Think you have a gargantuan vocabulary? The English language has one of the largest vocabularies of any language, due to its diverse roots. English is made up of Germanic languages, Romance languages and Greek at its roots, combining all of them for a monstrous number of words. English is also unique from other languages because the British carried it with them all over the world. In every place English went, it took on ever more words, making it a truly global mishmash of wondrous and wacky words.
English has over a million words, and many experts think it has the largest vocabulary on earth, even though this is hard to prove. This is because in spoken languages some words become obsolete or are forgotten or change, while new ones are invented all the time. Many words have stayed the same, but their meanings have changed over the centuries. English is unusually suited to this. In fact, over 1,700 of our common daily words were invented by William Shakespeare. These include words like "assassination" and "eyeball."
If you are an English language expert with an impressively Brobdingnagian vocabulary, put your language savvy to the ultimate test with this arduous quiz!
Bard is a noun. A bard is a poet who is often also a singer. Shakespeare is often referred to as The Bard.
Emote is a verb. It means to express emotion.
Wily is an adjective. It describes people who are crafty or sly.
Nomadic is an adjective. Nomads wander from place to place.
Incessant is an adjective. It means unending.
Negligent is an adjective. It describes someone careless and neglectful.
Genial is an adjective. It means friendly or affable.
Calamity is a noun. It is an event with catastrophic consequences.
Stingy is an adjective. It means not generous, and not likely to spend money or give to people.
Abate is a verb. It means to reduce or lessen.
Balk is a verb. It means to stop or block abruptly.
Debase is a verb. It means to lower the quality or esteem of something.
Edict is a noun. An edict is an order or decree.
Nadir is a noun. It is the lowest point of anything.
Palatable is an adjective. It describes something which either tastes good or is agreeable to other sensibilities.
Vapid is an adjective. It describes something that lacks in liveliness or is dull.
Abet is a verb. It means to aid, help or encourage someone.
Camaraderie is a noun. It describes brotherhood and jovial unity.
Haughty is an adjective. It describes a person who is arrogantly proud.
Latent is an adjective. It describes things which are currently hidden but could be exposed.
Quixotic is an adjective. It describes someone who is fancifully idealistic and impractical.
Behemoth is a noun. A behemoth is something of great size or power.
Fetid is an adjective. It describes terrible scents.
Grievous is an adjective. It describes something hurtful, serious or grave in nature.
Utopia is a noun. A utopia is an imaginary and remote place of perfection.
Cerebral is an adjective. It is related to the intellect.
Demagogue is a noun. Demagogues are leaders who gain power by appealing to people's prejudices and fears.
Torrid is an adjective. It describes something which gives off intense heat or passionate emotions.
Elated is an adjective. It means thrilled and overjoyed.
Verdant is an adjective. It means green.
Bilk is a verb. It means to cheat or defraud.
Disclose is a verb. It means to reveal or make public.
Notorious is an adjective. It describes someone who is widely and unfavorably known.
Ethereal is an adjective. It means heavenly or refined.
Arcane is an adjective. It describes things that are obscure, secret or only known by very few.