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Quiz: Strange but Elegant English words A – C

This fun quiz is all about strange but elegant English words. Sometimes I’ll give you a definition, and let you choose the right word; and sometimes I’ll give you a word and let you choose the definition. Let us know how you get on! ?

If you like this quiz, be sure to check out my 150+ Fun & Challenging Quizzes! – “Guaranteed to make you smarter!” 

Data correct per Oxford Dictionaries. Cover image: Public domain.

  • Question of

    What is an ariel?

    • a type of gazelle
    • an implement used for sprinkling holy water in religious ceremonies
    • refined, incisive wit
  • Question of

    Another word for “additional” is

    • absquatulate
    • adscititious
    • anfractuous
  • Question of

    What does “aa” mean?

    • a kind of eel whose meat is fermented for over a year before being eaten in Iceland
    • a Dutch palace or fortress
    • a kind of volcanic lava with a light frothy texture
  • Question of

    Which word means “an ignorant or unsophisticated person”?

    • argle-bargle
    • apple-knocker
    • astrobleme
  • Question of

    What does “badmash” mean?

    • a hooligan
    • a dish made of many different leftovers
    • a drink made from fermented rye bread, popular in Sweden and Finland
  • Question of

    Which word is a sticky preparation used for setting hair?

    • barmecide
    • aspergillum
    • bandoline
  • Question of

    Benthos is…

    • flora and fauna on the bottom of a lake
    • a coin of low value
    • an iron bar with shackles, used to fasten prisoners’ ankles
  • Question of

    Which term means “a great deal of fuss or trouble”?

    • bindlestiff
    • bingle
    • bobsy-die
  • Question of

    What is the meaning of “cerulean”?

    • the study or investigation of crop circles
    • melodious or resonant
    • a deep sky blue
  • Question of

    Which word means a military attack carried out at night?

    • camisado
    • bruxism
    • chanticleer
  • Question of

    What is a concinnity?

    • a fit of rage or hysterics
    • the involuntary repetitive use of obscene language
    • elegance or neatness of literary or artistic style
  • Question of

    Which word means ten million?

    • crottle
    • crore
    • croze
  • Question of

    What is a chad?

    • a piece of waste paper produced by punching a hole
    • a sticky lump of potter’s clay
    • a convulsive or involuntary movement


What do you think?

20 Points


  1. You got 8 out of 13 right!

    Ouch! Didn’t do too well but definitely entertaining and informative. Badmash and crore were easier ones for me 🙂

    • I got just 11 right, trying it again myself, now 🙂 I never heard ‘badmash’ before setting up the quiz, and never heard crore before visiting the subcontinent. There are some very unusual words here!

  2. got 4/13…im really at poor at highfalutin words..that’s why i need to feed new words everyday haha…but alas ur quiz is great i had enjoyed and learned a lot from it Norman..good job!

    • LOL Barbara, I don’t think anyone reads any books containing most of these words! It was on the basis of their unusualness that I selected them 🙂

  3. This was the toughest quiz you’ve done (at least for me). I struggled with a number of the words. Still, as always it was a blast, Thanks Norman~

  4. Got 11 out of 13. Most of them I just guessed or used my little imagination and brain. But some of these words are not really “elegant”, for example the word crore which resembles a bit the French word “crote” which means a bowel movement….As for strange, you are right on that description.

    • Well, without the ‘crote’ connection, I still find crore elegant, especially when combined with ‘lakh’ (one hundred thousand, in Indian English), so that one lakh crore means 1 trillion, but is notated like: 10,00,00,00,00,000
      And look how elegantly crore is written in Hindi: करोड़ 😀

  5. Ten of thirteen. That was a tricky one. I had to look at the structure of words to clue me in. Mostly, it worked. Brilliant alternatives and that faint scent of Darlingtonacious humour.

    You rock.