OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY QUIZ
TEN QUESTIONS BASED ON THE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY
These questions are designed to introduce new OED users to the
search capabilities of Penn's online OED. Whether you are coming
to online OED via a graphical browser (e.g., Netscape) or a
text-based browser (e.g., Lynx), read the Tutorial--even though it
claims to be intended for Lynx users only. It will help give new
OED users a sense of what the various search categories actually
mean in practice. (HINT: "etymology"--for only one example--is a
very tricky concept here.) Then, using single- and double-term
search techniques, try these questions.
- What is OED's date for the earliest use in English of
And from what language does the word enter
- Horace Walpole created a new English word around the year 1754.
What is the word?
And what is the evidence
that OED provides for Walpole's invention of it?
- OED cites Mary Poppins for what word (and spelled how)?
- OED cites both Louis Armstrong and William Shakespeare's
Hamlet as sources for varying definitions of what common
- According to OED, a Hawaiian word that means "flea" gave
English what word?
And in what year?
- In 1923, Anzia Yezierska provides OED's first recorded use of
what English word derived from Yiddish?
- Sometime around the year 1450, the Scottish poet Robert Henryson
used a Scottish word meaning "to walk lamely" that OED claims is now
obsolete. That word is?
- What is the word of the _____ (how many?) words that
OED cites as coming into English from Hausa that is far and away
the most commonly used?
(Which parts of this
question does OED answer for you? Which do you need to know
- You're checking OED for a word, now in English but derived
from Yiddish, that means "noodle" and begins with the letter f: what is
. . . and another word, this one derived
from Italian, that also begins with the letter f: what is that
- OED exhibits a voluble flow of words. Of what
twentieth-century condition is OED itself therefore an example?
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Last update: 22 August 1996.