“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” — Henry Ford

You’re never too old to learn new words. And if Ford is right, you’ll be much younger when you finish this quiz. Here’s a list of out-of-the-ordinary terms that popped up during research for other Chesapeake Challenges over the years but never made it into a column. Match them with their definitions. Answers are below.


1. This is what osprey and other hawk nestlings are called. It is derived an old French word meaning nest.

2. This is the term for when a plant or animal intentionally sheds a part of itself. Trees shed leaves. Plants shed seeds. Some lizards shed tails to escape capture. Some starfish shed an arm to avoid overheating when their environment is too warm.

3. This is the first larval stage of the blue crab. It is free-swimming with a spiny shell and early-stage legs.

4. This is the yellow pigment in leaves. It is usually concealed by chlorophyll, which is green. When trees stop making chlorophyll in the autumn, the yellow is visible.

5. This is the term to describe animals that are active at dawn and dusk.

6. This sugar-related pigment makes plants red, purple, blue or black. If there is the right combination of sunny days and cool nights in autumn, some trees produce this pigment, which turns leaves fiery red.

7. This is a term for when one animal steals food that has been killed, gathered or stashed by another. The bald eagle is known for doing this, and it was one of the reasons that Ben Franklin opposed naming it our national bird.

8. This word refers to the killing of a young animal (usually a bird) by its fellow nestlings. It frequently occurs when food resources are scarce and ensures that the fittest of the youngsters survives.

9. This is when a plant holds onto dead parts that are usually shed. This is often seen in oak and beech trees when a few branches hold onto their dead leaves until spring.

10. This word is related to a bone found in the mouths of most vertebrates. It also describes rows of pointed, paired teeth growing out of the roof of a frog’s mouth that hold onto prey while the frog swallows it whole.



1. Eyases   2. Abscission   3. Zoeae   4. Xanthophyll   5. Crepuscular   6. Anthocyanin   7. Kleptoparisite   8. Siblicide   9. Marcescence   10. Vomerine