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Brevity has become a way of life, even in speech. How many of us know (or remember) that "stereo" comes from "stereophonic," "sport" from "disport," and "canter" from "Canterbury gallop"? Test your skills with these clipped words: What was the original, longer name?

1. bus

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2. cab

3. cent

4. chemist

5. curio

6. fan

7. gab

8. lunch

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9. mart

10. memo

11. miss

12. pants

13. pop (as in

'pop music')

14. prom

15. varsity

16. wig

17. zoo


(1) omnibus - a public vehicle used for carrying many people; (2) cabriolet - a closed carriage for hire; (3) centum - Latin for "of one hundred"; a cent is 1/100th of $1; (4) alchemist - one who studies a chemical science (5) curiosity - something novel, rare, or bizarre; (6) fanatic; (7) gabble - to chatter; (8) luncheon; (9) market; (10) memorandum; (11) mistress; (12) pantaloons - named for a character in Italian theater comedies who wore tight trousers; (13) popular; (14) a "promenade" is a grand march at the opening of a formal dance; the dance became known as a "prom"; (15) "university" was shortened to "varsity" to mean the principal team representing the school or college in a sport; (16) periwig; (17) zoological garden