Clues for: Word Origins

Question Answer Value Airdate
From the Latin for "kidnapping", it's stealing the ideas or writings of another & passing them off as your own plagiarism 200 November 1, 2013
From the Latin for "kidnapping", it's stealing the ideas or writings of another & passing them off as your own plagiarism 200 November 1, 2013
The name of this official Chinese language comes from the Sanskrit for "counselor" Mandarin 400 November 1, 2013
The name of this official Chinese language comes from the Sanskrit for "counselor" Mandarin 400 November 1, 2013
Before it had instrument readouts, it was a panel that kept mud from splashing into horse-drawn vehicles a dashboard 600 November 1, 2013
Before it had instrument readouts, it was a panel that kept mud from splashing into horse-drawn vehicles a dashboard 600 November 1, 2013
The name of this small magnifying glass used by jewellers is from a French term for a flawed gem a loupe 800 November 1, 2013
The name of this small magnifying glass used by jewellers is from a French term for a flawed gem a loupe 800 November 1, 2013
In mythology it's the shield of Zeus; it also means protection or sponsorship aegis 1000 November 1, 2013
In mythology it's the shield of Zeus; it also means protection or sponsorship aegis 1000 November 1, 2013
This form of big-guy wrestling takes its name from the Japanese for "mutual strike" sumo 200 October 10, 2012
This form of big-guy wrestling takes its name from the Japanese for "mutual strike" sumo 200 October 10, 2012
(Kelly of the Clue Crew presents the clue.) From the Latin for "piece of felt", it's the process of separating a solid out of a liquid using a membrane filter (or filtration) 400 October 10, 2012
(Kelly of the Clue Crew presents the clue.) From the Latin for "piece of felt", it's the process of separating a solid out of a liquid using a membrane filter (or filtration) 400 October 10, 2012
This adjective meaning "evil" comes from the Latin for "left hand" sinister 600 October 10, 2012
This adjective meaning "evil" comes from the Latin for "left hand" sinister 600 October 10, 2012
This word meaning an hour to be home comes from the French for "cover the fire" a curfew 800 October 10, 2012
This word meaning an hour to be home comes from the French for "cover the fire" a curfew 800 October 10, 2012
This condiment gets its name from the Chinese for "pickled fish brine" ketchup 1000 October 10, 2012
This condiment gets its name from the Chinese for "pickled fish brine" ketchup 1000 October 10, 2012
The name of this heavy hooded jacket favored by skiers & hunters is from the Russian for "pelt" a parka 200 May 1, 2012
The name of this heavy hooded jacket favored by skiers & hunters is from the Russian for "pelt" a parka 200 May 1, 2012
A ship in the desert? No, it's just this optical illusion from the French for "to look at" a mirage 400 May 1, 2012
A ship in the desert? No, it's just this optical illusion from the French for "to look at" a mirage 400 May 1, 2012
This term for one who willfully destroys another's property comes from the name of a Germanic tribe a vandal 600 May 1, 2012
This term for one who willfully destroys another's property comes from the name of a Germanic tribe a vandal 600 May 1, 2012
Used to describe stately mansions of the old south, it's from the Latin for "before the war" antebellum 800 May 1, 2012
Used to describe stately mansions of the old south, it's from the Latin for "before the war" antebellum 800 May 1, 2012
The general agreement is that this word meaning a majority of opinion is from the Latin for "to feel together" a consensus 1000 May 1, 2012
The general agreement is that this word meaning a majority of opinion is from the Latin for "to feel together" a consensus 1000 May 1, 2012
This adjective that can mean disrespectful or lively is an alteration of "saucy" sassy 200 December 20, 2011
This adjective that can mean disrespectful or lively is an alteration of "saucy" sassy 200 December 20, 2011
This, from Middle French for "small ball", is stronger than the bullet, which is from modern French for "small ball" the ballot 400 December 20, 2011
This, from Middle French for "small ball", is stronger than the bullet, which is from modern French for "small ball" the ballot 400 December 20, 2011
First appearing more than a century ago, it means gutsy & is probably a blend of bold & audacious bodacious 600 December 20, 2011
First appearing more than a century ago, it means gutsy & is probably a blend of bold & audacious bodacious 600 December 20, 2011
This 19th century 2-wheeled cab was named for a Brit, not for its good looks a Hansom cab 800 December 20, 2011
