qi: Pronounced “chee,” the life force and life energy of Chinese philosophy. Chinese “qi”=breath, air, life energy.
quadragenarian: Person between 40 and 49 years of age. Latin “quadraginta”=forty + “-arius”=pertaining to.
quadrulapse: Person guilty of the sin of fornication. Literally “fourth fall” into sin. Latin “quadru”=four + “lapsus”=slip, fall.
quaeritate: To ask; to inquire or search into. Latin “quaeritāre”=to search for or seek < “quaerere”=to ask, inquire.
quaff: To drink deeply. Uncertain origin – perhaps Middle Low German “quassen”=drink copiously, with original spelling “ss” misread as “ff”
quail: Small fat bird with a short tail, hunted for food or sport. Old French “quaille” < Latin “coacula”=imitative of the sound it makes.
quain: To bemoan, bewail, or lament. Middle English “quane” < Old English “cwanian”=to moan, lament.
quaint: Strange in an interesting or pleasing way. Old French “cointe”=clever < Latin “cognoscere”=to know.
qualm: Pang of guilt; pricking of conscience. Probably Old English “cwealm”=torment, pain, or injury.
quandary: A difficult situation; a practical dilemma. Origin uncertain ?Latin “quando”=when
quaquaversal: Pointing, dipping, or happening in all directions. Latin “quaqua”=wherever + “versus”=towards + “-al”=adj-forming suffix.
quarantine: Period of isolation to ensure someone is free of an infectious disease. Italian “quarantina”=forty days set aside for penance.
quark: Elementary particle in sub-atomic physics. Coined 1939 by physicist Murray Gell-Mann from a nonsense word in “Finnegans Wake.”
quarrel: Square-headed bolt or arrow especially for a crossbow. From Old French “quarel” < Latin “quadrus”=square.
quarrel: To have an angry dispute; to argue. From Latin “querela” < “queri”=complain or lament+ “-ela”=noun-forming suffix.
quash: To bring to nothing, to crush, destroy. Old French “quasser”=to annul < Latin “quassare”=to shake, batter, break < “cassus”=null,void
quat: A pustule, boil, or pimple. Probably Low German “quaddel”=swelling, pustule. Related to Old English “cwydele”=swelling, boil.
queem: To satisfy someone’s cravings; to please. Old English “gecwéme” same Germanic root as Old Swedish “qvama” and Old Danish “kvemme.”
queen: Wife of consort of a king; female royal ruler. Old English “cwen”=wife.
quell: Suppress or crush completely. Old English “acwellan”=to kill or destroy. Cognate with Germanic “quellen”=to torture.
quench: To satisfy a thirst by drinking. Old English “acwincan”=to put out, extinguish.
quercine: Resembling an oak tree or made of oak. Latin “quercinus”=made of oak < “quercus”=oak + “-inus”=adjective suffix for plants.
querimonious: Prone, or given, to complaining; querulous. Middle French “querimonie” < Latin “queri”=to complain + “monia”=noun suffix.
quest: A long or arduous search for something. Old French “quester”=to search < Latin “quaerere”=to seek, inquire.
quetzal: Currency of Guatemala. Nahuatl “quetzalli”=tail feather of the national bird “quetzaltototl.”
quibble: Use ambiguous or irrelevant language or arguments to evade a point. A trivial objection. From Latin “quibus”=who or what.
quick: Moving or doing something fast. Old English “cwic”=alive, alert, animated. Same Indo-European root as Greek “vios”=life.
quidder: An animal that lets half-chewed food drop from its mouth. Variant of “cud” < Old English “cwudu”=food a ruminant brings up to chew
quiet: Making little or no noise. Anglo-Norman “quiet”=tranquil < Latin “quietus”=state of rest or repose; free from storms.
quill: Hollow shaft of a feather, once used for writing. Middle English “quil” < Low German “quiele”=shaft of a feather.
quillet: A verbal nicety, a subtle distinction; a frivolous or evasive argument. Uncertain origin, perhaps Latin “quid”=what.
quincunx: Pattern of five objects where four form a square and the fifth is in the middle. From Latin “quinque”=five + “uncia”=twelfth.
quinquiplicate: To multiply by five. Latin “quinquiplex”=consisting of five parts < “quinque”=five + “plex”=to fold.
quip: A witty remark, a humorous aside. Uncertain origin, perhaps Latin “quippe”=indeed or forsooth (meant sarcastically).
quisquilian: Worthless or trivial. Latin “quisquiliae”=waste matter, refuse.
quit: To leave somewhere or stop doing something. Old French “quiter”=to release, exonerate < Latin “quiescere”=to be still.
quite: To a significant, but not extreme, degree. Anglo-Norman “quite”=free of obligation.
quiver: Case for holding or carrying arrows; 14th century slang for female genitals. From Old French “quivre”=case.
quiz: Set of questions provided as an entertainment or test. Obscure origin, possibly shortened “inquisitive” < Latin “inquirere”=to ask.
quotidian: Ordinary and commonplace. Anglo-Norman “cotidian”=daily < Latin “quotidianus”=every day < “quot”=how many + “dies”=days.
Quran: Holy book of Islam, variantion of Koran. From Arabic “qur’an”=recitation < “qara’a”=to read.