Words and phrases: 10 questions

  1. The name of which social science discipline comes from an ancient Greek word meaning “housekeeping”?
  2. If something is described as ‘ranine’, what animal does it resemble?
  3. Why is a “Three line whip”, a strict instruction to attend a parliamentary vote, so called?
  4. Which word, meaning to change the shape of electoral districts for political gain, comes from the name of a Senator famous for it and the shape of the district he created?
  5. What is the term for a word created by combining two existing words, like spork, Oxbridge or infomercial?
  6. If I was in Cumbria and I said “Yan, Tyan, Tethera, Methera, Pimp”, what would I most likely be counting?
  7. Which Anglo-Saxon King’s nickname means ‘Bad Counsel’?
  8. The Russian word for a train station comes from the name of a station on the London Underground. Which one?
  9. “Marley was dead, to begin with.” Words that start which novel?
  10. What is the Swahili for ‘hello’ – a word that is also the root of an English word meaning ‘very big’?

Answers below (scroll down)

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. The name of which social science discipline comes from an ancient Greek word meaning “housekeeping”
    A: Economics
  1. If something is described as ‘ranine’, what animal does it resemble?
    A: Toads or frogs
  1. Why is a “Three line whip”, a strict instruction to attend a parliamentary vote, so called?
    A: It’s underlined three times in parliamentary circulars
  1. Which word, meaning to change the shape of electoral districts for political gain, comes from the name of a Senator famous for it and the shape of the district he created?
    A: Gerrymander – from Senator Elbridge Gerry, and a salamander
  1. What is the term for a word created by combining two existing words, like spork, Oxbridge or infomercial
    A: Portmanteau
  1. If I was in Cumbria and I said “Yan, Tyan, Tethera, Methera, Pimp”, what would I most likely be counting
    A: Sheep
  1. Which Anglo-Saxon King’s nickname means ‘Bad Counsel’?
    A: Ethelred the Unready – Unraed = bad counsel
  1. The Russian word for a train station comes from the name of a station on the London Underground. Which one?
    A: Vauxhall. The story goes that a Russian delegation in London in the 19th century pointed at a station, asked “What’s that?”, and on hearing the reply “Vauxhall”, thought that was just the generic name for a train station and took the word home with them.
  1. “Marley was dead, to begin with.” Words that start which novel?
    A: A Christmas Carol
  1. What is the Swahili for ‘hello’ – a word that is also the root of an English word meaning ‘very big’
    A:Jambo/Jumbo

 

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