The Tudor Society

Tudor Words Quiz

Try your hand at this quiz on medieval and Tudor words.

Tudor Words

Q1) A gong farmer was someone who...

dug out and removed human excrement from cesspits

worked in tin mines in Cornwall

farmed to very strict hours, marked by the sound of a gong

was very old – gong was old English for “growing old”

Q2) A botcher was someone who...

didn't complete their work

collected birds of prey for their master

washed clothes for the gentry

mended old clothes

Q3) If you were a clenchpoop you were...

suffering from constipation

a clown or a lout

someone who could keep a secret

suffering from stomach cramps

Q4) A good fellow was...

a lecturer at Oxford or Cambridge University

someone who assisted the priest in their weekly duties

a thief

a generally well-liked person

Q5) A jangler was a person who...

rang a bell at festivals to announce that the lord or lady had arrived

worked in the Tower of London as the torturer

helped farmers to scare away crows

spoke loudly or gossiped

Q6) If you had a poke you were...

holding a bag

making fun of someone

about to move the embers in a fireplace

afraid of small places

Q7) If you were described as sober, you ...

hadn't had any alcohol to drink

couldn't be trusted

were a serious person

often broke down in tears

Q8) What was a whelp?

a small shellfish eaten in coastal areas

the sound of children playing in the street

a strong leather belt worn around the waist

a dog or puppy

Q9) What did "sorely" mean?


that something was painful or sore

broken and couldn't be fixed

made in Sussex

Q10) If you were eating potage, what were you eating?

A dish made of pig fat and mashed potatoes

mushy peas

a sauce to accompany meat

a soup or stew

Q11) What was a poppet?

A button

A small doll

A small string fastening used to hold up stockings

A cheap piece of jewellery, like a trinket but larger

Q12) What was a jerkin?

A jacket worn over the top of your doublet

Someone who everyone disliked, now shortened to “jerk”

A wooden peg used in milling flour

A court dance which became popular in the reign of Elizabeth I

There are 14 comments Go To Comment

  1. S

    Ouch . . . the quiz was difficult but lots of fun!!!

  2. J

    Very educational – now I have a great alternative when I want to refer to someone as a clown.

    1. A - Post Author

      That’s funny! A whole new way to talk about people behind their backs.

  3. A

    Pfew, a nasty one! But, thanks to reading a lot, I recognized some words. Have to admit that there were some lucky guesses!

  4. D

    Keep ’em coming, I really look forward to them.

  5. D

    Really enjoy the quizzes. Look forward to them every week. Did better on this one than I thought I would 🙂

  6. S

    Love the word clenchpoop. Never liked clowns and that’s a good description for one.

  7. A

    That was awesome and put quite a smile on my face!

  8. S

    Really interesting quiz. Fascinating how words and meanings have changed over the centuries.

  9. D

    God’s teeth I was rusty on that one. 7-12 ended strong.

  10. J

    Well I managed 50%…better than most of my tests in high school! 🙂

  11. D

    Wow 10 out of 12. But thats really because I used to do Tudor recreations at Kentwell Hall in Suffolk. 🙂

  12. A - Post Author

    Well done Denis (and everyone else!), it wasn’t an easy quiz. Glad you’re all liking them as I’ve now started writing a few of them. I really enjoy adding in little “teasing” answers that feel right but are completely wrong! Anyone used to watch the TV programme “Call my Bluff”?

  13. L

    I love the term Gong Farmer. I found the word sometime ago, and as soon as I saw it I thought, I’ve just got to use it somewhere in my book. There are a lot of gems like this in history, and I think from time to time it’s good to throw gems like this into a historical debates/books, as it makes the reader want to look them up and perhaps understand more what the writer is trying to imply. A few of my postings of late have contained what was considered to be swear words or insults back in the 15/16 century. Some of them are actually very funny too. One of my favourites is: “You Dizzy eyed Puttock.” Elizabeth, I believe was fond of using the word God in her temper tantrums as in: God’s blood/teeth etc.
    Henry 8 the Lumpish boil brained flap dragon, wasn’t above coming out with a few swear words either.

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Tudor Words Quiz