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Word for Wednesday: Quiz


Here at Spellzone, we’re partial to a good quiz. Be it spelling or trivia, in the classroom or at the pub, we can certainly get behind an activity that helps people develop their knowledge.

What's interesting about this word is that its origin story is unclear. One rumour is that the word came into use after a Dublin theatre owner bet he could add a new word to the English language in just a few days. Supposedly he had the word written on city walls across Dublin and the next day the mysterious word was the talk of the town. Soon after the word quiz was incorporated into English as a synonym for ‘test’ which is what the people of the city though the word was meant to be.

While this story is certainly memorable it is very likely just a rumour. Another theory is that the word comes from the Latin ‘qui es?’ meaning ‘who are you?’ The word, wherever it came from, entered the English language as ‘quies’ meaning ‘to question’ in 1847 and was used as a noun from 1852. The spelling quiz was first recorded in 1852 (though the same spelling was also used for a slang word meaning ‘odd person’ from 1782).

What’s your favourite way to quiz yourself on your spellings? Find out more about our various tests here.


02 Oct 2019
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