Back to Humpty Dumpty Elsewhere Solution

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

It's time for Professor Dumpty's vocabulary exam, and you may need to do some last-minute studying. Review the Professor's list of vocabulary words and definitions below; they may differ from the meanings you are familiar with, but you're being tested on Professor Dumpty's definitions, not yours.

When you're ready, call HQ to make an exam appointment for one member of your team. You will be given a series of definitions, and you will be asked to respond with the corresponding vocabulary words, without the use of any notes or references. If you give too many incorrect answers, you will need to study harder, make another appointment, and try again.

BIVOUAC: A very small sap-sucking insect, known as a greenfly in the United Kingdom

BLUNDERBUSS: A breakfast or snack food made from rolled oats and honey, often sold in bar form

BOMBAST: The psychological fear of being enclosed in small spaces with no means of escape

BUNGALOW: The European peninsula that contains the nations of Spain and Portugal

CAVIAR: The act of ceasing resentment and pardoning the offenses of another, as immortalized in the chorus of a Don Henley song

CODSWALLOP: The branch of medicine dealing with the anatomy and physiology of the human eye

CONNIPTION: A Native American handicraft consisting of a net or web woven onto a willow hoop, intended to prevent nightmares

CRAMPON: An amphibious fish able to maneuver on land and breathe through its skin when wet

DEFENESTRATION: The assignment of degrees of urgency to medical conditions, used to decide the order of treatment of a large group of patients

ECTOPLASM: A fastening mechanism, often seen on children's shoes, in which a sheet of tiny hooks attaches to a sheet of tiny loops

FLOTSAM: The highest mountain on the planet, named after a former Surveyor General of India

GAZPACHO: A country approximately the size of Maryland, bordering Uganda and Burundi

GRENADE: A thick-skinned herbivorous ungulate with a distinctive horn that may be sold illegally

GUILLOTINE: A mythical beast with the head of a rooster and the body of a two-legged dragon, possessing a gaze that turns beings to stone

HALITOSIS: A percussion instrument consisting of a circular frame and small metal jingles that jingle when the instrument is struck

HULLABALOO: A classical source of prophecies in antiquity and mythology, such as the priestess at Delphi

IDOLATRY: A supercontinent theoretically formed about 300 million years ago, when all current continents were physically connected

JEROBOAM: A small plastic sheath at the end of a shoelace that prevents the lace from fraying

KERFUFFLE: A large piece of frozen water that breaks off a glacier and floats in the ocean, causing a hazard for ocean liners

LARKSPUR: A wooden cudgel with a large knob on top that is symbolically associated with Ireland

LIMONCELLO: A viral disease spread by dog bites and associated with animals foaming at the mouth

MANATEE: A tissue of soft spongy cells found in vacular plants, notably used to make helmets worn by explorers

MUTINY: A disorder causing someone to fall asleep suddenly and unexpectedly, as in the title of a Ben Folds Five song

NARWHAL: A parliamentary tactic in which a lawmaker speaks for an extended period of time in order to delay a vote

NIPPERKIN: An individual with new characteristics caused by a DNA sequence change, such as Colossus or Wolverine

ORGANELLE: A person who intentionally and illegally destroys property by setting it on fire

PENUMBRA: A mechanism, often associated with Elisha Otis, that conveys a car containing people between the floors of a building

PHILTRUM: A device, often consisting of four cups mounted on a rotating shaft, used to measure wind speed

SCOFFLAW: A cylindrical toy containing mirrors and colored glass that reveals pleasing patterns when one looks through it and rotates

SKIRT: A southeastern American city colloquially known as the Western Gate to the Sunshine State

SYZYGY: The 92nd element of the periodic table, known for its unstable isotopes and uses in nuclear technology

ULTIMATUM: A positively charged particle, present in the nucleus of every atom and contributing to atomic number

VENTRICLE: A huge tree native to the western United States, named after a Cherokee scholar

VISCOUNT: A fertile spot where water can be found in a desert, or any other refuge or place of safety

YEGG: A clouding of the lens inside the eye, leading to a decrease in vision

ZYGOTE: A system of government in which God is considered the head of state, usually represented by a ruling class of priests