New English Words Quiz: Spring 2010

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New English Word Quiz - Spring 2010

We're waiting for the next dictionary update in March, so I've been posting a few retrospective quizzes, containing words added to the OED before this series started. The ones below were all added in March 2010.

The Oxford English Dictionary is the unrivalled reference to the meaning, history and pronunciation of the English language. It defines over half a million words, and lists 2.5 million quotations to illustrate their meanings. Its ten volumes took 50 years to compile.

These days, the OED's lexicographers publish quarterly updates to the online edition. On 11th March, 2010, they reviewed and updated the words 'French', 'general', 'information' and 'technology', as well as all the words lying alphabetically between 'requalify' and 'Rg'. Among the more common new words they added in this sequence were the nouns 'restructure', 'retender' and 'rework' - something which will dismay those pedants who cling to the idea that they are only verbs.

They also added a small batch of new words from across the alphabet, including 'superbug', 'techy' and 'bendy bus', the London Transport phenomenon which has become the scourge of the capital's cyclists.

The other new words added to the OED in this update were maybe a little more obscure, but how many of them can you identify? I've listed 20 of the new words added in March 2010, and have given four possible definitions for each one - can you spot the correct one?

You'll find the answers at the foot of the page, but no peeking until you've guessed them all!

1. amour fou

a) a liqueur

b) a mistress

c) a perfume

d) an uncontrollable passion

2. canola

a) an artist's model

b) a furnace

c) a thin tube

d) a variety of oilseed rape

3. Francophonie

a) an early telegraph system

b) a French-language course

c) the French-speaking community

d) Spanish Nationalist propaganda

4. French cut

a) leniently censored

b) a men's hairstyle

c) sawn diagonally to the grain

d) tobacco

5. Heimlich manoeuvre

a) a first-aid procedure

b) a swindle

c) a coup

d) a cinematographer's technique

6. Paul Revere

a) a bad actor

b) a chest of drawers

c) a design of silverware

d) a handgun

7. requinto

a) a guitar

b) a position in fencing

c) a sailing vessel

d) a sequence of playing cards

8. resarciation

a) amendment

b) arrangement in a series

c) a limiting condition

d) surgical removal

9. resiner

a) an African bird

b) a mathematical function

c) Someone who collects resin from trees

d) a wash house

10. ressie

a) a reservation

b) a resident

c) a resource

d) someone who resigns

11. restio

a) an Italian bar

b) an origin

c) a Roman executioner

d) a South African plant

12. resto

a) an arrest

b) a restaurant

c) a restoration project

d) a short nap

13. res universitatis

a) corporate property

b) dark matter

c) a universal joint

d) a university chancellor

14. resus

a) a false messiah

b) legal evidence

c) a primate

d) resuscitation

15. retem

a) defy

b) a kind of broom

c) a Native American settlement

d) a South American pig

16. retroduce

a) hide

b) prevent

c) put back

d) decelerate

17. Retrovir

a) a genus of tree fern

a proprietary drug

c) a Roman god

d) a star in the constellation of Puppis

18. reverize

a) canonise

b) daydream

c) validate

d) worship

19. techne

a) the IT industry

b) the left hemisphere of the brain

c) a small cabin cruiser

d) a work of art

20. technikon

a) a camera

b) a scientist

c) a small furniture van

d) a South African further education college


1d 2d 3c 4b 5a 6c 7a 8a 9c 10b 11d 12b 13a 14d 15b 16c 17b 18b 19d 20d

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