This 19th century 2-wheeled cab was named for a Brit, not for its good looks a Hansom cab 800 December 20, 2011
This nickname for paper measuring 13 by 16 inches gets its name from an old watermark of a court jester's hat foolscap 1000 December 20, 2011
This nickname for paper measuring 13 by 16 inches gets its name from an old watermark of a court jester's hat foolscap 1000 December 20, 2011
Aka hump day, it was named for a Norse god Wednesday 200 June 27, 2011
The Persian shaghal gave us the name of this dog-like African carnivore & scavenger the jackal 400 June 27, 2011
The word "drama" comes from the Greek for this verb, which as a noun also means one section of a drama act 600 June 27, 2011
The name of this gum tree comes from the Greek kaluptein, or "cover", & it covers more than 500 species the eucalyptus 1000 June 27, 2011
Peevish or unreasonably irritable, it's from the Latin petere, meaning "to assail" petulant June 27, 2011
This part of an egg gets its name from the Old English for "yellow" the yolk 200 May 16, 2008
This season gets its name from the Sanskrit for "half year" summer 400 May 16, 2008
The opposite of nadir, it's from the Arabic for "road above" zenith 600 May 16, 2008
The name of this element is from the Latin word for "lime", the chemical kind calcium 800 May 16, 2008
The name of this musical instrument comes from Greek words for "wood" and "voice" the xylophone 1000 May 16, 2008
The name of this, also called a fireplug, is partly from a word for "water" a hydrant 200 February 12, 2008
The name of this bread spread goes all the way back to bous, a Greek word for "cow" butter 400 February 12, 2008
These sparkly fake gems are partly named for a river that flows through Germany rhinestones 600 February 12, 2008
This 5-letter synonym of "question" comes from the Latin for "to ask" or "to seek" a query 1000 February 12, 2008
The name of this type of reference work is from the Greek for "cyclical" (i.e., well-rounded) & "education" an encyclopedia February 12, 2008
The name of these bones that form the spinal column comes partly from a word meaning "to turn" vertebrae 200 May 11, 2007
This, a personal view or belief, comes from the Old French for "to think" an opinion 400 May 11, 2007
The name of this class of cold-blooded creatures comes from a word for "to creep" the reptile 600 May 11, 2007
This dog breed's name comes from a German word for "to splash about" the poodle 800 May 11, 2007
Appropriately, this adjective that means the giving of one's name to something comes from the Greek for "giving name" eponymous May 11, 2007
This kind of dummy often displays women's clothes, though its name comes from the Dutch for "little man" mannequin 200 December 28, 2006
This musical instrument's name may be influenced by "hurly-burly", a Scots word meaning "uproar". hurdy-gurdy 600 December 28, 2006
This type of tower is usually seen in Asia, but its name comes from a Portuguese word for "temple" pagoda 800 December 28, 2006
The name of this almond paste confection is derived in part from an Italian word for "candy box" marzipan 1000 December 28, 2006
(Sarah of the Clue Crew helps with an image on a monitor.) The pair of Greek letters seen here inspired this eight-letter English word that's a cornerstone of the English language alphabet December 28, 2006
This lawn weed's name comes from the old French for "tooth of the lion", referring to its sharply indented leaves a dandelion 200 February 8, 2006
This word for a self-service restaurant evolved from the Spanish for "coffee shop" a cafeteria 400 February 8, 2006
Latin for "within the walls", it refers to athletic contests among students within a school intramural 600 February 8, 2006
The name of this foamy volcanic rock is an alteration of the Latin word meaning "foam" pumice 1000 February 8, 2006
Originally one who kept legal records for the crown, now it's a public officer who investigates deaths a coroner February 8, 2006
The name of these seeds probably goes all the way back to samassammu, Akkadian for "oil plant" sesame seeds 200 January 10, 2006
This fox-hunting cry may be an alteration of taiaut, a French cry used in deer hunting tally-ho 400 January 10, 2006
A Middle English variant of "plait" became the name of these folds found on skirts pleat 600 January 10, 2006
A Greek word for "sailor" gave us the name of this "chambered" sea creature nautilus 800 January 10, 2006
This term for a minor engagement in war traces its origins back to the old Italian word scaramuccia a skirmish 1000 January 10, 2006
This common term for a weak, ineffectual person may be derived from "whimper" wimp 200 September 26, 2005
