More word games: etymology

My friend Rhett alerted me to this little word game, which is kind of like Balderdash: you pick the correct etymology or definition from a group of fakes created by tricky readers. I did quibble with a couple of mistakes (one definition was off, one word was misspelled) but I tried three times and couldn’t beat it. Can you?

Other wordy recreations:

this is my all-time favorite hard online word quiz. . . I scored 183 and broke a sweat doing it.

this is an addictive Boggle-style game from Flash By Night.


  1. #1 HP
    June 23, 2008

    10/10. I saw this game a few years ago, and it came under pretty strong attack from etymologists and linguists. It seems they’ve improved it somewhat, but their etymology for tom-foolery was pretty badly bungled. (The “Bethlehem” in the clue is Bethlehem [Bedlam] Hospital in London, not Bethlehem in Israel. The “Tom” part comes from Tom o’ Bedlam; cf King Lear.)

    I’m a big fan of Wordsplay (formerly shackworks.weboggle). It an ad-free, lightweight javascript game where you compete alone or in teams against people all over the world. Gameplay and scoring are pretty much identical to Boggle. If you check it out, I play as M Valdemar of Team Join Me.

  2. #2 mdvlist
    June 23, 2008

    The same/opposite word quiz was kind of fun, although it gave me the feeling that I don’t know enough languages. (Why didn’t I ever get around to Greek?!) I only scored 182, so you bested me there, even if I did find the etymology game comparatively easy!

  3. #3 Jessica Palmer
    June 23, 2008

    Thanks for the link, HP! I’ll definitely check it out.

    On the etymology quiz, the questions are different each time, so I didn’t see the Bedlam error you describe. But I did see several other errors – it’s not quite as tidy as it could be. Still fun, though. 🙂

    mdvlst: woot! 🙂

  4. #4 elmanarh
    June 14, 2010

    Wonderful words and poignant and a remarkable effort given away
    reflects the view of her continued success and

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