Saturday, July 27, 2013

Q is for "Q" Words - New Vocabulary

Although I'm not a fan of using lists for this challenge, I'm just not in a mood for deep thinking this morning. This should have been done yesterday, but my mood combined with Bubblews's downtime delayed things a bit.

Q is one of those letters that we sometimes wonder about - why does it even exist when we can phonetically replace it with K? I'm sure the etymology goes back to the original Latin or Germanic and those origins have been carried forward to today. Still, as simple as using "K" might seem to be, English is an already confusing enough language what with all the homonyms we have that are often mixed up. A few you might recognize are: two, to and too; their, there and they're; to name a few of the most obvious. I've even seen "are" written instead of "our", but that's not a true homonym - that's just allowing a regional pronunciation of "our" dominate. My daughter says "sell" instead of "sale" - I've seen people actually writing that same error, so I know she's not alone in that.

At any rate, I thought just introducing a few "Q" words with their meanings might allow this listing to be more educational than a simple list would be. Here is that list.

Quagmire - Yes, that IS the name of a character on Family Guy (giggity!), but the true meaning is 1) a bog where the ground is semi-solid but gives way to pressure; 2) a situation that's difficult to get out of.

Quintessential - the pure essence of a particular thing or the perfect embodiment of (My mother was the quintessential housewife.)

Quandary - similar to quagmire. A difficult situation that is hard to resolve.

Quesadilla - a cheese tortilla; a Mexican grilled cheese. Can also have marinated and grilled meats and veggies added. Served with salsa and sour cream.

Quinceanera - a Hispanic "coming out" party where a girl who is turning 15 is introduced to society, celebrated with a large fiesta, a church Mass, dancing and lots of food.

Quinoa - a grain or seed from a tall crop plant grown primarily in Peru, Chile and Bolivia. Can be used in place of rice. Word origin is Incan in the Quechuan language.

Queue - a line or an established order based on time of arrival. Pronounced simply "Q". 

Quadriplegic - a person who has lost the use of all four extremities (legs and arms). Usually the result of a severe spinal injury.

There are lots of other Q words, some even without the "u", but this should give you an idea of the variety that can be found.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Post first published on

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