This word said to sled dogs may be an alteration of the French marchons, meaning "let's go" mush 400 September 26, 2005
Billingsgate, a term for foul language, comes from the name of an old fish market in this world capital London 600 September 26, 2005
From the Latin for "mother", it's a female prison worker who may be less than maternal matron 800 September 26, 2005
Take a whirl on the dance floor under these lights whose name comes from the Greek for the "act of whirling" strobe lights 1000 September 26, 2005
The English borrowed this Tongan word for "forbidden" & made it a noun referring to the prohibition itself taboo 200 March 22, 2005
The name for this type of worker comes from the Latin for "lead worker" plumber 400 March 22, 2005
This word used in Roman Catholic theology comes from the Latin for "edge" or "border" not "dance" limbo 600 March 22, 2005
(Sarah of the Clue Crew reports from Naxos, Greece.) Ostraka, broken pieces of pottery used as ballots to recommend exile gave us this word for banishment ostracism 800 March 22, 2005
This word for a prolonged state of sadness comes from the Greek for "black bile" (once thought to be it's cause) melancholy 1000 March 22, 2005
This light wood gets its name from the Spanish for "raft" because people in the tropics have used its logs for rafts balsa 200 November 22, 2004
The gigantic statue at Rhodes, one of the 7 ancient wonders, gave us this adjective meaning gigantic colossal 400 November 22, 2004
Originally used to designate an errand boy, it was introduced into Scotland by golfer Mary, Queen of Scots a caddy 600 November 22, 2004
The Greek word "iota" gave us this 3-letter word that means to write down hastily jot 800 November 22, 2004
They got their name from the wooden sandals worn by the French court to protect shoes on rainy days galoshes 1000 November 22, 2004
A masterful conductor is often called this, Italian for "master" maestro 200 October 5, 2004
The name of this bird is from the French version of Peter parrot 400 October 5, 2004
Make no bones about it, it's from a Greek expression for "dried-up body" skeleton 600 October 5, 2004
This Austrian physicist's name is now synonymous with a measurement of the speed of sound (Ernst) Mach 800 October 5, 2004
This 3-letter slang term for forbid or veto comes to us from the German for "nothing" nix 1000 October 5, 2004
The name of this colorless Russian spirit is a diminutive of the Russian word for "water", itself a colorless liquid vodka 200 April 19, 2004
It was derived from 3 German words that meant "secret state police", & that certainly describes it the Gestapo 400 April 19, 2004
(Sarah of the Clue Crew in Alaska) From the Old French for "crack", this V-shaped crack in a glacier may be up to 150 feet deep crevasse 600 April 19, 2004
First launched on October 4, 1957, its name is Russian for "fellow traveler" Sputnik 800 April 19, 2004
People who cultivated this fruit often used to make wine were said to live to a ripe old age; hence its name elderberry April 19, 2004
Once a carnival performer who bit the heads off chickens, today it often refers to a computer nerd geek 200 May 31, 2002
This snug-fitting one-piece garment used by dancers was invented by, & named for, a French aerialist leotard 400 May 31, 2002
This disease's name is from the Italian for "bad air"; it was first thought to be caused by foul swamp air, not mosquitoes malaria 600 May 31, 2002
From a word meaning "gift" Yale's passed the $10 billion mark in 2000 endowment 800 May 31, 2002
Self-examination; literally, "a looking into oneself" introspection 1000 May 31, 2002
An old French word for "thicket" gave us this word for something tossed by a bride Bouquet 100 December 2, 1998
From a Provencal word for "witch", it's a sports team's good-luck symbol Mascot 200 December 2, 1998
This word for a swinging cot is derived from Spanish & from the Taino language of the West Indies Hammock 300 December 2, 1998
From middle English & Latin for "toward" & "to climb", one does it to a staircase or the throne Ascend 400 December 2, 1998
From old English for a male servant or a boy, it's a synonym for a jack in a deck of cards Knave 500 December 2, 1998
This word entered the English language in the 13th century as "sucre" Sugar 100 September 30, 1998
Jeans were named for this Italian city where a strong twilled cotton cloth was made Genoa 200 September 30, 1998
From the Greek nostos, "A return home", & algos, "pain", it's the pain you experience when remembering Nostalgia 300 September 30, 1998
Greek for "wood sound", this instrument's name refers to its tuned wooden bars Xylophone 400 September 30, 1998
Originally, it referred to a boisterous, rude lad, not a young girl who behaves like a lad as it does now Tomboy 500 September 30, 1998
