Common Most Interesting Vocabulary Questions for Exams Part 5

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What is the Opposite of … ?

Answer

What is the Opposite of ‘Nocturnal’ ?

Nocturnal means ‘done, occurring, or active at night’ . Its opposite is diurnal, though this term is not as common. There is also a zoological term to describe animals that are active in twilight: they are known as crepuscular.

What is the Opposite of ‘Hibernation’ ?

The word aestivation is roughly opposite in meaning, but it isn՚t in general use and it doesn՚t refer to mammals. it՚s a specialist zoological term referring to the prolonged dormancy of an insect, fish, or amphibian during a hot (or dry) period.

What is the Opposite of ‘Juvenilia’ ?

Juvenilia are the works produced by an author or artist while they were young: the term comes from Latin juvenilis ‘young’ . It would seem logical that work produced during old age should be classed as senilia (from Latin senilis ‘old’ ) but as yet no such word exists in English.

What is the Opposite of ‘Exceed’ ?

There is no established opposite to the word exceed, and it՚s quite often suggested that there՚s a gap in the language that needs to be filled! Some people have come up with deceed as a possible candidate, but there is as yet no real evidence of its use.

What is the Opposite of ‘Uxorious’ ?

Uxorious is an adjective meaning ‘very or excessively fond of your wife’ , e. g. : he was an almost perfect husband: uxorious, hard-working, and a good provider. It comes from the Latin uxor ‘wife’ .

there՚s no word in common use that can be used to describe a wife who is similarly fond of her husband. The only candidate is the invented word maritorious, from the Latin word for a husband, maritus. But it՚s extremely rare: the 20-volume historical Oxford English Dictionary has only two examples, one from 1607 and one from 1978.

What is the Term for a Word Which is Another Word Spelled Backwards?

Answer

there՚s no generally accepted term. The simplest way of referring to such words (e. g. lap/pal, dog/god) is probably semi-palindrome or half-palindrome. Some other suggestions have been made, including heteropalindrome, reversgram (or reversible anagram) , and semordnilap (i.e.. palindromes written backwards) .

What is the Term for a Word Which is Another Word Spelled Backwards?

Answer

there՚s no generally accepted term. The simplest way of referring to such words (e. g. lap/pal, dog/god) is probably semi-palindrome or half-palindrome. Some other suggestions have been made, including heteropalindrome, reversgram (or reversible anagram) , and semordnilap (i.e.. palindromes written backwards) .

What is the Word for a Fear of Heights (And Other Fears) ?

Answer

An extreme or irrational fear of something is known as a phobia, from the Greek word Phobos ‘fear’ . There are various English words that describe the fear of particular objects, events, or situations. Some well-known examples include:

  • claustrophobia - fear of confined spaces
  • agoraphobia - fear of open or public places
  • arachnophobia -fear of spiders
  • acrophobia - fear of heights

Many other terms exist, but they tend to be used infrequently, such as coulrophobia, fear of clowns, scopophobia, fear of being looked at, or ailurophobia, fear of cats. For many more words to describe specific fears, see our list of phobias.

In general, it՚s more usual to simply to use the word ‘phobia’ preceded by the name of whatever it is that a person has a phobia about, e. g. he had a longstanding needle phobia.

What is the Word for People Who Collect Stamps (And Other Objects) ?

Answer

Generally speaking, most people who collect something are just known as ‘xxxx collectors’ , for example ‘a fossil collector’ or ‘a doll collector’ . Various terms do exist to describe people who collect specific items, for example:

  • philatelist - stamps
  • numismatist - coins and banknotes
  • lepidopterist - butterflies and moths
  • coleopterist - beetles
  • dipterist - flies
  • arctophile - teddy bears
  • oologist - birds՚ eggs
  • deltiologist - postcards
  • notaphilist - banknotes
  • tegestologist - beer mats
  • phillumenist - matchboxes or matchbook labels
  • scripophilist - old bond and share certificates

Nevertheless, only the first few items on this list have much genuine currency in English. And, judging by the evidence in our databases, even in these cases the ‘xxxx collector’ form is often just as commonly used as the specialist term. For example, the Oxford English Corpus currently contains 143 examples of philatelist and 151 instances of stamp collector.

One expert՚s view of the special terms is summed up by the following extract from J. Rendell՚s 1963 book Collecting Matchbox Labels: Despite the fact that the word ‘phillumenist’ has come to a certain extent into general use the only correct appellation for the subject remains ‘matchbox label collecting’ and the serious student of it describes himself or herself as no more or less than a ‘matchbox label collector’ .

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