word quiz

“Have you heard the latest goodies from the grapevine?” Jane teased with a twinkle in her eye.

Young Woman with Hat and Grapes by Pierre van Hanselaere, 1820, via Wikimedia Commons

Sally shrugged.

Yolanda yawned.

But Nosy Nellie just had to know. She sidled up to Jane with her ears practically pleading. She couldn’t wait to gather the gossip and nosh on the natter …


Knowing what you now know about natter-noshing Nosy Nellie, you might refer to her as which of the following?

  1. A zymurgist
  2. A shadcan
  3. A quidnunc

Sufficiently stumped?

Well, while Nosy Nellie may, indeed, study fermentation in the processes of brewing and distillation (zymurgist) or perform matchmaking in the old Hebrew style (shadcan), the most apropos label for the lady in this situation would be “quidnunc,” someone who is eager to know the latest news and gossip; a busybody.



that is to say,


the hills of ye-olde pastoral Palouse

were looking mighty lush and green …

Photo by Bala via Wikimedia Commons

Hear ye:

“Yestern” is an old English word that refers to yesterday.

“Yestreen,” on the other hand, is much more specific, meaning yesterday evening.


Or, should I say, yessireen?