Can You Correctly Replace the Word With a Synonym?


By: Jonnathan Chadwick

6 Min Quiz

Image: filadendron / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Almost every word in the English language has a synonym. Measurements like "mile" and "ounce" don't have synonyms. Science terms like "planet" and "photosynthesis" should stand alone. Words like "unique" and "parallel" are pretty specific, and ironically, the words "synonym" and "antonym" don't have any synonyms, but other than that, there's a synonym for everything.

A lot of synonyms are somewhat of a stretch, but if we had a bunch of words that meant the same exact thing, we wouldn't need them. The words "avoid" and "evade" technically mean slightly different things, but they're close enough they can be interchanged. Unless you're preparing legal documents, synonyms are a fun way to read and write. 

The more synonyms you know, the better reader and writer you are. If you simply read the same words over and over, you'd eventually stop reading. It'd get too boring, and your writing would be even worse. Every now and then, you need to include a "brouhaha," "cacophony," "fantoosh," "lackadaisical" or "vomitorium" into your vocabulary. They're all complex words with simple meanings, and anyone who has read anything knows what they mean.

How well do you know your synonyms? See if you can correctly replace the words in these questions with the proper synonym.

If your teacher asks you to write your moniker at the top of your test, what are they asking you to write?

A moniker is a name, nickname, title, tag or any word(s) used to identify one's self. The word's etymology is unknown but is said to have come into common usage in the mid-1800s. Some say it stems from the word "monk" because monks take on new identifications once they take their vows.


Brian got in trouble for zonking Mike in the noggin. What's another word for zonk?

Zonk is a fairly new verb that became popular in the 20th century and means to hit something or someone really hard. It can also describe the process of falling asleep or losing consciousness: "Mike zonked out after getting zonked."


Mike's noggin was sore after getting zonked. What's a noggin?

Noggin is a noun that originated in the 1600s and was used to define a small cup or mug. Within 200 years, the word transformed to identify a person's head, and that's how it's used today. Noggin can also define a small quantity of a drink, and the word "nog" defines a strong beer.


Everybody heard about the incident because Brian's a flibbertigibbet. What's another word for flibbertigibbet?

The word flibbertigibbet dates back centuries and is said to have originated as "flibbergib." Gossipers, blabbermouths, chatterboxes and busybodies are all flibbertigibbets, which means they're excessively talkative.


All the adults were discombobulated when they heard Brian zonked Mike in the noggin. What does discombobulated mean?

Of all the words in the English language, the words to describe confusion may be the best ones. Discombobulated, perplexed, bamboozled, flummoxed and befuddled can all be used to describe a state of confusion.


Olivia's azure car looked invisible against the backdrop of the sky. What color is azure?

Azure dates back to the 14th century and defines the color blue. It specifically defines the bright blue color of the sky, and the blue pigment comes from the lapis lazuli gemstone, which has been known for centuries for its rich blue color.


Harmony, melody and rhythm can turn cacophony into music. What is cacophony?

Cacophony is the harsh mixture of sounds you probably ignore every time you're in a populated area. City streets and high school lunchrooms are cacophonic places. Once cacophony is controlled with melody, harmony and rhythm, it becomes music.


The boss didn't think the team did a good job, she thought they did a splendiferous job. What does splendiferous mean?

Splendiferous originated in the mid 19th century as a way to describe something that is uber-magnificent. The word "splendor" means magnificent in appearance. The word "splendid" is more commonly used in place of splendiferous.


Jessica was flabbergasted when she watched her dog use the bathroom and flush the toilet. What happened to Jessica?

Flabbergast first appeared in print way back in the 18th century, and it's a verb that means to shock, surprise or astonish someone. If you see your dog use your bathroom like a human, you'll probably be flabbergasted.


The cute kitten had a nefarious look in its eyes when a mouse ran across the house. What's another word for nefarious?

