Thursday, January 30, 2014

Test your higher-level English (2 vocabulary exercises)

mercurial - if a person changes his mood or temper very quickly, he/she is mercurial (The god Mercury traveled quickly between the other gods and people.)

louche - decadent, lacking in morals, corrupt, not an ethical person (pronounced loosh)

glutinous - glue-like or sticky

to ingratiate yourself with someone - to try hard to make someone like you

to be hobbled - to be slowed down (in the old west cowboys would deliberately tie the front legs of their horses together at night to make sure they would not run away - this was 'hobbling' their horses)

Answers are below the exercise:

I had heard that my current boss was a no-nonsense type of person who could be difficult to work with.  So I went out of my way to _____________________ myself with him.  I often asked his advice, complimented him and even bought him lunch sometimes.

I asked Bob how his research was going, and he told me it wasn't going well.  His team has been __________________ by the fact that the government has cut their funding in half.

I'm a rotten cook (a bad cook).  I can't even cook rice.  When I cook rice it looks, feels and tastes like some _________________ mess.

Chicago is known as one of the most politically corrupt (dishonest) cities in America. Political corruption has existed for so long that most of the politicians become ___________________ after just a short time. If you don't go along with the system there, you don't get anywhere in your political career.

Jack is an amazing guy with a good heart, but he has a significant shortcoming in his personality.  He is quite _________________ and it's hard to predict what his mood will be from one moment to the next.

Answers are below:



to indemnify, to be indemnified - two meanings: 1) to insure someone for some type of possible loss (if you buy insurance on your car, you are indemnified against damages - if your car gets damaged, you'll receive a payment from the insurance company); 2) to pay someone for some type of damage or harm which has occurred

indolent - being lazy, not feeling like working

sedentary - being seated; a sedentary lifestyle is an inactive lifestyle - a sedentary job is a job in which you sit a lot

endemic to - common to

conspicuously - obviously, noticeably

graft - illegally obtaining money

keening - this is an obscure word which means vocally expressing grief or mourning after a person's death, especially at a funeral (I found the word in the book: Empire of the Summer Moon)

resilient - able to bounce back (usually after something negative happens)

Answers are underneath the exercise:

Designer bags have become a huge industry, as women pay high prices for these luxury items and ___________________ carry them around to show others that they have money and can live the high life.

It was the summer of Bob's junior year and his parents had not pressured him into finding a job.  He felt he had the right, this one summer, to be _______________ and relax and casually do some reading and lounging around.

According to the contract, we are __________________ against any losses we may suffer due to the negligence of our partner.

Lately a report noted that those who work at ________________ jobs seem to live shorter lives than those who work at jobs that do not require them to sit for long hours at a time.  If a person has to sit for long periods, he/she should find ways to get up and move around often.

One form of political corruption involves _______________. This is when the politician is able to illegally make money through actions he/she preforms as a public servant.

The disease of malaria is _______________ to about 100 countries around the world which have not been able to control the spread of a certain type of mosquito.

The loss of her husband at an early age was devastating for Mary.  At the funeral she was literally ________________ over the coffin of her husband with tears running down her face.

Bob proved himself to be extraordinarily ___________________. Even though he was unfairly fired from a job, he soon had another job at a better company in a better position.

Answers are below:



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