The Middle French word for this freshwater crustacean was "crevice", which evolved into our English word crayfish 100 February 12, 1998
This 19th century vehicle seen here was named for its designer, not its good looks the Hansom Cab 200 February 12, 1998
This primrose's name comes from the Old English for "cow slime" & sounds pretty similar cowslip 300 February 12, 1998
This game in which players pick up sticks or straws is named for a leader of Wat Tyler's Rebellion jackstraws 400 February 12, 1998
Whether it's "English" or not, the name of this nut comes from Old English for "foreign nut" walnut 500 February 12, 1998
The name of this skirt isn't Scottish in origin; it may come from the Danish for "to tuck up" Kilt 100 December 13, 1996
This term for a broad street is French, but it goes back to bolwerc, a Middle Dutch word for bulwark Boulevard 200 December 13, 1996
The adjective vespertilian means resembling this winged mammal, whose Latin name is vespertilio Bat 300 December 13, 1996
This fruity condiment's name comes from the Hindi meaning "to be licked" Chutney 400 December 13, 1996
The name of this small magnifying glass used by jewelers comes from the French for an imperfect gem Loupe December 13, 1996
Local or general, this medical term comes from Greek meaning "insensibility" anesthesia 100 November 25, 1996
The name of this type of popular music combines "hillbilly" & "rock & roll" rockabilly 200 November 25, 1996
This word is derived from "self-contained underwater breathing apparatus" Scuba 300 November 25, 1996
This term for a chance spectator innocently came into our language by 1620 Bystander 400 November 25, 1996
This word for any of the 10 Arabic number symbols comes from the Latin word for "finger" Digit 500 November 25, 1996
This term for a flower worn in a buttonhole is literally French for "buttonhole" Boutonniere 100 November 24, 1994
Judo is Japanese for "soft way" & this self-defense form is Japanese for "soft art" Jiu-Jitsu 200 November 24, 1994
The word chime comes from the name of this other percussion instrument Cymbal 300 November 24, 1994
From a Greek word meaning "to speak ill of", it's irreverent talk of God Blasphemy 400 November 24, 1994
The name of this Russian urn used to heat water for tea is Russian for "self-boiler" Samovar 500 November 24, 1994
Not surprisingly, the word koala comes from a native language of this continent Australia 100 May 20, 1993
This word meaning something not fully understood is from the Greek musterion, "secret rite" mystery 200 May 20, 1993
The name of this 2- or 3-toed mammal comes from Middle English for "slow" a sloth 300 May 20, 1993
This title of prince Siddhartha comes from Sanskrit for "awakening" Buddha 400 May 20, 1993
Lepos, meaning "scale", gave us this word for a pariah leper 500 May 20, 1993
This term for a copy or reproduction is from the Latin meaning "to make similar" facsimile 100 April 2, 1993
December, decimal & decimate all come from the Latin word for this ten 200 April 2, 1993
Some believe the word gimmick began as gimac, an anagram of this magic 300 April 2, 1993
This sport derives its name from the word association, as in association football soccer 400 April 2, 1993
Meaning vain & above oneself, this adjective comes from the Middle French for "high" haughty April 2, 1993
The name of this small metal fingercap is derived from an Old English word for thumb Thimble 100 November 19, 1992
The name of this military horn comes from the Latin for "young ox" since the first ones were ox horns Bugle 200 November 19, 1992
From Arabic for "old man", it's the leader of an Arab family, tribe, or village sheik 300 November 19, 1992
This mammal's name comes from the corruption of a French phrase which meant "phony pig" Porcupine 400 November 19, 1992
This term for a person who bowls is derived from the German word for "bowling pin" Kegler 500 November 19, 1992
It's the nickname of a $10 bill, because the Roman numeral X on it looked like a sawhorse sawbuck 100 September 15, 1992
The name of this breed of dog comes from the Low German for "puddle dog" poodle 200 September 15, 1992
This term for the poisonous secretion of a snake comes from Latin for "poison" venom 300 September 15, 1992
Grade of black tea whose name comes from Chinese meaning "white dawn" pekoe 400 September 15, 1992
The name of this dense-pile fabric comes from the Latin villus, meaning "shaggy hair" velvet 500 September 15, 1992
Though it comes from a Latin word meaning "whitish", it refers to a reddish-brown hair color auburn 100 March 18, 1992
