Quiz: Can You Beat Your Friends on This English Words Quiz?
Topics
Can You Beat Your Friends on This English Words Quiz?
By: Zoe Samuel
Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

There is a very funny moment in the third season of Rowan Atkinson's hit sitcom " Blackadder" in which Dr. Johnson, the real-life historical figure who wrote what (he claimed) was the first comprehensive English language dictionary, tries to explain to the idiotic Prince Regent that it is a book about what English words mean. Prince George replies, "But I know what English words mean!" dismissing years of the good doctor's hard work. Johnson is outraged and the prince's potential patronage is thrown into question.

As stupid as the prince character is, a lot of people do seem to agree with him, that they know what English words mean thus don't need a book about it. However, Johnson was working at a time that the mere idea of English as an elevated, international language was considered silly. The British Empire was just starting up, Shakespeare's work was only 200 years old, and John Milton's "Paradise Lost" - which was written to put English on the map alongside that previous global lingua franca of Latin - hadn't turned 100 yet.

These days, English is the international language of choice; most internet traffic is written in it, and it outstrips Mandarin Chinese in the number of speakers worldwide. Everyone takes it seriously - and knowing a lot of its 200,000 words is simply part of being an educated person. How well do you know not just the language but the vocabulary of Shakespeare?

1.0 of 35
Which of these words means the form of a specific letter?
2.0 of 35
Which of these words means the prong of a fork?
3.0 of 35
Which of these words means throwing someone out of a window?
4.0 of 35
Which of these words means feeling content due to a tummy full of beer?
5.0 of 35
Which of these words means a slice of bacon?
6.0 of 35
Which of these words means excessive tooth grinding?
7.0 of 35
Which of these words means giving off sparks?
8.0 of 35
Which of these words means a combination question mark and exclamation point?
9.0 of 35
Which of these words means the infinity symbol?
10.0 of 35
Which of these words means a bald person who people pity?
11.0 of 35
Which of these words means a pointed shoe popular in the 1950s?
12.0 of 35
Which of these words means a small quantity of something left over?
13.0 of 35
Which of these words means very fat indeed?
14.0 of 35
Which of these words means a person who never laughs?
15.0 of 35
Which of these words means a thing that induces nausea?
16.0 of 35
Which of these words means a metal eyelet of firm material, usually metal, to reinforce a hole in fabric where it attaches to another piece?
17.0 of 35
Which of these words means a person who steals books?
18.0 of 35
Which of these words means procrastinating, malingering or generally wasting time?
19.0 of 35
Which of these words means a grouchy person who finds fault with everything?
20.0 of 35
Which of these words means highly un-wholesome, especially as appied to a person or neighborhood?
21.0 of 35
Which of these words means the long tendril on a neuron that connects it to other neurons?
22.0 of 35
Which of these words means upset, bewildered and put off your game?
23.0 of 35
Which of these words means a young upstart with ideas above their current skill set and experience?
24.0 of 35
Which of these words means a sort of Victorian-era spork?
25.0 of 35
Which of these words means a loud mix of horrible sounds?
26.0 of 35
Which of these words means a fuss or a bother, often applied as an understatement to a serious altercation?
27.0 of 35
Which of these words means the worship of animals?
28.0 of 35
Which of these words means shady?
29.0 of 35
Which of these words means having an orbit which passes close to the sun, as applied to a comet?
30.0 of 35
Which of these words means the process by which (in some theories) an object would be stretched and ripped apart by gravitational forces on falling into a black hole?
31.0 of 35
Which of these words means plastic surgery performed on the nose?
32.0 of 35
Which of these words means able or ready to do anything?
33.0 of 35
Which of these words means the hatred of marriage?
34.0 of 35
Which of these words means to chant or intone a passage of religious text?
35.0 of 35
Which of these means the death of cells which occurs as a normal part of an organism's growth or development?
Receive a hint after watching this short video from our sponsors.
quit
hint:
continue