English Words in Action, Group Q

(a variety of English words which have developed through history and are currently used in our modern age)

English vocabulary quizzes in random order from easy to more difficult for greater word skills.

Simply click on this banner (or the following link) and you will be on your way to stimulate your brain for greater word comprehension with quizzes based on some of the words in this unit.

quibbler (s) (noun), quibblers (pl)
A person or people who complain about little matters or conditions: The flight attendant was talking with the pilot about the quibblers who were unhappy about the bumpy flight that took place for about five minutes when the aircraft was caught in a sudden storm.
quidnunc (KWID nungk") (s) (noun), quidnuncs (pl)
1. A busybody, a nosey person, or gossipmonger who is eager to hear the latest gossip about what is going on with other people; including anything that is scandalous: Alfred was a quidnunc who was always prying into other people's personal affairs and trying to find out all of the latest news about what was going on with them.
2. Etymology: formed from Latin quid, "what" and nunc. "now"; "gossip-monger", to describe someone who is forever asking "What's going on?" Literally, Quid nunc?, "What now?"

The two words have been combined to make an English word, quidnunc, "a gossip; an overly-curious person"; or "a busybody".

A nosey person or a busybody.
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Someone who is curious to know everything that is going on about other people.
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A person who is very curious about what is going with other neighbors or fellow workers.
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quidnuncism (s) (noun), quidnuncisms (pl)
A process during which a person is behaving as a busybody or a nosy person; especially, when someone is always asking questions that are none of his or her business: Lupe was asked to please quit using so much quidnuncism regarding Mary's personal relations with Jeremy!

Mark warned his colleagues that a "quidnunc" in their department was sneaking around collecting quidnuncisms which she then shared with their supervisor.

Although the following image is for another entry, it illustrates the meaning of this word.

A situation where someone wants to know everything that is going on around her.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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quidnunckery (s) (noun), quidnunckeries (pl)
An abnormal desire know much more about people and what they are doing: Goldie was known as a collector and connoisseur of the latest quidnunckery of information about her fellow workers and even her neighbors.
quip (s) (noun), quips (pl)
A clever jest or sarcastic comment: When the pianist started to play her music at the talent show, she started off-key so badly that the moderator made a quip that it was enough torture and to stop because Steinway must be rolling over in his grave; however, she suddenly produced a very professional presentation and the person in charge of the show changed his quip; saying, Steinway must feel that he is in heaven, after all.

It is said that E.C. McKenzie collected 14,000 quips and quotes for his book which is titled: 14,000 Quips & Quotes for Writers & Speakers; Words of wisdom, wry witticisms & quick comebacks, which was published in 1980 by Baker Book House Company; New York, U.S.A.

Here are two of McKenzie's quips:

  • In business we have big steel and little steel. Politics has them too, but the spelling is different.
  • If Congress can pay farmers not to raise crops, why can't we pay Congress not to raise taxes?
A cutting jest or sarcastic remark.
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A clever verbal thrust.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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quip (verb), quips; quipped; quipping
To make clever statements or remarks: Sometimes there are TV hosts who quip, or provide witty comments, without a script or any prior preparations.
quipper (s) (noun), quippers (pl)
A situation when someone ridicules or makes fun of what another person has said or done: Grace never forgot the quipper that her son presented to her teacher friend that she put her school keys into the drawer with the silverware.
quippish (adjective), more quippish, most quippish
A reference to mocking or scoffing another person or something that has been experienced previously: Shirley made a sarcastic or quippish remark about her husband backing his car up into another car while he was trying to maneuver into a parking space.
quippishness (s) (noun), quippishnesses (pl)
A ludicrous or comical declaration or observation regarding what someone has said or done: Jack’s quippishness that the meal at the fancy restaurant tasted like instant food made everyone at the table laugh hilariously.
quippy (adjective), more quippy, most quippy
Conveying an unusual assertion or representation by joking about what has transpired, occurred, or appeared at some prior time: Patrick's quippy declaration regarding his handwriting being beautiful was really ridiculous, since his penmanship was quite bad and very difficult to read.
quipster (s) (noun), quipsters (pl)
An individual who says or expresses derisions or contemptuous assertions about another person or situation that is going on or that has previously taken place: Henry's brother was a real quipster who was always having the funniest things to say to somebody and so avoiding making any critical comments.
quixotic (adjective), more quixotic, most quixotic
1. Relating to something that is unrealistic or to someone who is hopeful in a way that is not practical: Jane and Jim had quixotic dreams about their financial existence.
2. Etymology: from Latin coxa, "hip, thigh."
A reference to being impractical.
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Relating to being overly romantic.
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Conveying unworkable ideas.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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quondam (adjective) (not comparable)
1. Referring to something that once belonged to the past; descriptive of someone of former times: Richard was a quondam drunkard for some years; however, now he is perfectly sober because he quit drinking whiskey, beer, etc.
2. Etymology: from Latin quom, "when".
Pertaining to having done something formerly.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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Links to all of the groups of English words in action, Groups A to Z.

You may see the bibliographic list of sources of information for these words in action.