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QUIZ: Do You Know These Words and Phrases In Old English?

Edited By: Natalia Jones
Reading Shakespeare’s plays in their original version is easy-peasy, do you agree? If so, you might consider yourself an expert of Old English, though, technically speaking, this era in the development of the English language is formally called Early Modern or Shakespearean English. For those of you who want to test your knowledge of this older version of English, we welcome you to try this quite challenging quiz.
English country house
 
 
Translate the following question: “Wither is thy privy?”
Where is the private?
Where is the bathroom?
Weather is private.
painting of women baroque
 
 
A crumpet is which part of the human body?
The head
An eye
The buttocks
stained glass window
 
 
What does "Sirrah" mean?
A term used to address a male person younger than you
A term used to address a male person older than you
A type of meat
medieval illustration
 
 
How do you say no in Old English?
Aye
Naye
Negative
crown
 
 
How would one address the Queen in Shakespearean English?
Her Royalness
Her Majesty
Her Grace
handwritten text
 
 
Which sentence is written correctly in Early Modern English?
Let us go thither!
Will thy go?
Her Royalty said though are banned.
illustration knight
 
 
What does the word "steed" mean?
Horse
Noble
Knight
painting of a woman profile
 
 
When addressing nobility, which of these terms should you use?
Master
Lord
Duke
luxurious royal interior
 
 
What pronoun would you use instead of “your” to say “I adore your accent” in Shakespearean English?
Thy
Thee
Thine
Gothic-style lettering in a book
 
 
Who’s a husbandman?
A farmer
A husband
A groom
a cottage
 
 
How would you pronounce the word “house” in Shakespearean English?
as “ouse”
as “gouse”
as “hus”
 
 
“Thou canst come over” means…
You can come over.
You can’t come over.
It’s gibberish and doesn’t mean anything
a stack of old books
 
 
What animal is a grimalkin?
A cat
A lizard
A mouse
interior royal
 
 
Which one is the correct translation of the sentence “Here is my house”?
Hither is mine house.
Hither is my house.
Hither is thee house.
calligraphy
 
 
“I suffer thou to continue thine quiz” means ...
I allow you to continue your quiz.
I challenge you to continue this quiz.
I forbid you to continue your quiz.
castle
 
 
What did the phrase “out of doors” mean in Shakespearean English?
Abroad
Outside
Poor
forest
 
 
What did the word "without" mean in Shakespearean English?
The same thing it does now
Outside
On the road
 
 
Last question! Is the translation of the following sentence correct? If not, why? "Why are you going there?" is translated as "wherefore art thou going thither"?
Yes, it is correct
No, it’s not correct, it should be “Wherefore are thou going thither?”
No, it’s not correct, it should be “Why art thou going thither?”
Better Luck Next Time
try again
 
You probably just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, why not try again? And even if you decide not to, no biggie, the most important thing is that you know your contemporary English.
Great Job!
well done
 
We can definitely tell that you’ve read some Shakespeare in your lifetime, as your knowledge of Early Modern English is quite extensive. You got a lot of the answers right. Still, you could learn a thing or two more from the Bard, if you so please, that is.
Hear ye, hear ye, we have a winner!
hooray children
 
Are you a historical linguistics professor, by any chance? If not, our congratulations, you’re definitely on an equal level to a language expert and know a lot about both the grammatical structure, the pronunciation and the word meaning of Shakespearean English. We bow to your knowledge (and, maybe, envy you just a little bit)!
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