Early American English Quiz


1. Could early American settlers choose to pluralize words by adding an N to them instead of an S? For example: house would become housen or trees would be treen.
true false

2. Origin of the word embarrass, which means to cause to feel self-conscious or ill at ease; disconcerted, comes from the antics of American colonists. Here is the story: The Quakers, a religious sect, were not well liked in the colonies. A favorite pastime of the other colonists was to pull the pants down of wandering Quakers, hence em bare assing them.
true false

3. The word "groggy" came about when a Samuel Grog, a native Philidelphian, was hit on the head by a British Soldier during the famous Boston Massacre. Samuel who was just visiting Boston was so injured by this attack that he never fully recovered his wits. Thus when someone says he or she is groggy they were alluding to this unfortunate victim.
true false

4. A toilet was once called a "Quincy" because John Quincy Adams was the president who first installed toilets in the White House.
true false

5. Americans often replace why with the phrase "how come" because they have appropriated the Dutch word hoekom.
true false

6. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Americans liked to drink a concoction of chicken soup and beer called the "cockale." Many people believe that the cockale is the origin of the modern word " cocktail"
true false

7. Another Dutch word "snoepen" which meant to put candy into your mouth without any one else noticing was transformed by the Americans into snoop, which means to spy on someone or to be nosy.
true false

8.The word tycoon which was first used in the 1870s to describe business leaders comes from the Mohawk Indians and originally meant pompous idiot.
true false

9. American English in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries did not put much stock in being consistent in spelling. The creativity of your spelling was looked upon as a sort of intellectual plus. Learned men like Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin would often spell one word one way in one paragraph and the same word differently in the next paragraph, even in documents as important as the Declaration of Independence.
true false

10. "Goodbye" was originally just an abbreviation for "God be with you."
true false

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