Words! Words! Words!

A Famous Vocabulary Ride

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Apr 18, 2017 7:30:00 AM

Paul Revere on horsebackOn this date in 1775, British troops marched out of Boston on a mission to confiscate the American arsenal at Concord and to capture Patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock, known to be hiding at Lexington. As the British departed, Boston Patriot William Dawes set out on horseback from the city to warn Adams and Hancock and rouse the Minutemen. While today’s words are seemingly unrelated to our subject, the discerning reader will get them all right nevertheless, as long as you had a competent fifth-grade teacher who boldly made you and your fellow students recite the classics!

1. hark

  1. stop
  2. look
  3. listen
  4. study

2. Dieu et mon droit

  1. For mercy’s sake
  2. God helps the helpless
  3. God and my right —  motto on the British royal arms
  4. In God we trust

3. compensatory education

  1. pay-as-you-go schooling
  2. continuing education
  3. a level of achievement equivalent to completion of an educational or training program
  4. educational programs intended to make up for experiences (as cultural) lacked by disadvantaged children and some adults

4. qp

  1. as much as you please
  2. pay as earned
  3. without fault
  4. insufficient

5. quis separabit?

  1. who wishes liberty? —  motto of the Order of St. Moritz
  2. who shall separate (us)? —  motto of the Order of St. Patrick
  3. what price freedom? —  motto of the Order of St. Philip
  4. what separates good and evil? —  catechism of the Order of St. Nostradem

6. oyer and terminer

  1. a commission authorizing a British judge to hear and determine a criminal case at the assizes
  2. Latin for “over easy”
  3. the process of controlling the course and speed of a projectile by a built-in mechanism
  4. the jargon used especially by educational theorists

7. asana

  1. a group of persons who by virtue of position or education exercise much power or influence
  2. a typewriter type providing 12 characters to the linear inch
  3. any of the various yogic postures
  4. an Indian clerk who writes English

8. evening star

  1. a planet that rises before midnight
  2. Altair
  3. a star of the first magnitude in Cygnus
  4. a star of great luminosity and of large mass

9. postilion

  1. the repetition of a word or phrase at the end of successive clauses
  2. one who rides as a guide on the near horse of one of the pairs attached to a coach or post chaise especially without a coachman
  3. a reversal of fortune
  4. a warship ranking in the old sailing navies next below a frigate

10. Dawes’ more famous compatriot

  1. George Washington
  2. Benjamin Rush
  3. Patrick Henry
  4. Paul Revere


Correct answers:

1c; 2c; 3d; 4a; 5b; 6a; 7c; 8a; 9b; 10d


Determine your rank in the Continental Army:

# Correct Determine Your Rank
All 10 Top Spy for His Excellency General Washington
7-9 Colonel


2-3  Corporal
0-1 Latrine digger at Trenton

Narrative text from History.com.
Definitions from Merriam-Webster 11th Collegiate Dictionary.


Topics: vocabulary test, vocabulary

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