Words! Words! Words!

Did Defoe Dig Dancing?

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Apr 25, 2017 7:30:00 AM

Robinson CrusoeSeveral momentous items to mention for today’s date: Daniel Defoe’s fictional work The Life and Strange Adventures of Robinson Crusoe was published in 1719. The book, about a shipwrecked sailor who spends 28 years on a deserted island, is based on the experiences of shipwreck victims and of Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish sailor who spent four years on a small island off the coast of South America in the early 1700s. Ground was broken for the Suez Canal in 1859. And the beautiful Ginger Rogers died in 1995. Dance your way to fame and fortune, avoid disaster, and dig our vocabulary test today!

1. atoll

(a) a person who searches along a shore (as for salable refuse or for seashells)

(b) a post of metal or wood on a wharf around which to fasten mooring lines

(c) a coral island consisting of a reef surrounding a lagoon

(d) $9.00 for the Tappan Zee

2. coaming

(a) a watertight structure for making repairs below the waterline of a ship

(b) a boat that brings provisions and commodities for sale to larger ships in port or offshore

(c) a raised frame (as around a hatchway in the deck of a ship) to keep out water

(d) the line on a ship indicating the depth to which it sinks in the water when properly loaded

3. sack

(a) an 18th century wig with the back hair enclosed in a small silk bag

(b) the part of a furled sail gathered up in a bunch at the center of the yard

(c) a flap or bag concealing an opening in the front of men's breeches especially in the 15th and 16th centuries

(d) any of several white wines imported to England from Spain and the Canary Islands during the 16th and 17th centuries

4. barratry

(a) an unlawful act or fraudulent breach of duty by a master of a ship or by the mariners to the injury of the owner of the ship or cargo

(b) sufficient distance for maneuvering a ship

(c) a document issued by a carrier that lists goods being shipped and specifies the terms of their transport

(d) a raised framework with a sliding cover over a small hatch on a ship

5. ait

(a) a bag net with a handle that is used especially to scoop fish from the water

(b) (British) a little island

(c) a cylindrical canvas bag used especially by a sailor for clothes and other gear

(d) something a castaway doesn’t regularly get to do

6. The Suez Canal connects the

(a) Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea

(b) Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea

(c) Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf

(d) Red Sea and the Black Sea

7. tombolo

(a) a 17th century French dance usually in quick duple time

(b) a young woman who sings or dances in the chorus of a theatrical production (as a musical or revue)

(c) a sand or gravel bar connecting an island with the mainland or another island

(d) davebolo’s brother

8. carioca

(a) a variation of the samba

(b) a noisy festivity

(c) a stately court dance of the 17th and 18th centuries resembling the minuet

(d) Italian karaoke

9. hoofer

(a) a maritime protege

(b) a professional dancer

(c) slang for a canal digger

(d) a castaway

10. pas de deux

(a) the French-controlled southern entrance to the Suez Canal

(b) floating wreckage of a ship or its cargo

(c) a narrow water passage between peninsulas or through a barrier island leading to a bay or lagoon

(d) a dance or figure for two performers


Correct answers:

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


Figure your fate:

# Correct Your Fate
All 10 Four-week cruise, French Riviera to Mauritius via Suez Canal
7-9 Two-week cruise to Zamboanga

One-week cruise to Atlantic City

2-3 Two-day cruise to Staten Island
0-1 Five-day bus trip to Hollywood


Topics: vocabulary test, vocabulary

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