Origins Trivia

Origins Trivia

Please read each question carefully and select the correct answer by clicking on the corresponding button. The answer key will be provided after the quiz is scored. Streeeetch that mind!


The word 'alcohol' comes from the Arab word 'al koh'l' meaning:

Eye make-up
Cloven hoof
I don't know

Bedlam is a word to describe uproar and confusion. Where does the word come from?

Bedlam was the short name for the Hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem, a lunatic asylum in 16th century London.
It refers to Babylon, a Biblical city devoted to sensual pleasure and material things.
It is a Gaelic word meaning 'throes of death'.
Nobody knows where the word comes from.
I don't know

What does the proverb "Never look a gift horse in the mouth" refer to?

It's an old saying that originated from people who bred horses for a living, referring to the fact that you can get bitten if you look into a horse's mouth.
It refers to an Irish legend that the throat of a horse is the gate to hell.
It relates to the fact that a horse's value is established by its age, which can be determined by its teeth. The lesson implied is that when you receive a gift, it’s the thought behind it that counts, not its price.
It refers to the story of Troy, the mythological Greek city that fell at the hands of Agamemnon's army. Greek soldiers were snuck into the city in the stomach of a wooden horse, which was supposed to be a gift to the King of Troy.
I don't know

Gargoyle is an Old French word meaning:

I don't know

The ancient Greeks named the stone 'amethyst' which is a word that describes their belief that:

The gods dine on amethyst and sea water.
The stone was sprinkled from the heavens when the earth was created.
The stone could protect a person from becoming drunk.
The stone can cause blindness.
I don't know

Why are hot days referred to as 'dog days'?

On hot days, dogs often go mad, producing rabies-like symptoms.
The Romans believed that the added heat of Sirius, the Dog Star, caused the hottest days in summer.
On hot days, dogs are unable to function and only sleep in the shade.
It refers to the mid-part of this century when families would spend the hottest days in Wrigley's Field watching baseball and eating hotdogs.
I don't know

From what does the expression 'throw in the towel' originate?

The custom of rubbing down a racehorse after losing a race.
The custom of using a towel to indicate a withdrawal from a match in boxing.
The servants of Marie Antoinette weren't permitted to see her bathing so they would throw a towel from behind a screen when she rang a bell signaling the end of her bath.
The chivalry of the mid 19th century, when men would lay a towel across puddles so women could cross without having to step around or get wet.
I don't know

The word 'school' comes from the Greek word meaning:

I don't know

Why do we call twins that are physically joined 'Siamese twins'?

The first of these twins to be widely talked about were from Siam.
Siamese cats often have kittens that are joined.
Circus sideshows often advertised remarkable human oddities that come from the Far East.
The highest incidence of Siamese twins occurs in Thailand.
I don't know

Utopia is our vision of the perfect place. The word actually comes from the Greek meaning:

Mountain top
Sea floor
No place
I don't know
Determination is admirable, struggling isn't.
"Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."
C. G. Jung
Happy people are persistent and persevering, and approach every challenge with their best effort.