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for word geeks

146 out of 200. That was hard. Majoring in English has not helped me with quizzes such as this. [via Llama Butchers, who compare me to a furious deity. I think.]


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference for word geeks:

» Got vocab? from the Limey Brit
Have a go at this, um, compendious vocabulary test, wherein you must identify 200 paired words as having roughly the... [Read More]

» Esoteric ebullience from Snooze Button Dreams
I got 147 out of 200 at the most difficult vocabulary test I've ever taken. (Hat tip to A Small Victory)... [Read More]

» for word geeks from This Ain't Rocket Science
For what it's worth I got 159 out of 200. It was a fun little quiz, even if some of the words were really far out there. [Read More]

» Huh from Beth's Contradictory Brain
Word Quiz. Wow, I got 154 out of 200. Considering I didn't know what at least half of the words [Read More]

» Word Quiz for Word Geeks from Running at the Mouth
Peep this insanely difficult vocabulary test, which asks of two hundred paired words whether they are (mostly) the same or (mostly) different. I got 161 correct. Link via A Small Victory. [Read More]

» Ministry of Silly Links from Ace of Spades HQ
Kinda fun but very long vocabulary quiz. I got a 165. Nicholas got a 147. Troi stopped doing the quiz in order to chat in the Dawson's Creek Forever forums and renew his subscription to Modern Bride. Thanks to Michele... [Read More]

» Word Classification Test from Fringe
I didn't do so well on this word classification test. I scored 150 out of 200 correct, which I'm guessing is about average. Major disappointment on my part... Via A Small Victory... [Read More]

» 170 out of 200 from Silflay Hraka
I missed one question on the verbal section of my GRE. I missed on 30 on this one. It's pretty damn tough. Link via michele.... [Read More]

» Geeky Vocab Test. from Tim Worstall
Via Michele who got it from the Llamabutchers who got it from ....well, follow the links. It ends up here with a very geeky vocab test. My score? 174 out of 200. I missed most of the greek roots and [Read More]

» Braaaaains from Solonor's Ink Well
Why did I take this test at 8:30 on a Sunday morning? Well, I blame society. And Michele. Mostly Michele.... [Read More]

» Vocabulary Test from Patterico's Pontifications
This is a fairly difficult vocabulary test. My score was 173. Not particularly great. I guessed on a lot of them. I should have studied Greek. (Via Bigwig and Michele.)... [Read More]


156 out of 200. I'm not an English major, but I did stay (reside, occupy, encamp) at a Holiday Inn last night.

166, but probably only by luck. I swear I've never even heard of half those words.

I scored 157, but I think that's only because I'm good at guessing. Is it me, or were most of those words made up?

I definitely thing there were some made up words there. Backwardation?

165, with 24 wild guesses. Science fiction, fantasy, and the Aubrey/Maturin novels are your FRIENDS...

143 with 200 wild guesses.

169, dude.


It's a perfectly cromulent word...

171. And I recognized, if not all of the words, almost all of the roots. So I think they were all valid, if a bit archaic.

165 out of 188 (left 12 blank) and I would like to offer a second on the reading of Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and (in my case at least) Latin - they are your friends indeed.

158, with one blank.

My brain hurts.

159 Woo hoo.

160/200. And they spelled "persnickety" wrong on number 45. How ironic.

I scored 173.

Do I get a free coffee or something?


Thank you, Mom, for always telling us to "look for the Latin root". But I'll be danged if I can tell you what a lot of those words meant.

According to The Word Detective:

But while "persnickety" first appeared in the U.S. in the early 1900s, its root are considerably older and not American at all. "Persnickety" arose as a mutation of "pernickety," which appeared in Britain around 1800, and which, in turn, was probably derived from the Scots word "pernicky," also meaning "fussy." Theories vary as to where "pernicky" came from, but the Oxford English Dictionary suggests that it may have arisen from children's attempts to pronounce the word "particular."


147. I need a nap.

Wow, Trish is more pernickety than I am! I stand corrected. From now on, I refuse to take tests that aren't in American.

Nah, I'm not per(s)nickety, really.

Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to alphabetize the spice cabinet.

That took forever, my printer wouldn't work.

I guess I did alright. There were 30 I was iffy about.

I missed 12 of those 30 - About half were a total coin toss. (

I'm exposed to a lot of works with archaic language from the eighteenth century, and took a lot of Latin, and used to evaluate medical/surgical records for a living.

I do NOT have any kind of super-high IQ. I'm bright normal and that's it.

173 - and I'm not sure I agree with Myrmidon and Minion being synonymous, but they sure aren't opposites.

Don't worry Michelle, your not the least wordy person here.

136 out of 149 with 51 wild-ass guesses.

Oh, the ignobleness of it!

Still, I agree with Michele on this: no one's definitely proven that "backwardation" is a real word.

"Backwardation" is a real word to commodities buyers.

If you have a contract to buy or sell pork bellies or oil, in the future, but you would get a better price selling it right this minute, that's backwardation (sort of).

It's important because your wife won't contango with you if you lose money in the commodities market.

It's Investo-Geek-Speak



Damn, there are a lot of smart bloggers out there.

