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Can you pick the common language of origin for each group of three words?
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Etymology, like all fields of scholarship, is subject to debate. However, each set of three words collectively points to a unique intended common language of origin.
Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed.
Country Name Origins
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(Warning: comments may contain spoilers)
Word Trios by Language Origin Quiz
Created Nov 3, 2012 in
Featured Dec 2, 2012
Game Plays 25,061
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Nov 4th, 2012 at 15:57 GMT
Absolutely fantastic quiz- 5 globes and a nomination. It's amazing that the word for a South American snake comes from a language from India and means 'elephant killer'. Maybe that's what the Tamil people called pythons, and the name got carried by the British or Portuguese colonists to South America? Or did the Tamil indentured laborers in Guyana name it? Very interesting.
Nov 6th, 2012 at 12:26 GMT
Great quiz. More challenging than I thought it was going to be, but you could still reason out most of the answers from the words picked even when it wasn't obvious at first.
Nov 6th, 2012 at 14:21 GMT
Brilliant quiz, well done.
Nov 7th, 2012 at 00:27 GMT
Very nice! Some of these were tough!
Nov 9th, 2012 at 23:07 GMT
- Here's what the OED has to say about
"originally applied (by English writers) to a 'very large and terrible snake' of Sri Lanka (?
Gray); but made by Daudin (? through erroneous identification, or mistake as to the source of a specimen) the specific name of a large South American Boa (
Wagler, Gray), called in Brazil
to which it is now attached in the British Museum Catalogue, and London Zoological Gardens."
Game published: Dec 2nd, 2012 at 04:00 GMT
Dec 2nd, 2012 at 04:19 GMT
Wow, great, quiz (Sporclese)
Dec 2nd, 2012 at 04:29 GMT
Really creative quiz. One of the best ideas I've seen. Nice work survivor!
Dec 2nd, 2012 at 05:00 GMT
This quiz was chock full of awesome words.
Dec 2nd, 2012 at 05:09 GMT
Knowing that Tagalog is spoken in the Philippines helped with the third word for that clue... though didn't expect that guess to actually be right.
Dec 2nd, 2012 at 06:05 GMT
Excellent idea, well-executed. Batik was a good clue but I missed it
Dec 2nd, 2012 at 08:27 GMT
OED on ketchup: " app. ad. [apparently adapted from] Chinese (Amoy dial.) kôechiap or kê-tsiap brine of pickled fish or shellfish (Douglas Chinese Dict. 46/1, 242/1). Malay kechap (in Du. spelling ketjap), which has been claimed as the original source (Scott Malayan Wds. in English 64–67), may be from Chinese."
Dec 2nd, 2012 at 08:47 GMT
Got so many wrong trying to get the Spanish words. Chocolate, llama, tomato, anaconda... I think it's harder if you actually speak Spanish.
Dec 2nd, 2012 at 13:16 GMT
Tougher than I thought it would be! My condor and I are going to dance a polka while screaming like banshees. Then we will eat a smorgasbord.
Dec 2nd, 2012 at 15:22 GMT
@Azazello: the problem is that the quiz asks for the *ultimate* origin or words. Of course the Nahuatl (Aztec) and Quechua (Inca) words (chocolate, tomato, llama, condor, etc.) entered English via Spanish. And also it happened the other way around: the Spanish words "mocasín" and "tobogán" were taken from English, although their ultimate origin is Native American/Canadian.
Dec 2nd, 2012 at 15:46 GMT
Awesome quiz! I love the way the history of words reflects the history of the world, and this quiz does a perfect job of demonstrating that. Europe learned of chocolate and tomatoes through the Spanish conquest of Meso-America, an Indonesian-Malay dish traveled by way of China, Wikipedia owes its name to the Hawaiian word for "quickly," ancient Hebrew words are used in modern English thanks to the Old Testament...it really enriches language to see it as a network of cultural interactions.
Dec 2nd, 2012 at 18:52 GMT
I saw alcohol and immediately guessed Irish...ah, stereotypes.
Dec 2nd, 2012 at 22:42 GMT
First question, tungsten. Ah yes, now this is where my obscure school chemistry knowledge comes into play. Tungsten, chemical symbol W from the german wolfram, so that's german...oh wait....crap....
Dec 3rd, 2012 at 09:51 GMT
I love the Algonquian (Powhatan)-- like the brackets may help clarify... Unfortunately, didn't help me!
Dec 4th, 2012 at 17:02 GMT
I knew very few of these - very interesting and very informative!
Dec 4th, 2012 at 17:03 GMT
And, on a completely unrelated note (sorry, everyone) - is anyone else unable to copy/highlight anything on Sporcle? I didn't notice an error in my post above until I was finished writing, and I tried to put my cursor down by the error and I couldn't!
Dec 5th, 2012 at 02:40 GMT
I have that issue, too, cavaliergirl18. It showed up (or at least I noticed it) about the same time as my "end" key stopped bringing me to the actual bottom of the page and started sticking at the bottom of the quiz.
Dec 7th, 2012 at 20:23 GMT
Niggle: "cocaine" is not wholly from Quechua -- "coca" is, but "cocaine" itself was formed as coca + -ine and the -ine is Latin in origin. Other than that, an excellent quiz indeed!
Dec 11th, 2012 at 15:36 GMT
This is one of the first quizzes I've taken where I was so engrossed in the content that I was completely surprised when the timer ran out. Great job!
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