Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Countdown to Test the Nation -4

FOUR days remain until Test the Nation

Today's topic: Toponyms
A word that began as the name of a place, such as hamburger (from Hamburg, Germany)

amontillado wine - Montilla, Spain
baloney - Bologna, Italy
beaujolais wine - Beaujolais district, France
bedlam - St. Mary's of Bethlehem, a 16th century London hospital for the insane
bikini - Bikini Island, a Pacific atoll
blarney - Blarney Castle in County Cork, Ireland
brie - Brie district, France
brussels sprouts - Brussels, Begium
calico - Calicut, India
cashmere - Kashmir, India
cheddar cheese - Cheddar, England
chianti - region in Italy
damask - Damascus, Syria
denim - de Nimes, France
frankfurter - originally from Frankfurt, Germany
hamburger - from 'Hamburg steak', a German dish
java - Indonesian island of Java
laconic - Laconia, a city in ancient Greece whose residents were noted for saying a lot in a few words
limerick - verse form said to have originated in Limerick, Ireland
madras - Madras, India
marathon - Battle of Marathon in Athenia (a runner sped 26 miles to bring news of the victory to Athens)
mayonnaise - Mahon, Minorca
parmesan cheese - Parma, Italy
sardine - Sardinian coast
satin - Tzu-t'ing, China
shanghai - Chinese port (19th century sailors were sometimes forced into service on ship on the unpopular San Francisco-to-China route)
sleazy - meaning cheap and shoddy, comes from poor-quality cloth manufactured in Silesia, Germany
tuxedo - Tuxedo Park, New York

English language fun:
  1. What word contains all five vowels and a 'y'?
  2. What word contains all five vowels in order of a-e-i-o-u?
  3. What word contains all five vowels in reverse order u-o-i-e-a?
  4. What word has 16 letters, but only uses one vowel over and over again?
  5. What word has 9 letters but only 1 vowel?
  6. What word has 7 letters but only 1 vowel?
  7. What word has the letter 'i' 7 times?
  8. What word has three sets of twin letters, altogether?

Answers:
  1. unquestionably, revolutionary
  2. abstemious, facetious
  3. uncomplimentary, subcontinental
  4. strengthlessness
  5. strengths
  6. rhythms
  7. indivisibilities
  8. bookkeeper

6 comments:

Megan Frampton said...

And then there are the five vowel anagram fun: auctioned, cautioned, education.

And I love the word Sequoia because it uses so few consonants to carry home the five vowels.

I am very, very into the five vowels thing (the Julia Roberts example given in WordFreak started me on this path, and my best friend has the five vowels in her name, which I did not know when we became friends twenty years ago!)

Geek. Thanks for posting this.

Amy Ruttan said...

I am trying to absorb it all to prepare myself for TTN, but, I can't get Pace of Asses out of my head. ;)

Wylie Kinson said...

Sequoia is a VERY GOOD WORD. Nice sounding, nice looking, good imagery.

And Julia Roberts? Eh! Never noticed -- thanks.

Amy - you are going to kill me with the pace of asses thing! Did you really really suggest it for Candy Minx's painting. You are just hilarious.

Leah Braemel said...

It's a good thing I'm not on TTN - I only knew bookkeeper without looking at the answers!

Do us Romance Writers proud on Saturday!

Thomma Lyn said...

Good luck on Saturday! I know y'all will kick butt. :)

Candy Minx said...

Mayonaise came form a name of a town, astonding wow I was surprised w how many places had names for things...and it made me hungrry.

I've been laughing about Pace of Asses and Amy saying it made her think of the gym for the last couple of days!!!

Hey facetiously...makes it include the Y!

Does Nanaimo Bars count as a town that named an object?

Great stuff I am so excited to hear how you all do in the gameshow!