Quiz: Can You Identify These Old-Timey Words in 6 Minutes?
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Can You Identify These Old-Timey Words in 6 Minutes?
By: Deborah Beckwin
Image: H. Armstrong Robers/Royalty-free/GettyImages

About This Quiz

Groak. Hugger-mugger. Jargogle. Cockalorum. 

There are so many words like these that come and go. Some of the words that we use today will end up being obsolete in a few decades.

For lexicographers - the fancy term for people who compile dictionaries - our changing language is a subject for study. The dictionary is not really a grammar book. It's a book that captures the words that we use, like these newer ones: manspreading, selfie and binge-watching. 

There are also many colloquialisms, slang words, phrases and idioms that are based on words we already use (e.g., "basic," meaning a person who is interested in popular and mainstream things) or words based on technology (e.g., "Google," which is both a brand name and a verb meaning to search on the web).

Language is a living entity that goes through changes. It may be hard to imagine that centuries from now, our language might be completely unrecognizable. But if you look back to even the 19th century, you'll see words and slang that are no longer in use, like the word "curglaff," which means the sensation of entering into cold water.

So are you ready to ride the waves of the ever-changing ocean of language and take this quiz on old-timey words? We promise it's not just poppycock! Good luck!

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You can't just put the books all higgledy-piggledy everywhere. We need to organize them by title. What does "higgledy-piggledy" mean?
3 of 35
If someone is "crapulous" during New Year's Eve, what are they doing?
4 of 35
Someone who speeds through a red light is driving "harum-scarum," meaning what?
5 of 35
If you're talking a lot of "bunkum," your words are full of what?
7 of 35
If you say that a meal was "goluptious," what are you saying?
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9 of 35
The baby is just "jangling" away. What the baby doing?
10 of 35
He gave you advice about your dog and he's never owned one? What an "ultracrepidarian"! What is this person?
11 of 35
The assassins were lying "doggo" in the abandoned warehouse. What were the assassins doing?
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You wake up and see your hair is full of "elflocks"! What is going on with your hair?
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He was so gorgonized by her beauty, he nearly hit the car in front of him. What does "gorgonized" mean?
15 of 35
If someone called you "beef-witted," what did they call you?
16 of 35
That wolf's-head will get what's coming to him one day. What is a "wolf's-head"?
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Oh boy, here comes that knipperdolling. He's always preaching about the end times. What is a "knipperdolling"?
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What a fustilugs! He just came through here and broke my favorite vase! A "fustilugs" is a what?
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I wish you could see he only has cupboard love for you, because now you're broke! What is "cupboard love"?
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If you're "frobly-mobly," how are you feeling?
22 of 35
A "kakistocracy" is a government ruled by what kind of people?
23 of 35
Any time I see gummy bears, I have a "cacoethes." What does this person have?
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He said my butt was callipygian, just like J. Lo's. What does "callipygian" mean?
25 of 35
I hope I don't get what Bob has. He's got a bad case of presenteeism. What does "presenteeism" mean?
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This jiggery-pokery he's done is finally catching up to him. What is "jiggery-pokery"?
27 of 35
When she put on her perfume, it was more of an effluvium than anything else. What does "effluvium" mean here?
28 of 35
When the boss comes around on a slow day, it's time to fudgel. What does "fudgel" mean?
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If you're headed to the "hoosegow," then where are you headed?
30 of 35
There seems to be a bunch of ballyhoo about this new TV show. "Ballyhoo" is what?
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Talking with Kent can be so draining. He's such a blatherskite. What is a "blatherskite"?
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If you're going to the "vomitorium," where are you going?
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Someone just called you a "flibbertigibbet." What did they call you?
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Look at her as she gives this toast. She is so vinomadefied, she can barely talk. What does "vinomadefied" mean?
35 of 35
This salad is basically a gallimaufry of all my favorite veggies. What is a "gallimaufry"?
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