This quiz was on MSN today and, since it appears that it may not be a long-term posting, I repetaing it rather than posting the link. Answers are at Answer 7.
Even the most ordinary words often have extraordinary histories. Take this quiz and find out how much you know about the words we use every day.
1. What is the original literal meaning of halibut? (a) "Holy fish" (b) "Protruding eyeballs" (c) "Facing the sun"
2. The word assassin comes from: (a) Asininus, a Roman senator murdered in AD 43 (b) An Arabic word for hashish users (c) Europe's historically tumultuous Alsace region
3. The word buckaroo comes from: (a) The Spanish word for cowboy (b) Billy Buck, an early rodeo star (c) A slang term for a payment to a farm laborer
4. The word cliché comes from: (a) A character satirized in Punch magazine (b) An Urdu word meaning parable (c) The sound made by a printing plate
5. What is the original meaning of guerilla? (a) "Freedom fighter" (b) "Little war" (c) "Gorilla"
6. Which object is most closely related to fascism's etymological origins? (a) A U.S. dime (b) A fedora (c) A hedgehog
7. Which creature's name means "river horse"? (a) The sturgeon (b) The donkey (c) The hippopotamus
8. What does orangutan mean? (a) "Orange ape " (b) "Man of the jungle" (c) "Grape ape"
9. The word parasite was originally closest in meaning to: (a) "Dinner guest" (b) "Teenager" (c) "Vampire"
10. The word sarcasm comes from: (a) A Greek word meaning "to tear flesh" (b) A Sanskrit word meaning "opposite" (c) A Latin word meaning "to open a gap"
11. The word paparazzi derives from: (a) A type of camera (b) The name of an Italian tabloid (c) A character in a film
12. What does tycoon mean? (a) "Great ruler" (b) "Well driller" (c) "Railroad tie"
Two wrong here.
For 6, I had no idea what is on the back or the front of a dime, although I do know the meaning of fasces.
I had no idea about 11.