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Words That Started Out as Names
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Directions: Many words in English began as names. Answer each of the items below, making your best guess whenever you are not sure of the answer. Then complete this exercise by using a dictionary to discover the interesting histories of these words. Look at the etymology (the word’s history) that comes at the end of the dictionary entry for the word. (Paperback dictionaries and ones built into word-processing programs may be too brief to include words’ etymologies.)

The month of March was named for
A)a long march that occurred in Egypt many centuries ago.
B)Mars, the Roman god of war.
C)Martin Luther King, Jr.
D)singer Ricky Martin.
The word jumbo comes from the name of
A)a large elephant exhibited by legendary circus owner P.T. Barnum.
B)the exceptionally large bowl used to serve kings and queens.
C)a type of Southern stew that is thickened with okra.
D)the first heavyweight champion of the world.
The word for guppy, a small, brightly-colored freshwater fish, comes from the name of
A)an imaginary animal in fairy tales that was part puppy and part goldfish.
B)a large area of a sea or ocean called a gulf.
C)the lake in which the fish were first discovered.
D)the man who supplied specimens of the fish to the British Museum.
The name of the cocktail known as a margarita comes from the name
A)Margarita Blanco, a famous Spanish singer.
B)for mosquito in Spanish, mojita.
C)the style of a pizza that has cheese, tomatoes, and fresh basil.
D)Margaret in Spanish.
The word maverick, meaning someone who doesn't go along with the group, comes from the name of
A)a 20th-century fictional TV cowboy named Maverick.
B)radio show characters Mavis and Eric.
C)a 19th-century American cattleman who left his calves unbranded.
D)a car produced by Ford Motor Company.

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