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.

  1. What is OED's date for the earliest use in English of dashiki?

    And from what language does the word enter English?

  2. 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?

  3. OED cites Mary Poppins for what word (and spelled how)?

  4. OED cites both Louis Armstrong and William Shakespeare's Hamlet as sources for varying definitions of what common word?_________

  5. According to OED, a Hawaiian word that means "flea" gave English what word?

    And in what year?

  6. In 1923, Anzia Yezierska provides OED's first recorded use of what English word derived from Yiddish?

  7. 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?

  8. 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 yourself?)

  9. 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 this word?

    . . . and another word, this one derived from Italian, that also begins with the letter f: what is that word?

  10. OED exhibits a voluble flow of words. Of what twentieth-century condition is OED itself therefore an example? ______________

    Now that you have taken this quiz, do you want some answers to it?

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    Last update: 22 August 1996.