Word Power: Test Your Knowledge of These English Words of Arabic Origin
Centuries of trade between Middle Eastern and European merchants brought more than silks and spices to the West. Find out how many of these words are in your vocabulary.
A: Breed of soft-haired rabbit
B: Gem-carving technique
C: Bright blue mineral
Answer: C—Bright blue mineral
As in, “Yvonne’s necklace caught the eye with its lapis lazuli stones.”
Test your knowledge of these evocative adjectives!
A: Wild boar
B: Hard mass in a stomach
C: Navigational star chart
Answer: B—Hard mass in a stomach
As in, “The veterinarian found the bezoar that had been causing José’s dog such pain.”
Answer: B—Sun-dried bricks
As in, “Some of the streets in Timimoun, Algeria, are lined with adobe houses.”
These words from the first dictionary no longer exist.
A: Place that attracts people
B: Clay cooking pot
C: Magnetic north
Correct answer: A—Place that attracts people
As in, “Some Muslims take an annual trip to Mecca, the city where Muhammad was born, and some culture lovers take an annual trip to New York City, a mecca for the arts.”
Ready for another Word Power test? Take to the skies without leaving your chair by exploring these aviation terms.
A: Woven satchel
B: Vivid red
C: Youthful prince
Answer: B—Vivid red
As in, “In spring, Jasmine’s garden is full of carmine tulips.”
You’ll love these amazing facts about the English language!
Answer: A—Oceanic bird of the family Diomedeidae
As in, “‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ tells of a curse brought about when a sailor kills an albatross.”
Can you guess which famous authors coined these common words?
A: Incense holder
B: Dried fruit used as a bath sponge
C: Cinnamon toothpaste
Answer: B—Dried fruit used as a bath sponge
As in, “Harry’s bathroom was stocked with fresh towels, a silk dressing gown and a loofah.”
You’ll never look at these palindrome words the same way again.
B: Fragrant spice
C: Recessed area
Answer: C—Recessed area
As in, “A marble bust of Beethoven sat in an alcove in the living room.”
Answer: C—Direction of a celestial body from the observer
As in, “To receive the most sunlight, a solar panel should take the sun’s azimuth into account.”
Can you pass this quiz of fourth grade spelling words?
A: Coded messaging
B: Gambling strategy
C: Freshwater dolphin
Answer: A—Coded messaging
As in, “Many ciphers were created for the U.S. military during the Second World War, but the Navajo language proved one of the best methods of secret communication.”
You probably didn’t know you’re using these military terms every day.
A: Citrus drink
B: Syrupy drink
C: Yogourt drink
Answer: B—Syrupy drink
As in, “The mint julep is the signature cocktail of the Kentucky Derby.”
Consider avoiding these words that make you sound old.
A: Instrument with two legs that measures dimensions
B: Hereditary religious leaders in Syria
C: Proportion of precious meals in an alloy
Answer: A—Instrument with two legs that measures dimensions
As in, “While renovating the kitchen, Jillian used calipers to determine the size of her tiles.”
Admit it: you’re probably guilty of uttering these redundant phrases.
A: Dark eyeliner made from wax
B: Substance containing a low concentration of hydrogen ions
C: Pointed nose
Answer: B—Substance containing a low concentration of hydrogen ions
As in, “A solution with a pH higher than seven is said to be alkaline, or basic.”
Here are the hardest English words to pronounce.
A: Person who sets fires
B: Deadly poison
C: Store of weapons
Answer: C—Store of weapons
As in, “Nine countries in the world possess known nuclear arsenals.”
How well do you know your insect terms? Show off your vocabulary with this Word Power test.
Answer: B—Woven fabric with a reversible pattern
As in, “For the French doors, the decorator chose damask curtains that would photograph well from either side.”
Next, test your knowledge of these royal terms with our Word Power test.