Word Quiz!

Word quiz time!

I stumbled across an old favorite poem, “Rice Pudding,” by A.A. Milne (of Winnie the Pooh fame), and the following lines inspired me to craft this, er, cantankerous little quiz:

“What is the matter with Mary Jane?

She’s crying with all her might and main,

And she won’t eat her dinner—rice pudding again—

What is the matter with Mary Jane?”



So, with Milne’s Mary Jane in mind, match the terms below with their meanings, listed further below. But don’t click on “read more” until you’re ready for the answers.

I’ll give you one hint: all of the words are nouns that refer to people with certain, shall we say … unsavory dispositions.


1. blatherskite

2. snollygoster

3. makebate

4. mumpsimus

5. kibitzer

6. mullygrubber

7. fabulist


A. a grump

B. someone who incites quarrels

C. a person given to voluble, empty talk

D. a clever, unscrupulous person

E. a liar

F. a giver of uninvited or unwanted advice, or someone who jokes, chitchats, or makes wisecracks

G. someone who holds stubbornly to a viewpoint in spite of clear evidence that it’s wrong



1. C

2. D

3. B

4. G

5. F

6. A

7. E

P.S. This MaryJane actually loves rice pudding!


photo by Rudi Riet via Wikimedia Commons


Leave a comment 16 Comments

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Those were really hard words! I have never heard any of them. The only one I got correct was blatherskite. It was fun to try and figure them out,however, but I would rather eat rice pudding. Yummy!

  2. Nancy Coughlin says:

    What fun!!! Because I read so much (as often as I can get a book in my hands!) I do run across some unusual terms. You topped them all with this list. Thanks for helping to start off my week with a laugh and a smile!

  3. knew 3, 5 , 7 as familiar words, especially kibitzer, a Yiddish word, used alot in New York City. Yiddish , rather a slangy language is a mix of German and Hebrew. they always have the best words for just about anything. Schmuck is the probably the most well known of those. Mensch also.
    thanks for making us put our thinking caps on again, MaryJane. Oh, and I love rice pudding too, no one makes it or real baked custard anymore. I always love the petulant MaryJane in the drawing throwing off her shoe . When I was a child, I so wished I could show impatience that way. Got all the A.A. Milne books for my 6th birthday, ” Now We Are Six” being the operative word.

    • Karlyne says:

      Lisa, we made baked custard last week from Tasha Tudor’s Cookbook! Lovely and simple.

      • Wow, Karlyne, Tasha Tudor had a cookbook? Must look for it. I knew her a bit when I lived in Vermont. We all considered her a bit of a eccentric. How I wish I had spent more time there. I have since become a huge fan of hers, needless to say.
        My mother made baked custard in a pan filled with water that steamed in the heat of the oven around the little ramekins of custard. I think the secret is whole milk and organic sugar. Once when I was going through a particularly difficult time in my life ( I am a “stress non- eater” ) I basically lived on baked custard. Very wholesome and the ultimate comfort food indeed.

      • Thanks Karlyne, I just ordered my own copy from Half.com where I get most of my books. Im so excited.

      • The Tasha Tudor cookbook arrived yesterday karlyne and I am so thrilled and she sometimes used maple syrup too like I do . A friend who lives in VT and knew Tasha much better than I did, sent me the world’s greatest gift, a whole gallon of maple syrup! Im ready to go now.

        • Karlyne says:

          A whole gallon?!? I am so very envious! I’ve never been to Vermont, but every Christmas when I read my Tasha Tudor Christmas book (I presume you have that, too?), I wish I could!

          • OOOh my I do’nt have that book either , gotta get a copy ! ( most of my books come from book sales and Tasha Tudor is usually the first to be bought if anyone even parts with their copies ) yep,my friend, ML, ( who is a double for ” Grizzly Adams” ) who sent me the gallon, was truly magnanimous, it’s great to sweeten strong coffee esp expresso. And if you mix it in cognac brandy you can make your own ” Northern Comfort”. I adore maple syrup and made my own once, all that work for a pint.!!Once you have tried making it you appreciate the high prices I assure you. I adore Vermont but it is a hard place ot make a living esp if you have garden based business like my heirloom seeds.
            Ok off to half.com to order that book! thanks for the suggestion Karlyne

          • Karlyne says:

            Lisa, I’ve been super lucky in my friends; the friend who used to work at Border’s always kept me supplied in Tasha Tudor’s, among other authors. She’s an artist, so my house also reflects some of her work. And she’s in Ireland, and I do miss her dreadfully, but every time that I pick up a Tasha or see an original picture on my wall, I think of her!

  4. Karlyne says:

    I had never heard of a “mumpsimus”- what a great word! I’ll use it on the kids when they’re being unreasonable.

  5. CJ Armstrong says:

    What fun! I did get 1, 2 and 5 correct but it wasn’t because I’m really familiar with the terms.
    I like rice pudding if it’s made like my mom made it! 😀

  6. This is the oddest thing to be reading this tonight. My Mother in law use to make rice pudding & bread pudding. She always made a small dish for my daughter leaving the raisins out of hers. No one in our family had her recipe but I came across one in a cookbook & decided to make it Sunday. As I was putting the ingredients together I thought that the 1/4 cup of sugar didn’t sound like enough but I decided to stick with the recipe & as it turned out it was not sweet enough. I would love to have a recipe to try if someone can post theirs.

  7. Molly Welsh says:

    Well, I actually got them ALL correct! I already knew some, but used a bit of logic about parts of the words for the rest & a tiny bit of guessing, LOL.
    And I, too, love rice pudding, or as the mister says what’s not to like: rice, raisins, milk, eggs, sweetener?? How can you go wrong?

  8. Cindi Johnson says:

    What fun! I got a perfect score! For not getting a single one correct, that is. Wow, what an eyeopener. I think I will go soothe my damaged pride over a delicious bowl of rice pudding ~ made with farm fresh milk and eggs, of course.

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