How Good is Your Vocabulary?

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I did well on this quiz — how about you? How did you score?

Your Vocabulary Score: A

Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!
You must be quite an erudite person.


About GrrlScientist

grrlscientist is the pseudonym of an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist who writes about evolution, ethology, and ecology, especially in birds. After earning a degree in microbiology (thesis focus: virology) and working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, she earned her PhD in zoology from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she studied the molecular correlates of testosterone and behaviour in white-crowned sparrows. She then worked a Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where she studied the speciation and distribution of lories and other parrots throughout the South Pacific Islands. A discarded scientist, she returned to her roots: writing. Formerly hosted by The Guardian (UK), she now writes about science for Forbes and for the non-profit think tank, the Evolution Institute and she writes podcasts for BirdNote Radio. An avid lifelong birder and aviculturist, she lives with a flock of songbirds and parrots somewhere in Germany.
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0 Responses to How Good is Your Vocabulary?

  1. Jonathan Vause says:

    Hey, I got an A+!
    PS is quixotic really a synonym of idealistic? bit dodgy imo

  2. Drugmonkey says:

    “atheist”?, “lithe”? …”talisman”?!!?? sheesh.
    Where’s the quiz for smart people?

  3. Luna_the_cat says:

    Jonathan — yes, in the sense that “quixotic” comes from Don Quixote; while more than a little deluded, he *was* certainly an idealist.

  4. Dave S. says:

    Really dragging down the curve.

  5. Drat says:

    Where are the useful words like homoscedasticity, anisotropy, or poikilothermy?
    By the way, thanks to long-dead but not forgotten Isaac Asimov, below are the answers to a quiz. What is the subject?
    1. unionized
    2. periodic
    3. WC
    Spoiler follows!
    Read them as ‘un-ionized’, ‘per-iodic’, and ‘tungsten carbide’. The subject is chemistry.

  6. Bob O'H says:

    I got an A as well. And I even know what homoscedasticity is: it’s actually part of my active vocabulary.
    Hmm, perhaps this is something not to boast about.

  7. Agnostic says:

    I’ll bet most who didn’t get A+ were tripped up by “peruse” — the usage meaning “to skim over” is so common that this is a almost a trick question. Anyone who uses it to mean “read carefully” has already lost that battle.
    Here’s one neat collection of “GRE words”:
    You can alter the 3-digit number in the URL to navigate, or use the buttons at the bottom. A lot more of a fix than “word of the day.”

  8. G. Shelley says:

    According to Chambers online:
    peruse verb (perused, perusing) 1 to read through (a book, magazine, etc) carefully. 2 to browse through something casually. 3 to examine or study (eg someone’s face) attentively.
    So, it either means read carefully, or read casually.
    I got A, not sure which one I got wrong

  9. Oran_Taran says:

    I got an A-
    I try to increase my vocabulary, but I have a bad memory for words (and names. and places. and dates). That GRE thing looks interesting…

  10. Chris' Wills says:

    Well I got peruse wrong. I always use it to mean skim, though I normally say that I give something a quick peruse.
    I do like words that are their own antonyms.

  11. cfrost says:

    Here’s a nice site full of short essays on words by a guy who does words for a living. – Like, for instance, the OED.

  12. Library Diva says:

    I got an A+! And they say English is a useless major…

  13. sailor says:

    A easily – but if you look I think it is fo KIDS!

  14. Chris' Wills says:

    A easily – but if you look I think it is fo KIDS!
    Posted by: sailor

    Bah humbug to you as well.
    I may have the body of an aged decrepit old man, but I try to retain the mind of a child :o)

  15. idlemind says:

    Well, I hesitated over “omniscient” (is that “all knowing” or “all understanding”?) but in the end I got it right: A+.
    Agnostic: you’re right; in casual discourse “peruse” is quickly going the way of “virtually” by rapidly transforming into its antonym.

  16. Elwyn Richards says:

    Hardly challenging for someone with my academic standard of etymological excellence.