Etymology: Truth or Myth? Quiz Stats

 Plays Quiz Updated Feb 20, 2019

Score 0/15 Timer 15:00
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Alleged Etymology Truth (T) or Myth (M)? % Correct
CHECKMATE: not actually a compound of 'check' and 'mate', but rather comes from Persian 'shah mat' ('the king is defeated'), describing the endgame of chess.???
77.8%
SNAFU: from US military slang in World War II, as an acronym for 'situation normal, all f---'d up'.???
76.1%
MORTGAGE: from Old French 'mort' (death) + 'gage' (contract), as either the debt dies (if the property is paid off) or the property dies (i.e. is lost if the debt is not paid).???
75.6%
MARMALADE: corruption of French 'Marie est malade' ('Mary is ill'), referring to Mary, Queen of Scots's habit of consuming citrus preserves to treat her debilitating headaches.???
61.3%
GRINGO: a Spanish pejorative for foreigners, arose from the English phrase 'green grow' in the Mexican-American War when US troops were often heard singing 'Green Grow the Lilies.'???
61.2%
TURKEY: the bird was named for the country; Europeans mistook the American bird for a guinea fowl, a species also called 'turkey fowl' since it was traded to Europe by the Turks.???
57.7%
NYLON: named from a mashup of 'New York' (NY) and 'London' (Lon.) because the material was developed by a collaborative team of researchers working in those two cities.???
56.2%
LOOPHOLE: originally referred to the slits in a castle wall through which archers would fire, these being the wall's only points of weakness.???
56.1%
Alleged Etymology Truth (T) or Myth (M)? % Correct
SILHOUETTE: named for unpopular 1700s finance minister Etienne de Silhouette; flimsy 'silhouette' portraits made by projecting shadows onto cards were popular during his tenure.???
55.8%
YEN: (in the sense of 'desire/longing') is unrelated to the Japanese currency; it entered English after the Second Opium War, from a Chinese term meaning 'craving for opium'.???
55.2%
POSH: acronym for 'Port Out, Starboard Home', the locations most sheltered from the hot sun (and therefore of the most expensive, 'posh' cabins) on ships to and from British India.???
52.9%
DUNCE: from the middle name of John Duns Scotus, a 13th century theologian whose works were ridiculed by later scholars as hairsplitting and foolish.???
52.3%
ATONEMENT: literally 'at-one-ment'; to 'atone' for something is to return to harmony/unity, i.e. to be 'at one', with God or with those you have wronged.???
48.1%
FEDORA: from a 19th century play in which the protagonist, a Russian princess named Fedora Romanoff, notoriously wore a center-creased, soft-brimmed hat.???
46.1%
CLUE: from Middle French 'clef' ('key'), which gave rise to both English 'clef' (the key of a piece of music) and 'clue' (the key to a mystery).???
39.7%

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