guess Which Dog Breed Is Your Favorite! 2 What else would you call a pickpocket?
Bramble
Cutpurse
Rather than using the word pickpockets, people used the word cutpurses. A cutpurse is another word for a skilled pickpocket or thief.
Gallant
Wain

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Mall stores What did a bibliopole sell back in the day?
Books
Decades ago, you couldn't mail order books from Amazon. Instead, you took a trip to your local bibliopole to purchase your reading materials.
Rosaires
Fish
Vegetables

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GameofLife Just incase your grandpa asks to borrow it, how much money equals a doit?
$0.02
Although two cents was worth more back then than it is now, a small amount of money was referred to as a doit. Even though it wasn't much, having a doit was better than being broke!
$1million
$100,000
$25,000

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Can You Name the Car Brand From Its Hood Ornament or Badge? 2 NEW What would you have called an ornamental object?
Fandangle
In addition to being ornamental, fandangles also had no real purpose. A fandangle is an ornament with no other use than to look pretty.
Cutpurse
Whip
Swag

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Are You the Grandma, Baby, Mom, or Cool Aunt in Your Friend Group 2 You hear that back in the day, your great aunt was a famous melodist. What is everyone actually referring to?
Composer
Singer
Instead of being blanket labeled as a singer, decades ago you would have been a melodist. Melodists are those who are brave enough to open their mouths and sing in public.
Dancer
Pianist

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Bartender What would you have called a bartender many years ago?
Tapster
The people pouring your pints back in the early days were known as tapsters. Much like the craft beer craze, tapsters were experts at tapping kegs and getting just the right head on your beer.
Waterer
Apothecary
Woody

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No Money What term was used to describe someone who was born with low social standing?
Strumpet
Baseborn
Those who were not lucky enough to be born into royalty or wealth were considered baseborn. Baseborn people were those born with a lower social standing.
Haughty
Quidnunc

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Part of Your World - The Little Mermaid If you are told to go visit the fishwife, what are you going to do?
Purchase fish for dinner.
When purchasing dinner from the local fish market, you were likely to buy from a fishwife. Fishwife was a term used to describe women who sold fish.
Have your kitchen scale calibrated.
Get a love potion made.
Talk about your finances.

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Doctor If a doctor told you to take your medicine for a sennight, how long would you be taking your medicine for?
24 hours
A month
A year
A week
If you were to come back in a sennight and retake this quiz, you might get even more of them right. A week of rest can do a lot for the brain!

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Kiss What's an old-timey word for a kiss?
Bonk
Blaze
Brute
Buss
The next time your sweetheart wants a kiss, offer them a buss and see how it goes over. A term rarely used these day, buss mean to kiss.

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Cheers with Cocktails What would your great-uncle call an extra large, alcoholic drink?
Cord
Merchant
Prat
Bumper
When you were served an oversized alcoholic drink back in your grandparents' time, you would have been served a bumper. Many tapsters served bumpers to keep their clients coming back.

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Grandma What kind of animal is your grandma talking about when she says she saw a camelopard?
Otter
Fox
Giraffe
The next time you want to impress your friends at a party, refer to a giraffe as a camelopard. Until the late 19th century, it was common to call giraffes camelopards.
Snake

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Quiet Town Which old-timey word means that you are a full-fledged citizen of your town?
Burgess
Instead of just saying where you live back in the day, you exclaimed that you are a burgess of your town or province. If you are a burgess, you are a fully committed citizen of the place you live.
Mayor
Flunky
Provocateur

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Tomatoes Where would you pick growing tomatoes, mow the lawn, or rake the leaves from if your grandparents needed it?
Their boot
Their garth
Showing off your beautiful yard or garden meant that you were showing off your garth. Folks were quite proud of the upkeep of their garth, and they loved showing them off.
Their hoody
Their cordwain

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Farmer What old-fashioned word would you use to refer to a farmer you knew?
Pope
Mendicant
Husbandman
Instead of simply being called farmers, men who ran farms were called husbandmen. A husbandman's livelihood depended upon the yearly crops and livestock.
Raiser

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Walk If you wanted to go for a nice hike, where would you go?
Treeland
Greenwood
Centuries ago, lush, foliage-laden forests were called greenwoods. Greenwoods were well-known hangouts for outlaws like Robin Hood and his Merry Men.
Leafland
Oakley

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Winter Which old-fashioned word means frozen?
Caked
Frore
According to old-timey words, when you open your freezer the contents are frore. Frore is another way of saying frozen or frosty.
Wired
Bitten

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Radio Flyer Wagon If you were towing your cousins around in the backyard in their playwagon, what would your Grandpa call the wagon?
Foxtrot
Wain
Back in the day when you took your wagon or cart to the market, you were towing your wain behind your carriage. A wain is another way to refer to something that was towed behind a buggy or tractor.
Whippersnapper
Mule

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The Sugar Thief What would you call a coward if you really felt disgusted by their actions?
A poltroon
Back in the day, cowardly folks were called poltroons. However, the term was reserved for those who possessed the most cowardice.
A fishman
A luddite
A dandiprat

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Family Party If your sister brought a conceited guy home for family dinner, what would your grandmother call him after they leave?
A dandiprat
A youngster
A coxcomb
Everyone has a coxcomb in their life. A coxcomb is an overly conceited man; despite a coxcomb's bravado, they are also known to be quite cowardly. Try to warn your sister if she does bring one of these home to meet Granny.
A gammer

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Thread What would your grandmother call a ball of thread?
Rounder
Clew
During our grandparent's time, people were resourceful enough to make their own clothing. You might find several clews, or balls of thread, around any old-timey household.
Stump
Floozy

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Candle Do you have a flickering notion for what old-timey word means candle?
Lightstick
Burner
Bubble
Glim
How many glims were on your last birthday cake? No matter how many candles were on your cake, you surely have less than your grandparents.

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31 posy Where could you find a posy if you were told to look for one?
In my grandmother's kitchen
Inside a ring
When you really wanted to show your love for someone, you would give them a ring with a posy inside. A posy is an inscription found inside a ring.
Inside a grocery store
At the airport

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6James516 What word would your eldest preacher use to call for a prayer?
Orison
The devoutly religious used to call written prayers orisons. Orisons were a way for people to pray in unison without having to make up words.
Chorale
Canon
Etude

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Alarm If you heard an alarm, what would you have called it back in the day?
Shaker
Tocsin
Hearing an alarm or a signal back in your grandparents' day meant that you were hearing a tocsin. Tocsin is defined as an alarm, siren or bell that is used to grab attention.
Waker
Dinger

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Carolers What would Granny call any Christmas carolers who rang the doorbell?
Snowballs
Waits
Opening your door to a bunch of Christmas carolers meant that you were listening to waits sing. Spreading cheer everywhere they went, being a wait used to be a much more popular tradition.
Jinglers
Elves

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29 popinjay What kind of bird is a popinjay?
Cardinal
Vulture
Canary
Parrot
Your grandparents may have called parrots popinjays, but popinjay also has another meaning. It can also be used to refer to a vain and extravagant person.

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Can You Pick the Preposition That Completes the Movie Title? Can you pick apart what asunder means?
Sunshine
Open
Apart
You might recognize the term asunder from wedding ceremonies. Asunder is another word for apart. As in, "Let no man pull it asunder."
Beneath

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Grandma Which of these words would be okay to call an older woman?
Strumpet
Beldam
Although it's always dangerous to mention a woman's age, being called a beldam was a term of distinction. Being a beldam meant that you were an older and more respected woman.
Harlot
Whippersnapper

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You Got:
/30

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