Common Most Interesting Vocabulary Questions for Exams Part 4

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What is the Female Equivalent of a Misogynist?

Answer

A misogynist is a person who hates women. A person who hates men can be described as a misandrist, and the corresponding noun is misandry. But however prevalent the attitudes described by these words may be, the words themselves aren՚t common. There are currently only 29 examples of misandrist in the Oxford English Corpus, while misogynist appears more than 1,500 times; 68 uses of misandry are overshadowed by over 2,000 examples of misogyny.

What is the Female Equivalent of Brethren?

Answer

Both brethren and sistren were used in Middle English ( 12th to 15th centuries) simply as the plural forms of brother and sister. From about 1600, brothers began to take over from brethren (Shakespeare used both) , except when referring to fellow members of a religious community, or a society or profession. It still has this meaning today, and you may also find it used in ironic or humorous contexts (e. g. our brethren in the popular national press) .

Sistren, on the other hand, had fallen completely out of use by the middle of the 16th century. It has recently been revived, typically by feminist writers, with the new meaning ‘fellow women’ (e. g. Lead singer Beth starts out most shows with several shout-outs to her sistren) . This use is not yet well established in Standard English.

What is the Female Equivalent of Fraternal?

Answer

The word meaning ‘relating to or like a sister’ is sororal, from Latin soror ‘sister’ . it՚s much less common than fraternal, though, with just eighteen examples in all the billions of words on the Oxford English Corpus.

The female equivalent of a fraternity, in the sense of ‘a male student society in a university’ , is a sorority.

What is the Longest English Word?

Answer

The longest words in the dictionary are:

  • antidisestablishmentarianism - opposition to the disestablishment of the Church of England - 28 letters
  • floccinaucinihilipilification - the estimation of something as worthless - 29 letters
  • pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis - a supposed lung disease - 45 letters

you՚re unlikely to come across these words in genuine use: they՚re generally just provided as answers to questions about the longest words in the English language. In terms of sheer size, however, the longest word to be found in Britain is the Welsh place name Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. For obvious reasons, it՚s usually abbreviated to Llanfair PG.

The 20-volume historical Oxford English Dictionary includes other very long words, most of which are highly technical. These include:

  • otorhinolaryngological - 22 letters
  • immunoelectrophoretically - 25 letters
  • psychophysicotherapeutics - 25 letters
  • thyroparathyroidectomized - 25 letters
  • pneumoencephalographically - 26 letters
  • radioimmunoelectrophoresis - 26 letters
  • psychoneuroendocrinological - 27 letters
  • hepaticocholangiogastrostomy - 28 letters
  • spectrophotofluorometrically - 28 letters
  • pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism - 30 letters

People sometimes ask whether a DNA string can be considered as the longest English word, given that they can run to many thousands of letters. The answer is no: they՚re regarded as chemical names rather than genuine words in the sense of meaningful items of vocabulary. The same is true of the formal names of chemical compounds. These can be almost unlimited in length (for example, aminoheptafluorocyclotetraphosphonitrile, (40 letters) and many contain numerals, Roman and Greek letters, and other symbols, as well as ordinary letters. We don՚t tend to regard these terms as proper ‘words’ .

What is the Longest English Word That Doesn՚T Repeat a Letter?

Answer

There are two 15-letter words that meet this criterion: uncopyrightable, referring to something for which it is not possible to secure copyright, and dermatoglyphics, meaning ‘the study of skin markings’ .

What is the Longest One-Syllable English Word?

Answer

The one that՚s most commonly cited is screeched (nine letters) . But there are also schlepped, scratched, scrounged, scrunched, stretched, and the plural nouns straights and strengths (all with nine letters) .

The 20-volume historical Oxford English Dictionary also has scraughed, scrinched, scritched, scrooched, sprainged, spreathed, throughed, and thrutched. It includes, too, a single instance of the ten-letter word scraunched, from the 1620 English translation of Don Quixote, a novel by the Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes.

What is the Name for a Sentence with Every Letter of the Alphabet?

Answer

This type of sentence is called a pangram. The most widely known pangram is the one that՚s traditionally been used to test typewriters or keyboards: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. Some letters in this sentence are used more than once: there՚s no ready example of a sentence that uses all the letters of the alphabet once only.

What is the Name for Patterns of Words That Help You Remember Something?

Answer

This kind of verbal memory aid is known as a mnemonic, from the Greek mnemonikos ‘mindful’ . They usually take the form of a short rhyme or an easy-to-remember phrase which can help you to memorize a particular fact or sequence of items.

One of the most well-known examples is the sentence Richard of York gave battle in vain, where the initial letters of each word show the order of the colours of the spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, and blue, indigo, violet) . Another is every good boy deserves favour. In this case, the initials represent the musical notes on the lines of a treble clef: E, G, B, D, F.

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