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Word Power: Test Your Knowledge of Christmas Words

You rarely encounter these Christmas words in everyday life, but you'll hear them sung in timeless carols during the holiday season. May this Word Power quiz strike the right note to put you in the festive spirit!

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Christmas words - LowPhoto: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

Christmas Word #1: Low

A: Announce
B: Fall into a deep sleep
C: Make a deep sound, as a cow.

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Cow - cattle are lowingPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: C—Make a deep sound, as a cow

As in, “Upon hearing lowing and cowbells outside, Marit knew the herd had come home.”

Don’t miss our countdown of the best Christmas movies of all time.

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Christmas words - SeraphPhoto: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

Christmas Word #2: Seraph

A: Signature
B: Mysterious gift
C: Six-winged angelic being

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Seraph - Christmas angel ornamentPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: C—Six-winged angelic being

As in, “Fuyumi admired the finely drawn feathers on a medieval manuscript’s depiction of a seraph.”

Can you guess which song is the oldest Christmas carol?

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Christmas Words - MirthPhoto: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

Christmas Word #3: Mirth

A: Merry laughter
B: Fragrant resin used as a perfume
C: Wine seasoned with spices

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Audience laughing - mirthPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: A—Merry laughter

As in, “The kids’ adorable dance routine caused much mirth among the parents watching the school play.”

Could you use some mirth yourself? These funny holiday jokes should do the trick.

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Christmas Words - BobtailPhoto: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

Christmas Word #4: Bobtail

A: Chaperone a date
B: Tail that’s been cut short on an animal
C: Victorian hairstyle

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Horse drawn sleighPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: B—Tail that’s been cut short on an animal

As in, “Once considered stylish, horse bobtails are now banned in many countries.”

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Christmas words - TidingsPhoto: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

Christmas Word #5: Tidings

A: News
B: Ocean currents
C: Months

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Writing Christmas cardsPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: A—News

As in, “The townspeople patiently awaited the arrival of the next ship that would bring supplies, newcomers and tidings from overseas.”

Have you sent your glad tidings yet? Here’s what to write in a Christmas card in case you need help getting started.

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Christmas words - Five-and-tenPhoto: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

Christmas Word #6: Five-and-ten

A: Early-evening meal
B: Shop where the goods cost five or 10 cents
C: Person with an above-average height

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Christmas shoppingPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: B—Shop where the goods cost five or 10 cents

As in, “Stocking everything from soap to stationery, five-and-tens were the precursors of today’s dollar stores.”

Shopping on a budget? Check out our Canadian gift guide—everything’s under $50!

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Christmas words - HarkPhoto: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

Christmas Word #7: Hark

A: Listen
B: Feel surprised
C: Worship

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Cardinal in winter snowPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: A—Listen

As in, “‘Hark!’ cried one of the snowshoers. ‘Is that the call of a cardinal?'”

Discover more things you didn’t realize had names.

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Christmas words - swathedPhoto: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

Christmas Word #8: Swathed

A: Frosty
B: Coated in Icing
C: Wrapped in fabric

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Swathed - Christmas couple bundled in blanketPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: C—Wrapped in fabric

As in, “But for her head, the baby was entirely swathed in a cozy wool blanket.”

Next, test your knowledge of words with Viking origins.

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Christmas words - WassailPhoto: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

Christmas Word #9: Wassail

A: Walk sluggishly after overeating
B: Go from house to house singing Christmas carols
C: Clean up in preparation for receiving guests

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Christmas carollers wassailingPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: B—Go from house to house singing Christmas carols

As in, “The McLarens’ wassailing garnered them a few cookies and many confused smiles.”

Here are the best Christmas songs of all time—ranked!

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Christmas words - Sugar plumPhoto: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

Christmas Word #10: Sugar Plum

A: Small, round candy
B: Plum sweetened with syrup
C: Rosy cheek

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Christmas tree with gold and bronze onramentsPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: A—Small, round candy

As in, “In centuries past, sugar plums were often made by layering coats of boiled sugar onto dried fruits, nuts or seeds.”

Don’t miss these hilarious (and true) holiday stories.

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Christmas words - trollPhoto: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

Christmas Word #11: Troll

A: Ring bells
B: Sing happily
C: Travel by train

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Little girl with Santa at ChristmasPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: B—Sing happily

As in, “The children trolled festive tunes while awaiting Santa’s promised appearance at their party.”

Read about the funny way 20 people learned the truth about Santa Claus.

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Christmas words - BeholdPhoto: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

Christmas Word #12: Behold

A: See
B: Take to heart
C: Keep close

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Christmas paradePhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: A—See

As in, “The holiday parade was saturated with colourful lights, and Jai beheld it with excitement.”

Love a holiday parade? Here are the best places to spend Christmas in Canada.

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Christmas words - BushelPhoto: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

Christmas Word #13: Bushel

A: Small decorated tree
B: Large quantity
C: Door wreath

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Christmas dinner feastPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: B—Large quantity

As in, “Abdul surveyed the bushels of leftover food and wondered how he would eat it all.”

Check out the fascinating history behind some of your favourite Christmas traditions.

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Christmas words - WelkinPhoto: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

Christmas Word #14: Welkin

A: Family harmony
B: Warm greetings
C: Sky

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Happy New Year signPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: C—Sky

As in, “The welkin rang with cheers of ‘Happy New Year!’ when the clock struck midnight.”

Never heard of “welkin” before? Check out these crazy slang words from the 1920s!

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Christmas words - Auld lang synePhoto: Shutterstock/Brett Walther

Christmas Word #15: Auld Lang Syne

A: Good fortune
B: Times long ago
C: Passing of the old year

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Two young women catching up over drinksPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: B—Times long ago

As in, “Hannah and her former university roommate met to have a drink and reminisce about auld lang syne.”

Now that you’ve taken this Christmas words challenge, try your hand at this surprising Christmas trivia.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest Canada