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Do You Know What These Weird English Words Actually Mean?

It's time to find out how well you really know the English language.

Originally posted on
Updated on
Kevin Eng / Creative Commons / Via commons.wikimedia.org

These are all words that can be found in a current dictionary. Without looking them up, try to guess the correct meaning of the following:

  1. 1. Trumpery

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Luggage designed for carrying an instrument
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Worthless nonsense
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The act of being more important than someone else
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A place where trumpets are serviced
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Trumpery means worthless nonsense or junk.

  2. 2. Koumpounophobia

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Fear of buttons
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Fear of crocodiles
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Fear of raccoons
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Fear of sharp objects
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Koumpounophobia is the fear of buttons.

  3. 3. Bumfuzzle

    Correct
    Incorrect
    A cluster of honeybees
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The act of tripping and falling
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To confuse or fluster
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To flourish or grow
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Bumfuzzle means to confuse or fluster.

  4. 4. Borborygmus

    Correct
    Incorrect
    A mythical horned sea creature
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A rumbling sound in the intestines
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A lump on the skin due to excessive growth of fibrous tissue
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A scarring of the bronchial tubes
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Borborygmus means intestinal rumbling caused by moving gas.

  5. 5. Callipygian

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Having a shapely booty
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A person who has beautiful handwriting
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A person who has big eyes
    Correct
    Incorrect
    One with extensive knowledge of firearms
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Callipygian means having shapely buttocks.

  6. 6. Pilgarlic

    Correct
    Incorrect
    A cruciferous vegetable
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A jokester
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A tool used for carving rocks
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A bald-headed man
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Pilgarlic means a bald-headed man.

  7. 7. Mumpsimus

    Correct
    Incorrect
    One who steals things that are not very valuable
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A notion that is held even though it's unreasonable
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Talk that is not important or meaningful
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The dead body of someone who has voluntarily donated an organ
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Mumpsimus means a traditional notion that is obstinately held although it is unreasonable.

  8. 8. Frippery

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Something that is not necessary or serious
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Something that is added to make something else more attractive
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A temporary or second lodging
    Correct
    Incorrect
    An elusive concept
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Frippery means something that is not necessary or not serious.

  9. 9. Gardyloo

    Correct
    Incorrect
    A collection of tulips
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A guest outhouse
    Correct
    Incorrect
    An herb that grows in tropical climates
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A warning cry
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Gardyloo refers to a warning cry used in Edinburgh when it was customary to throw slops from the windows into the streets.

  10. 10. Tommyrot

    Correct
    Incorrect
    A bacterial skin infection
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A joke made in poor taste
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Foolishness
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Heartbreak
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Tommyrot means utter foolishness or nonsense.

  11. 11. Abecedarian

    Correct
    Incorrect
    A person learning the rudiments of something
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A former magician
    Correct
    Incorrect
    One who studies clay or clay minerals
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A person who is especially prone to illness
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Abecedarian means one learning the rudiments of something (as the alphabet).

  12. 12. Tmesis

    Correct
    Incorrect
    An infection caused by tick-borne bacteria
    Correct
    Incorrect
    An ability to learn and understand things gradually without much effort
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Tmesis means separation of parts of a compound word by the intervention of one or more words (e.g., "what place soever" for "whatsoever place").

  13. 13. Crapulence

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Sickness caused by excessive eating or drinking
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A rupturing of the intestines
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Ownership of excessive amounts of jewels
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A gambling addiction
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Crapulence means sickness caused by excessive eating or drinking.

  14. 14. Skosh

    Correct
    Incorrect
    To strike down
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To forgive
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To sweep something under the rug
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A small amount
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Skosh means a small amount; a smidgen.

  15. 15. Slubber

    Correct
    Incorrect
    To fumble with one's words
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To lose confidence
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To lose focus
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To perform carelessly
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Slubber means to perform hastily or carelessly.

  16. 16. Folderol

    Correct
    Incorrect
    A kitchen tool used to crush garlic
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Excessive confidence
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Foolish words or ideas
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A medicine used to treat stomach cramps
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Folderol means foolish language, behavior, or ideas.

  17. 17. Quodlibet

    Correct
    Incorrect
    A piece of music containing several different melodies
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A flat outdoor area for recreational activities
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A geometrical shape
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The act of going to a far extent
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Quodlibet means a whimsical combination of familiar melodies or texts.

  18. 18. Yclept

    Correct
    Incorrect
    An archaic name for a bartender
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To confuse one person for another
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A heinous crime
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To call or be named
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Yclept is the past tense of the archaic word "clepe," which means to call.

  19. 19. Jiggery-pokery

    Correct
    Incorrect
    A type of dance
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Dishonest or suspicious activity
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A game once played at casinos
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Quiet conversation
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Jiggery-pokery means dishonest or suspicious activity.

  20. 20. Usufruct

    Correct
    Incorrect
    The right to use or enjoy something
    Correct
    Incorrect
    An area where trains park
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A citrus fruit found in cold climates
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The act of breaching a contract
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Usufruct means the legal right of using and enjoying the fruits or profits of something belonging to another.

Want more fun word trivia? BuzzFeed's former copy chief, Emmy Favilla, wrote a book, and you can preorder it now!

Inside A World Without “Whom”: The Essential Guide to Language in the BuzzFeed Age, out November 14, you'll find thoughts on language, memes, and emojis, and even snippets from BuzzFeed quizzes and lists! Get it from Amazon for $17.68, Barnes & Noble for $18.02, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.
Bloomsbury Publishing / Via amazon.com

Inside A World Without “Whom”: The Essential Guide to Language in the BuzzFeed Age, out November 14, you'll find thoughts on language, memes, and emojis, and even snippets from BuzzFeed quizzes and lists! Get it from Amazon for $17.68, Barnes & Noble for $18.02, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

 
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