New Words Quiz - Winter 2016: Answers
If you happened upon this page by accident, it won’t make a lot of sense. Take the quiz first!
If you arrived here from the quiz, then here are the answers, with some superfluous commentary.
- c) unsupportive bra
A bralette is ‘A soft bra without supportive features such as underwires and lined cups, typically designed to be pulled on to the body over the head’. Apparently it can also be worn as an outer garment, but I wouldn’t recommend it for job interviews.
- b) red-faced
browzy means red-faced, flushed or healthy. It was first recorded in 1719 in the phrase ‘The Frowzy Browzy, Hoyty Toyty, Covent-Garden Harridan’. Today’s harridans would appear the same, if you could get them to look up from their smartphones for a moment.
- a) African bird
A brubru is not a double-strength Irn Bru, but ’a small tropical bush shrike with striking black-and-white plumage and chestnut flanks, found in woodland in sub-Saharan Africa’.
- d) Orcadian litter
Those of you from the Orkney and Shetland Isles will readily recognise bruck as litter or rubbish, presumably left by tourists. A sign in one car park reads ‘Dinna chuck bruck!’.
- b) East Anglian heathland
To be precise, bruery was heathland managed as pasture for grazing animals. It’s not recorded whether anyone from Norfolk tried to manage the town of Diss up in a bruery.
- d) Spanish witch
No, it’s not a demijohn: a bruja, is a sorceress, witch, or witch doctor in Spanish folklore. Your E111 health insurance card is not required.
- c) forest clearing
In north-west Canada, a brulé is an area of forest cleared by burning. The term is also used in Louisiana for cleared swampland.
- a) artistically descriptive
Used of literary writing ekphrastic means ‘describing artistic works in great detail’.
- b) glamorous grandmother
An easier one, I hope: glam-ma is ‘a glamorous grandmother, esp. one who is relatively young or fashion-conscious’.
- a) culinary root
A gobo is the root of the greater burdock, Arctium lappa, as cultivated for use in Japanese cookery. One menu described in the Sydney Sun-Herald in 2000 describes ‘Breast of squab with ragout of mushrooms; pigs cheeks with gobo; seasonal winter fruits’.
- d) young surfer
A young upstart surfer may be described as a grom. It may derive from the obsolete word ‘grummet’, meaning a ship’s cabin boy.
- c) defeat
To gub someone is to perform the quaint Glaswegian greeting of punching them in the mouth. It’s also used figuratively, meaning to defeat (in sporting terms).
- a) firearm
The Scottish term hackbut of crochet describes a gunpowder-fired Civil War weapon. It’s a type of arquebus, of course. Watch out for ‘arquebus’ in future quizzes.
- d) ugly
Another Scottish term, hackit means unattractive or unappealing. To avoid repetition in creative writing, you might wish to use the similar alternative ‘hatchet-faced’.
- d) sturgeon
In some parts of America, the small shovelnose sturgeon of the Missouri and Mississippi river systems, Scaphirhynchus platorynchus, is called the hackleback. Its eggs are a cheap source of caviar.
- d) Rastafarian philosophy
In Jamaica, the Rastafarian way of life is known as livity. It’s all about freedom, repatriation and justice, and has nothing to do with the pursuit of happiness.
- b) impressive
More slang from the world of surfing, macking is how you’d describe a big wave. As one 1991 grom put it, ‘Hey, bro, Topanga is going off! Yeah, it's pumping, hair balls man. Totally macking; six feet and offshore’. And you thought Ford Prefect was fictional?
- a) cannabis
Slang terms for weed make up approximately 25% of the vocabulary of any language (probably). Sensi is an abbreviation for the strain of cannabis known as ‘sinsemilla’.
- b) hand gesture
Ever seen how surfers and other cool dudes greet each other with a gesture in which the thumb and little finger are extended outward from a closed fist? This shaka sign serves as the Hawaiian version of ‘right on’.
- b) overcome with emotion
Deriving from Yiddish, you become verklempt when it all gets a bit overwhelming. As one 1997 columnist put it, ‘Listening to Sarah Brightman's new album was such an emotional experience for me that I got all verklempt’. Choose your emotion wisely.