163. Latin and Greek would be more useful than English.

168. Not best, and not bad, I'm sure.

169, though I had a few quibbles. There were some pairings where the meanings were not the same, but they were not technically opposite.

167. I took the test while on a conference call involving a totally confusing bankruptcy problem. I hate conference calls. I knew the backwardation/contango thang from representing commodities brokers. It's kind of specialized, as others have noted.

179. But I chalk that up to the fact that (1) I am THE word geek (I'm actually surprised I didn't do better) and, probably more importantly (2) I am a biologist and a LOT of those terms are used in botany and zoology (like glaucous, meiosis, hybrid vigor...)

170, but I recall taking this test a year? two? ago, so it's not like the first time I've done it. I was once an English major.



I live up to my title:

Imperial Minister for Useless Knowledge

164! And I dropped out of English after my sophomore year!

185/200. Computer programmer. Former Mensa member. :smirk:

182 -- but I was rushing toward the end -- time to get the kid to sleep. Oh, and I'm an English professor.

162 -- I fell asleep 3 times while taking the test. Some of those words are way obscure.

I think I'll give the list to my ESL students, they don't hate me enough yet.

171 -- Electrical engineer. Haven't had an English class since high school (11 years ago). Then again I also do competitive trivia...

150, Economics major but I missed the backwardation one, thanks a lot Everquest.

180-unemployed drunk.

You got 163 out of 200 correct.

Unemployed sysadmin and aspiring word nerd. Lots of wild guessing.


166 out of 200 with more wild guesses that I like.

I also read loads of sci-fi.

This is NOT an intelligence test, though intelligence helps. It's a knowledge test.

My favorite saying: Eschew obfuscation.

Bolie IV

160. But I'm one of those people you hate that test well due to knowing how to optimally guess. I had a ton of wild guesses.

And if this latecomer-to-language skills (genetic defect--Dad's an Ivy math and comp sci professor and I wasn't encouraged toward non-productive skills like learning to write a coherent paragraph) got that, I bet Steve H of Hog On Ice beats us all.

Hey Val... nag Steve. I'll do same.

But, Michele, it ain't the size of the word, it's the motion of the notion.

I suspect that I read your blog more than all the other high scorers combined. It's what you do with the words.

Oh... and do they actually still teach English in English departments these days? Coulda fooled me.

I'm working on a post where I have links to the faculty pages of all the Ivy League English departments.

Finding someone who isn't pushing a political agenda is tough.

Anyone hear of anything Edward Said (or his replacement, Khalidi) did concerning forwarding scholarship in the English language since Carter was President? Columbia, aka "Bir Zeit on the Hudson", is notorious for taking all the Poli Sci hacks who couldn't fit in that department and jamming them into the English department in order to "mold the writing of" (politically indoctrinate with anti-American poison) our "best and brightest".

Man, 157. I feel so inadequate. On the other hand, any of you ever been on a quiz show?

170, no guessing, and I've never been on a quiz show. I don't think there were any made up words, just a ton of obscure and very old stuff.

Whew. Tough test.

168, 61 wild guesses. That's right on the 50th percentile, according to his records. (rude noise)
I second the comment on the benefits of reading science fiction.

Eddie... not a quiz show but my wife and I were on the Newlywed Game... and we won.

No, I wasn't the guy who answered "In the butt, Bob."

We were on the second incarnation of the show with Paul Rodriguez as the host. Very nice guy and his best stuff was off the air.

Won a Broyhill living room set "chosen especially for us!"

I managed 183 out of 200, but 18 (Eighteen!!) wild guesses. But I write technical documents for a living, so perhaps I should have recused myself...

147, while battling a migraine...

114, the rest of you are nerds

181 out of 200 2 guesses

143. Apparently I'm dumber than a box of rocks.

Well, at least someone else is familiar with Maria Muldaur.

164. Math, Chemistry, and Computer Science. English majors can bite my shiny metal ass. =)

184 / 200. Poli Sci, and an M Div. The Greek helped.

158, with half o dozen guesses. But, I am a high school dropout.

161 out of 200 correct, 31 wild guesses. Math major, now IT geek.

Allow me to add to the recommendations of all that put down sci-fi and fantasy (with huge helpings of history).

153 but being a retired Sailor and quite comfortable with a bottle of rum, lo these many years..I can live with that score.

175 Retired chemical engineer.

162/200, including 20 wild guesses. Tough.

173, I think I'm kind of good at the wild guessing. Planning to put up my first fisking sometime tonight, Reagan related.

168 - I need to get out more.

I link to you... 154, no wild guesses (other than same or opposite) I left one blank (eye's must have been crossed.)

174 out of 200. Missed most of the Greek roots and the biology stuff.
Backwardation and cotango? Ah well, an Econ graduate. Got that.
I'm also English english and I'm not 100 % sure that we have the same language although at this level of detail perhaps we do.

174 out of 200 as well. Computer programmer/sysadmin. I blame my voracious reading habit, and concur with the comments about science fiction and the Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey/Maturin novels.

180. Math/Computer Sci undergrad. Law degree, practicing enviro. lawyer.

tough test.