Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Happy Election Day, my fellow Americans!  I don’t know about you, but I have been suffering from campaign exhaustion and was just praying that it would all be over soon.  But now that the day is here, I feel proud to exercise my right to vote.  I know that there are a lot of problems in our political process, but when it comes down to it, I get to go fill in a ballot and have a voice (in my own small way) in the direction of my country and city, and that is pretty amazing.

As you may know, the English word democracy derives from the Greek words demos (“the people” or “the citizens”) and kratos (“power” or “might”). Greek gives us a lot of our words for politics and power.  But plenty of other languages give us words that also come into play during an election cycle.  Can you guess which of these languages give us the following words?

  1. election
    a. Arabic, b. German, c. Latin, d. Yiddish
  2. suffrage
    a. Arabic, b. German, c. Latin, d. Yiddish
  3. zenith (for those of you who follow campaign polling numbers closely…)
    a. Arabic, b. German, c. Latin, d. Yiddish
  4. kaput (see above!)
    a. Arabic, b. German, c. Latin, d. Yiddish
  5. schmuck (of which there are always quite a few running for office, right?)
    a. Arabic, b. German, c. Latin, d. Yiddish
  6. mea culpa
    a. Arabic, b. German, c. Latin, d. Yiddish
  7. chutzpah (ed. note: I love this word.)
    a. Arabic, b. German, c. Latin, d. Yiddish
  8. dollar (oh yes, this is a very important word for elections)
    a. Arabic, b. German, c. Latin, d. Yiddish
  9. coffee (what campaign staffers live on for months, I imagine)
    a. Arabic, b. German, c. Latin, d. Yiddish
  10. alcohol (what those staffers will probably switch to at the end of tonight…)
    a. Arabic, b. German, c. Latin, d. Yiddish

Extra credit: You might have heard all of the words above used in commentary delivered by political pundits.  From which language does the word pundit derive?

***
Answers: 1. c. Latin; 2. c. Latin, 3. a. Arabic, 4. b. German, 5. d. Yiddish, 6. c. Latin, 7. d. Yiddish, 8. b. German, 9. a. Arabic, 10. a. Arabic
Extra credit: Pundit comes directly from Sanskrit.

However you did on this quiz, I hope you follow the advice of these adorable fourth graders – if you are an American citizen, go vote!!