Nefarious dates back to the 1600s and is used to describe anything that is of evil wickedness. The word stems from the Latin words "ne" (not) and "fas" (divine law). It's usually used in accordance with law and criminal activity.


The power of the sun is strong enough to create a cornucopia of life and energy. What's a cornucopia?

The Latin "cornu copiae" translates to "horn of plenty." The horn has been a symbol of abundance since the 16th century, and today the word "cornucopia" is a noun that defines the symbol or an abundance.


Kerfuffle, brouhaha, hullabaloo and pandemonium are all words for what?

The English language has a slew of words used to define commotion and disturbance, and kerfuffle, brouhaha and hullabaloo are some of the funner ones. Kerfuffle usually refers to physical commotion while brouhaha is usually reserved for abstract chaos.


Gary got in trouble at the company party for taking a gargantuan slice of cake. What kind of slice did Gary take?

Gargantuan comes from the 16th-century story "Gargantua" that later became part of the anthology, "The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel." Both Gargantua and his son Pantagruel are giants. Colossal, humongous, astronomical and walloping are other synonyms for gargantuan.


The heavyweight champ was magnanimous in victory even after his opponent viciously belittled him. What's another word for magnanimous?

Magnanimous is an adjective that describes anything generous or forgiving, and it originated in the late 16th century. The word stemmed from the Latin for "highminded." The Latin word "animus" can be found in many words and relates to the mind and soul.


The librarian's draconian rules scared everyone who entered the library. What's another word for draconian?

It's normal etiquette to be quiet and respectful inside a library, but if you're not allowed to cough, sneeze or make a sound when breathing, that library has draconian laws. They're excessively harsh.


The bad guy wore a black suit and a dragon's blood tie. What color is dragon's blood?

Dragon's blood is the red resin that comes from certain plants that are sometimes called "dragon plants." The resin is used to create a rich red color that has been used as a dye since ancient times. It's also been used for things like toothpaste and medicine.


Instead of taking algebra notes, Kyle spent the entire class doodling in his notebook. What was Kyle doing?

To doodle means to scribble aimlessly, and a doodle is an aimlessly scribbled drawing. The word dates back to the early 1600s but was initially used to define a fool. Today's meaning of the word dates back to the early 20th century.


The newlyweds were excited to buy a house, but they became disappointed when the real-estate agent tried to sell them a bunch of baloney instead. What's baloney?

Of all the words in the English language, the words used to describe nonsense are some of the best. Gibberish, poppycock, balderdash, malarkey, gobbledygook, phooey, hooey and codswallop are all synonyms for nonsense. The sausage product from Bologna, Italy, is called bologna, but baloney is an acceptable spelling in America and England.


Ava had an epiphany when she scrolled through her photos and saw the answer had been there all along. What's another word for epiphany?

An epiphany is the feeling when something you never realized is finally revealed. The word comes from the beginning of time, and the first-ever recorded epiphany was when the people realized Jesus was the son of God.


A decade is 10 years. A century is 100 years. A millennium is 1,000 years. How long is an eon?

For most people, an eon just means a very long period of time, but astronomers use the word to define a period of time equaling 1 billion years. It's such an absurd amount of time that it's rarely used in the study of history.


We later learned Brian zonked Mike in the noggin because Mike called Brian a nincompoop. What's a nincompoop?

Nincompoop is a noun that originated in the 1600s. The most common theory is the word stemmed from the Latin legal phrase, "non compos mentis," which means "mentally incapable." Other theories say it stemmed from Nicodemus, who foolishly questioned Christianity.


What's another word for a New Yorker?

Knickerbockers were the original Dutch settlers who landed in New York in the mid 19th century. The pants loose-fitting pants they wore eventually came to be known as knickers. The NBA's New York Knicks have officially been named the Knickerbockers since 1946.


The cabin's malachite roof was just bright enough to stand out among the trees. What color is malachite?

