Words index  Vivian Cook

Vocabulary test: Guessing words in context

Can you guess what these words mean from the context in which they occur? (If you know a word already skip it!)  

1. Imported zebra mussels clog Northeastern waterways, the Korean hantavirus invades Baltimore, and Asian mudfish waddle down Florida's roads.

2. It was peels at 8-to-8 in the tenth head as the skip stepped up to the crampit to deliver his iron.

3. The project is to examine structural and functional changes in the organisation and stability of fibrillin microfibrils in skin.

4. There was no evidence of valve failure or tissue growth within the valve annulus.

5. The exact shape of her body was difficult to determine because of her roomy salwar kamiz.

6. Sages … Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre, and be the singing masters of my soul.

7. The more illiquidity that the financial system can sustain, the greater the level of investment.

8. The year started with the unexpected collapse of a wichert cottage in Harwell.

9. But his coup de maître came when he evoked the name of revered symbols to describe China’s “unshakeable” relationship with Japan.

10. Women working in manufacturing in the east Midlands told me of their heart-ache at “shift parenting” ...

11. Activists have campaigned for debt deals to be disaggregrated from new aid money.

12. Stepovers are often planted at the front of a border to form an attractive low edging.

13. The player blows through the reed to make sound come from the rackett. The tone is warm, rich, and versatile. 

14. The idea of SehnSucht continues to have power today, because what lies at its heart, … is so deeply woven into the fabric of the human condition.


1.   hantavirus: a type of singlestranded RNA virus

2.   crampit: a footboard for a curling player

3.   microfibrils: very small subdivision of a fibre

4.   annulus: a ring of fibre surrounding heart valves

5.   salwar kamiz: loose trousers and tunic

6.    gyre : circling turn

7.   illiquidity: not easily realisable

8.   wichert: chalk mud mixed with straw

9.   coup de maître: masterstroke

10. shift parenting: exchanging the baby in the factory carpark when they change shift

11. disaggregrated: separated into components

12. stepovers: low apple trees

13. racket: a musical instrument related to the oboe

14. SehnSucht: wistful longing