A nice little quiz to energise your Sunday afternoon.

Interesting Literature

We came across a nice site that tests your vocabulary in a short ‘quiz’ (of sorts) that takes only a few minutes to complete. It’s an interesting little test, because it will calculate (by which we really mean ‘estimate’) your vocabulary, or total number of words which you could practically use in conversation or writing.

This got us thinking about interesting words, especially rare ones, found in literature. It is commonly said that Shakespeare had a vocabulary of 17,000-20,000 words, but most modern English speakers use many more than this. That said, there are many rare old words which are sadly underused today, but which writers of times past would have been familiar with. Here are a few of them:

Shakespeare2A bellibone is an old word for (we’re quoting Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary here) ‘a woman excelling in both beauty and goodness’; it appears in Edmund Spenser’s Shepheardes Calendar in the…

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