Nicola right here. This weekend we took half in our native village charity quiz, fifteen groups attempting to reply questions on every part from the names of Disney princesses to Olympic swimming champions. Amazingly, we received – as a group we knew a lot of obscure, random normal information! – plus we raised some cash and loved a night out with associates and neighbours. It was all excellent humoured, in contrast to among the quizzes I’ve been concerned with the place skilled groups bought very irate in the event that they did not win!
I’ve all the time favored the phrase “quiz.” It’s bought a enjoyable really feel to it, and, being a author, I’ve typically puzzled the place the phrase originated from. I keep in mind it that includes in Georgette Heyer, however as a description of a particular person quite than an exercise. So I got down to discover out extra.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the origin of the phrase “quiz” is unsure. There is a widespread story that within the late 18th century the Irish theatre supervisor James Daly made a wager that he might invent a phrase that had no that means and get your entire metropolis of Dublin speaking about it. He chalked or pasted up the letters Q,U,I,Z on the partitions across the metropolis and shortly all people was speculating about what they may imply. Thus, he received the wager and the phrase entered English slang, that means an eccentric, odd particular person. The theatre within the photograph is Dublin’s Theatre Royal (copyright National Library of Ireland) which was initially based again within the seventeenth century.
The theatre anecdote is a good story and it appeared in a variety of newspapers and magazines within the 19th century however there’s no proof of it and actually the phrase had first appeared in print about 10 years earlier than Daly made his supposed wager when Fanny Burney used it in certainly one of her novels. So by the 1780s it was already well-known and possibly had been utilized in speech fairly ceaselessly. So we most likely must look elsewhere for the origins of the phrase. Other recommendations which have been put ahead are that really it derives from the identical place as inquisitive and inquisition, which is sensible once you suppose it has connotations of a curious particular person or somebody asking a lot of questions. Apparently it was additionally the custom in English boys’ grammar colleges within the 18th and nineteenth century to begin assessments on literary and historic characters with the Latin phrase “quis” that means “who.” The complete check could be in Latin, after all, and you’ll see how they may grow to be referred to as quizzes.
Whatever the case, from the late 1700s the noun “a quiz” had come to imply an odd or eccentric particular person, as in: “He was not odd – no quiz – yet he resembled no one else I had ever seen before.” (The Professor, Charlotte Bronte.) It may be used to explain an object that was a bit unusual, comparable to: “Where did you get that quiz of a hat?” A s one character asks one other in Northanger Abbey.
The identical period offers us the the “quizzing glass,” which was an support to imaginative and prescient, significantly a monocle, designed for inspecting one thing or somebody very intently. Regency romances abound with often aged women and men peering at folks by means of their quizzing glasses or dandies affecting to be outrageous by carrying a monocle.
Oddly on the identical time that Quiz grew to become a phrase, there was additionally the phrase “Quoz, ” which additionally meant an eccentric particular person, simply as Quiz did. In reality there was some argument over which was the right time period! Interestingly, quoz has died out of use however quiz has survived to the current day.
Like many phrases, “quiz” began to alter and develop completely different meanings over time. To quiz somebody got here to imply ask them questions or banter with them, which takes us again to being inquisitive, however with joking overtones. The phrase “quizzical” got here alongside to imply “questioning” in a teasing method. Jane Austen talks about “a great deal of stupid quizzing and commonplace nonsense” in certainly one of her letters; She doesn’t approve of such banter with out actual wit. Charles Dickens additionally makes use of it to explain somebody who makes jokes and Sir Walter Scott makes use of the phrase to explain one thing light-hearted and nonsensical.
These days, to quiz most often means to query somebody intimately on a explicit subject. A quiz may be a easy collection of questions or a sport present with large prize
cash at stake. This form of quiz grew widespread within the early 20th century. The first programme was in 1928 when a US quiz present known as “Jack Says Ask Me Another” made its debut. After that, radio and TV quiz reveals grew to become mass leisure. As a youngster within the Seventies I cherished Ask The Family, Brain of Britain and plenty of extra. University Challenge was often too robust and specialised for me!
Here on the Word Wenches we love a good quiz and Wench Anne has created some enjoyable ones! Are you a quiz fan? Do you participate in them, or get pleasure from watching or listening to them? Any favorite quiz reveals?