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111 "quiz" (Word origins - alt.usage.english)




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This article is from the alt.usage.english FAQ, by Mark Israel misrael@scripps.edu with numerous contributions by others.

111 "quiz" (Word origins - alt.usage.english)


This is first recorded in 1749 in the sense "an odd person". It
is *doubtful* that "quiz" came from an alleged incident in which
James Daly, a late-18th-century Dublin theatre manager, made a wager
that he could introduce a new word into the English language
overnight, and hired urchins to chalk the word "quiz" on every wall
and billboard in Dublin. "Quiz" may come from the Latin "Qui es?"
(= "Who are you?", the first question asked in Latin oral exams in
grammar schools), or it may be a shortening of "inquisitive".

 

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