Language


last update: 14 June 2020


Quiz questions concerning language are quite common, for example:-
What is the name of a medicinal mud? Answer - Fango
What is a motorcycle with four wheels? Answer - Quad
What does the abbreviation SMS mean? Answer - Short Message Service
What does 'glasnost' mean in Russian politics? Answer - Openness
What does the Latin proverb '
Errare Humanum ist' mean? Answer - to err is human
What is the singular of scampi? Answer - Scampo
Cerveza means beer in which country? Answer - Spain
In Cockney what is a 'baker's dozen'? Answer - a cousin (and what's a 'dustbin lid'?, it's a kid)
Where did the word 'denim' come from? Answer - '
serge de Nîmes'
What exact does CD-ROM stand for? Answer - Compact Disc - Read Only Memory
What is the name of the little covering at the end of a shoelace? Answer - Aglet
What is the name of the little dot on 'I' and 'j'? Answer - A tittle
What is the meaning of the prefix 'auto'? Answer - Self
If something is described as 'noisome', what characteristic does it have? Answer - Foul-smelling
What has the meaning "an alloy or union of mercury with another metal"? Answer - Amalgam
What is the meaning of the Latin root 'corpus'? Answer - Body
The word 'hotel' orientated in what language? Answer - French
What punctuation mark ends an imperative sentence? Answer - A period or exclamation point
What does an adjective modify? Answer - Nouns and pronouns
In English what does the Latin phrase '
caveat emptor' mean? Answer - Buyer beware
What is the meaning of the Latin root 'ultra'? Answer - Beyond
What is the term meaning a word that has a similar meaning to another word? Answer - Synonym
What is the meaning of the prefix 'poly'? Answer - Many
In Morse Code how is the letter S represented? Answer - dot, dot, dot
What is an isogram? Answer - a word in which no letters are repeated, e.g. palindrome
What two words are combined to make the word 'taxicab'? Taximeter and cabriolet
What does '
carpe diem' mean? Answer - Seize the day
What does an oologist study? Answer - Bird eggs
What does the letters in the computer language 'BASIC' represent? Answer - Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code
Where does the word 'April' come from? Answer - the Latin name is
Aprilis which derives from 'to open' signifying the opening of buds
What is a 'bibliopole'? Answer - A seller of rare books
What does 'e.g.' stand for and mean? Answer - The Latin '
exempli gratia' means 'for example'
'Euouae' is the longest English word containing only vowels, but what does it mean? Answer -
What is the longest one-syllable word in English? Answer - Screeched
What English words are unique in that they so not rhyme with any other English words? Answer - 'mouth', 'orange', 'silver, and 'purple'
What is this sentence a famous example of, "
The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog"? Answer - A pangram, or sentence with every letter of the English alphabet

These quiz questions point to the kinds of topic that often come up, notable:-
The meaning of Latin and Greek
prefixes, suffixes and phrases
Example: In English what does the Latin phrase '
caveat emptor' mean? Answer - Buyer beware

The meaning and examples of the seven major word classes or
parts-of-speech in English, e.g. verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, determiners (including articles), prepositions (and postpositions), and conjunctions, to which others have added interjection, clauses, sentences and even numerals.
Examples include:-
In "
I bought a beautiful dress in that shop", what part of speech is the word 'beautiful'? Answer - Adjective
In "
Well, I don't think I'll be home before six", what part of speech is the word 'Well'? Answer - Interjection


Specific
abbreviations, acronyms, initialisms
Example:-
What are the usual abbreviations for road, street, avenue, and boulevard? Answer - Abbreviations are just shortened versions of the words, so it's Rd, St, Ave, and Bld.
What do the letters in the acronym 'BASIC' represent? Answer - Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code
What do the letters in the acronym 'scuba' represent? Answer - Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus
What's the difference between an acronym and initialism? Answer - You use the acronym BASIC as a new word, whereas NBA (for National Basketball Association) is not usually pronounced as a word, but as a series of letters N-B-A.

Commonly used jargon

Common English
loanwords (where did they come from)


General questions about alphabets
Synonyms
Paradoxes,
Metaphors, similes and analogies (see https://www.masterclass.com/articles/metaphor-similie-and-analogy-differences-and-similarities)

tautologies, proverbs, idioms
Figures of speech, including alliterations, palindromes, tautograms, oxymorons,
Onomatopoeia, blend words,
Word games can include puzzles, crosswords, Scrabble, anagrams, even brand names
Word play, including puns, Spoonerisms, Wellerisms, Neologisms,
Logology, or so-called recreational linguistics
Satire, irony, sarcasm