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Weekend Word Riddles 1.7.6


Many of the words below have their roots both
on Earth and in the heavens. How many of these
hybrids do you recognize?

1. jovial (adj.) - A: merry. B: laid-back. C: pleasingly
plump. D: ruddy.

2. pedigree (n.) - A: study of children. B: diploma.
C: ancestral line. D: stamp of approval.

3. homogeneous (adj.) - A: relating to humans. B: similar.
C: melancholy. D: cheerful and upbeat.

4. sleuth (n.) - A: timidity. B: detective. C: carelessness.
D: opening in a dam.

5. aftermath (n.) - A: result. B: critique. C: concise
summary. D: type of appendix.

6. cocksure (adj.) - A: cynical. B: angry. C: insensitive
and uncaring. D: overly confident.

7. nausea (n.) - A: despair. B: uncertainty. C: sickness in
the stomach. D: indifference.

8. canard (n.) - A: ominous warning. B: malicious rumor.
C: humorous proverb. D: small bucket.

9. ruminate (v.) - A: to become nostalgic. B: wander about.
C: ponder. D: search for.

10. cordial (adj.) - A: happy. B: perceptive. C: friendly.
D: sophisticated.

11. reek (v.) - A: to throw into disorder. B: be soaking
wet. C: take revenge. D: give off an unpleasant odor.

12. solar plexus (n.) - area of the A: abdomen. B: head.
C: back. D: chest.

13. germinate (v.) - A: to begin to grow. B: be relevant.
C: be creative. D: stimulate.

14. ferret (v.) - A: to search out. B: camouflage.
C: plunder. D: move quickly.

15. dog days (n.) - period of A: being carefree. B: having
youthful flings. C: misfortune. D: hot weather.

16. wheedle (v.) - A: to shout. B: coax. C: pry. D: lie to.

17. fathom (v.) - A: to understand. B: explain. C: decide.
D: reach out.

18. halcyon (adj.) - A: shimmering. B: pertaining to the air
we breathe. C: fresh and bracing. D: calm and peaceful.

19. wisp (n.) - A: brief glance. B: hush. C: speech defect.
D: something slight.

20. oval (adj.) - shaped like A: an apple. B: a banana.
C: an egg. D: a rhomboid.

Answers Below:











1. jovial - A: Merry; having a playful, hearty good humor.
From the planet Jupiter, considered by astrologers to be a
happy influence.

2. pedigree - C: Ancestral line; family tree. Middle French
pie de grue (crane's foot, which resembles the lines of
descent in genealogical charts).

3. homogeneous - B: Similar; alike; of the same nature; as,
Our townspeople are too homogeneous; we miss the diverse
population of the cities. Greek homogenes.

4. sleuth - B: Detective. Shortened form of sleuthhound, a
bloodhound that tracks a trail by scent. Old Norse sloth
(track, trail).

5. aftermath - A: Result or consequence; as, The picnic had
an unfortunate aftermath; we got poison ivy. Also, grass
that grows after mowing. Old English mth (crop, harvest).

6. cocksure - D: Overly confident; absolutely certain. From
cock (rooster, notable for his confident strutting) and

7. nausea - C: A feeling of sickness in the stomach; as, He
had nausea from the rolling and pitching of the ship. Latin,
from Greek naus (ship).

8. canard - B: Malicious rumor; false report. French (duck;
hoax). From vendre un canard a moitie (to pretend to sell a
duck; cheat).

9. ruminate - C: To ponder; turn over and over in the mind;
as, The wise old man ruminated on my question. Latin
ruminare (to chew one's cud as a cow - a ruminant - does).

10. cordial - C: Friendly; warm and sincere; gracious; as,
Her cordial welcome made everyone feel at ease. Latin cor

11. reek - D: To give off an unpleasant odor; as, When
accused by a woman of smelling, the incomparable Samuel
Johnson is said to have replied, "Nay, madam. You smell.
reek." Old English reocan.

12. solar plexus - A: Area of the abdomen having an inter-
lacing of nerves that radiate like rays of the sun. Latin
sol (sun) and plexus (braid; network).

13. germinate - A: To begin to grow or develop; as, Meetings
germinate ideas; seeds germinate into plants. Latin
germinare (to sprout).

14. ferret - A: To search or find out by persistent invest-
igation; as, to ferret out facts the way a ferret (a small
weasel-like animal) drives rabbits from burrows.

15. dog days - D: Hot, sultry weather during July and August,
so called because Sirius the Dog Star rises and sets with
the sun.

16. wheedle - B: To coax; persuade by flattery; as, The
teenager wheedled use of the convertible out of his father.
Perhaps from German wedeln (to wag the tail).

17. fathom - A: To understand; get to the bottom of; as, She
couldn't fathom his motive. From fathom, a six-foot-long
measure of water's depth. Old English fthm (outstretched

18. halcyon - D: Calm, peaceful and idyllic. Greek alkyon,
a mythological bird that calmed wind and waves during the

winter solstice.

19. wisp - D: Something slight or delicate, such as a streak
of smoke or lock of hair; as, a wisp of a girl. Middle

20. oval - C: Having the shape of the long cross-section of
an egg. Latin ovum (egg).

gopher central


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