Malachite is a silky mineral with striking green colors. The stone has been used for several purposes but has been used for its green pigment since ancient times. Today's green pigments are usually extracted from different minerals.


Jeff was benched after making a lackadaisical effort to field the ground ball. What does lackadaisical mean?

Lackadaisical can be used to describe anything lazy, careless or lacking enthusiasm. It likely stems from the 15th-century word "lax," which meant loose, spacious and roomy. Today, the word "lax" is used to describe lenient (or loose) arrangements.


All that could be heard at test time was the "borborygmus" of a hungry student in the back of the class. What could be heard?

Borborygmus is the technical term for the specific rumbling, grumbling and gurgling sound you hear when fluid and gas moves through your intestines. Hunger and indigestion can cause borborygmus, and there is nothing you can do to stop or muffle it.


The high school seniors didn't think they could get in trouble for their shenanigans, but the principal thought otherwise. What are shenanigans?

Shenanigans are devious tricks and mischievous activities, usually at the expense of others. The goal of a good prank is that it's victimless, but pranks and shenanigans can be used interchangeably. The word became popular in the 1800s.


The professor's lecture on the intersection of religion and technology left the class nonplussed. What does nonplussed mean?

Nonplussed originated in the 1500s and simply translates to "not more." It means one has been so overwhelmed they can't take any more of anything. Being nonplussed is being confused to the point one cannot think or speak.


Anthony heard a bombinating echo before seeing a swarm of one million bees. What is another word for bombinating?

Bombinate is a literary verb that means buzz or hum. The word stems from the Latin "bombus," meaning "humming," and the word became popular in the early 20th century. The words "bombinare" and "bombinat" meant "buzz" in medieval times.


The house was adorned with fantoosh decor the guests were afraid to touch. What's another word for fantoosh?

New words enter the English lexicon every year, and in 2019, the Oxford English Dictionary listed the words fantysheeny and fantoosh. Both words are adjectives that describe anything that is fancy, ostentatious or pretentious.


Instead of explaining the answer directly, he used a bunch of highfalutin talk that left everyone nonplussed. What does highfalutin mean?

Highfalutin is an adjective that's used to describe pretentious or pompous talk, but it can be used to describe anything pompous. It simply comes from the words "high" and "flutin." The word "flute" can be used to describe a melodious speech that may be interpreted as pompous.


The "cattywampus" bookshelf caused the books to slip and fall all over the place. What's wrong with the bookshelf?

Cattywampus is also spelled catawampus, and the adjective describes anything askew, crooked or awry. The word originated last century and might have stemmed from the words "wampus," meaning swerve, and "catercorner," meaning situated diagonally.


It's never a good idea to wear sarcoline clothes to a formal event. What color is sarcoline?

Sarcoline is the word for the flesh-colored tone that usually resembles peach or tan, but can refer to any flesh color. It translates to "flesh-colored." The word "sarcotic" defines anything that promotes flesh growth, and a "sarcophile" is a carnivore that loves eating flesh.


Instead of partying with his friends in Miami, Bill decided to spend his vacation in solitude. Where is solitude?

Solitude is the abstract state of being alone or the physical state of being in an isolated location. The word "solo" also refers to being alone, and both words stem from the Latin word "solus." Someone who lives in solitude may be known as a hermit or recluse.


The auditorium's vomitorium was blocked by a crowd of people. What's a vomitorium?

A vomitorium is a receded exit most seen in large auditoriums and stadiums. A popular myth defines a vomitorium as a secret room where Ancient Romans used to vomit to make room for more food, but that has been disproved.


Tomorrow refers to the day after today. Yesterday refers to the day before today. How do you refer to the day before yesterday?

Tomorrow and yesterday are two of the most popular days in the world, but the day before yesterday and the day after tomorrow are rarely mentioned. The words "ereyesterday" and "nudiustertian" refer to the day before yesterday. The word "overmorrow" refers to the day after tomorrow. All the words are really old.


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