The term "Shavian" was coined by this writer to describe his life, works & ideas George Bernard Shaw 200 March 18, 1992
Because they were too young or inexperienced for the cavalry, foot soldiers came to be called this infantry 300 March 18, 1992
From the Latin word for "soul", it means to bring to life, like a cartoon animate 400 March 18, 1992
The two units of measure that derive their names from the Latin word "uncia" ounce & inch 500 March 18, 1992
Mark Twain should have known the name of this fruit may be an alternation of “hurtleberry” huckleberry 100 October 17, 1991
The name of this “tuxedoed” bird may come from the Welsh for “white head” penguin 200 October 17, 1991
Evangelical Protestant sect named for its founder, Menno Simons Mennonite 300 October 17, 1991
Almond paste confection whose name comes from a Medieval Italian coin marzipan 400 October 17, 1991
Sorority is derived from the Latin “soror”, which means this sister 500 October 17, 1991
This name for an earthenware beer mug is German for "stone" Stein 100 May 14, 1990
Italian for "first lady", it can refer to a temperamental woman or man Prima donna 200 May 14, 1990
From the Latin for "worm", it's defined simply as "animals obnoxious to man" Vermin 300 May 14, 1990
From the Latin for "hunger", it's a period when food is extremely scarce Famine 400 May 14, 1990
This Scottish cap was named for the hero of a Robert Burns poem Tam O\' Shanter 500 May 14, 1990
"Saloon" came from this French word, which sounds more elegant salon 100 November 14, 1989
Shade of purple whose name comes from a word for mallow because it's the color of mallow petals mauve 200 November 14, 1989
Derived from the Greek for "to sell alone"; if you have one, you alone sell a product monopoly 300 November 14, 1989
The "chop" in "chopsticks" means this in Pidgin English, as in "chop-chop" hurry (or quick or fast) 400 November 14, 1989
This synonym for "gloomy" comes from a Medieval Latin term for "evil days" dismal November 14, 1989
The adjective "ruddy" comes from the old English "rudig," meaning this color Red 100 November 17, 1988
It's a French word meaning "Dutch," and in English it usually refers to a sauce Hollandaise 200 November 17, 1988
From the Latin for shield, "scutum," it's a shield bearing a coat of arms Escutcheon 300 November 17, 1988
An Arabic word for "poor" gave us this term for a Muslim or Hindu beggar said to have mystical powers Fakir 400 November 17, 1988
Named for a town in France, this sheer net fabric is used to make bridal veils and tutus Tulle 500 November 17, 1988
It used to mean sweetheart, but now refers to that big fifth grader who picked on you bully 100 November 17, 1987
The word manage goes back to the Latin "manus", the word for this part of the body hand 200 November 17, 1987
This word for pal is said to be Oxford University slang for chamberfellow; a roommate chum 300 November 17, 1987
This word for boss or head is from a Japanese word meaning squad leader honcho 400 November 17, 1987
From Old English "nay", no, and "whit", thing, this word means zero naught 500 November 17, 1987
Imitation diamonds, they were originally gems obtained from a certain German river rhinestones 100 November 21, 1986
It's the pace at which Pilgrims rode to Canterbury canter 200 November 21, 1986
The name of this game is Chinese for "house sparrow" a picture on one of the tiles mah-jong 300 November 21, 1986
An Irishman with this accent might be putting his foot in his mouth, because this word means "shoe" brogue 400 November 21, 1986
The name of this part of a camera was derived from its resemblance to a lentil seed lens 500 November 21, 1986
= = 100 November 25, 1985
This "impertinent young person" once had nothing better to do than stand around snapping whips whippersnapper 200 November 25, 1985
"Chicanery" may have come from cheaters at "Chicane", a French variety of this Scottish sport golf 300 November 25, 1985
While Mr. is the abbreviation for mister, Mrs. is the abbreviation for this "lady of the house" mistress 400 November 25, 1985
French for "little park" it came to mean a special section of courtroom floor reserved for judges parquet 500 November 25, 1985
Though an insect larva, its name comes from French for “hairy cat” caterpillar 100 November 19, 1985
Word “slavery” comes from these eastern Europeans who were often enslaved by conquerors Slavs 200 November 19, 1985
Term for noisy dance or party which originally meant a kick in the shins shindig 300 November 19, 1985
From same root as “senile”, to Romans this body's name meant a council of old men senate 400 November 19, 1985
Though John Duns Scotus was considered a great philosopher, his followers were later called this dunces 500 November 19, 1985