Friday Wednesday Quiz-ology

Yes folks, it’s time for another fun quiz from my puzzle-a-day desk calendar!
I was going to save this for Friday, but I just submitted a grant after much stress and panic and lost sleep,* so I could do with a little light relief, even as I get stuck in to the next big project.

This time the actual puzzle on the calendar was to match the -ology to the subject under study. I got all 21 right (using a process of elimination in a few cases), so the quiz is clearly too easy in this original form. Because all my readers are also highly intelligent people (with excellent taste), I’m therefore going to just ask you to define every -ology, without giving you the matching list of subjects to choose from. (It should still be easy, as some of my readers ARE some of these kinds of -ologist).

As before, answer in the comments in any order you like – but please submit only one answer per person per hour, to give as many people as possible a chance to play!  


I’ll update the post with the answers and bragging rights as and when I get time, and I’ll add clues if there are any unanswered questions after a day or two.

  1. Agrology- Soil, as it relates to the growing of crops (Chall) – partial credit for Thomas Joseph, Antipodean, & Nat Blair
  2. Campanology – Bells (Stephen Curry)
  3. Cetology – Whales (Nat Blair)
  4. Cytology – Cells (ScientistMother)
  5. Dactylology – Sign language (Pika) – partial credit for Nico, Antipodean,
  6. Dendrology – Trees (Chall)
  7. Etiology – Causes / origins (Biochem Belle)
  8. Geomorphology – Tectonics / landforms (Scott) – partial credit (kinda) for Ruchi
  9. Lithology – Rocks / stones (Nat Blair)
  10. Meteorology – Weather (Biochem Belle)
  11. Metrology – Measurement (Schlupp)
  12. Mycology – Fungi (Ricardipus)
  13. Myology – Muscles (Nico (first to answer correctly) and Thomas Joseph (second, presumably independently!))
  14. Oology – Eggs (Nat Blair)
  15. Pomology – Fruit (Chall) – partial credit for Knutty Knitter
  16. Rhinology – Noses (Nat Blair)
  17. Selenology – Moon (Alyssa)
  18. Semiology – Signs (Lisbeth (first to answer correctly) and Pika (second, presumably independently!))
  19. Speleology – Caves (Chall) – partial credit for Ruchi
  20. Vexillology
  21. Vulcanology – Volcanoes (Erika Cule)

The person with the most correct answers at the end of the quiz will be declared Ologyologist in Chief.

*the Adobe Acrobat issues I blogged about in my last post turned out to be the least of my problems yesterday. The networked drive, which the IT guys tell every new hire to save all their files to because it gets backed up every hour and has all kinds of redundancies built in and has never, ever, failed even once in the 6.5 (non-contiguous) years I’ve worked here, went down with all the grant files on it at about 3pm yesterday. Oh, and the head of IT is on vacation. It came back up at 5:30, and I only lost about 25 minutes worth of edits made since the last back-up, but there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Oh, and the actual proposal had to be pasted into a text box on the online submission form, FFS, and wouldn’t recognise the line breaks from the Word document until I double spaced them all and then deleted the extra spaces. I worked 12 hour days on Monday and Tuesday, and had to come in super early today to walk the Dean through the sign-off and submission procedure. But it is DONE!

After my experiences in my last job, though, I have to say that I much prefer to get stressed about things I actually care about, rather than product inserts and email campaigns. This is some seriously cool stuff, both scientifically and because it has the potential to significantly increase the speed and efficiency of the cancer drug development process. If I had to choose just one of the grants we’ve submitted this year to get funded I’d pick this one for sure, even though some of the other pending grants are for much more money. (Just don’t tell the department’s accountant I said that!)

Oh and yes, I do intend to drink some beers at Mr E Man’s birthday dinner tonight!

About Cath@VWXYNot?

"one of the sillier science bloggers [...] I thought I should give a warning to the more staid members of the community." - Bob O'Hara, December 2010
This entry was posted in career, competition, English language, grant wrangling, nature, science, silliness, technology. Bookmark the permalink.

91 Responses to Friday Wednesday Quiz-ology

  1. Erika Cule says:

    Vulcanology = the study of volcanos.

  2. Stephen Curry says:

    Campanology – The Bells! The Bells!

  3. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Yes and yes!Please come back in 59 minutes πŸ™‚

  4. Eva says:

    I'm too scared to answer any of them. I think I know several, but then they'll be wrong and I look stupid on the web. Can't have that happen!

  5. Nico says:

    Dactylology – the study of fingers

  6. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    You're among friends Eva, there will be only very minimal mocking if you get one wrong.

  7. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Nico, I'm afraid not – close, but not specific enough!

  8. Nat Blair says:

    Cetology = study of whales/ceteceans?

  9. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Yes indeedy!

  10. Nat Blair says:

    SOmebody needs to brush up on their readingcomprehensology. πŸ™‚

  11. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Kyrsten, I deleted your comment 'cos it broke the rules – please see big blue text at the top!If anyone subscribed to comments and saw Kyrsten's comment pop up in RSS/email, please ignore it…

  12. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    LOL @ Nat

  13. Nico says:

    Ah balls, at least I tried one I didn't know for sure!

  14. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Yes, and it was a nice try!It's not the study of balls either, btw.

  15. ruchi says:

    I feel that your other readers have an unfair advantage!!Agrology- Study of Agro-inducing peopleCampanology – Study of Campy Teen MoviesGeomorphology- Study of things that turn into other thingsMetrology- Study of terrible metro systemsMyology- Study of Ruchi's OlogyPomology- Study of People Who Think That Hideous Pom Drink is DeliciousRhinology- Study of Rhinos (duh)Semiology- Study of Semi trucksSpeleology- Study of SpelunkersVexillology- Study of Vexing PeopleVulcanology – Study of Vulcans

  16. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Ruchi FTW – that was brilliant! I hereby declare you LOLologist of the Month! (so far)

  17. ruchi says:

    (I know I didn't quite follow the rules. I'm sorry, I'm just obviously too brilliant, and can't hold it in.)

  18. biochem belle says:

    Doesn't etiology have something to do with the study of causes/mechanisms? Guessing on the basis of my non-technical use of the term πŸ™‚

  19. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Ruchi, my first thought when I saw your comment pop up with a big long list was "WHY CAN'T PEOPLE FOLLOW THE F&*%ING RULES??!!" But then I read it and decided to give you a pass :)BB, the official answer is "causes or origins" so you are correct!

  20. ScientistMother says:

    I'm going with cytology – study of cells

  21. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    And you are correct!The fact that the ones at the top of the list are going first makes me think that lots of people know more than one answer and that there will be a second wave soon…

  22. Ricardipus says:

    Mycology is fungi, of course.I got a couple more but I think by the time the hour rolls around they'll be guessed already… πŸ˜‰

  23. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Of course! You never know about the other answers, sometimes the ones I find the hardest get answered first while the ones I find easy take the longest.

  24. Thomas Joseph says:

    Agrology – the study of crops

  25. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Can you be more specific…?

  26. Nat Blair says:

    lithology – the study of stones and rocks

  27. biochem belle says:

    OK. I'm going for the easy one πŸ™‚ (now watch it be off)Meteorology-study of weather

  28. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Both correct, and we have a two-way tie for the lead

  29. Schlupp says:

    Metrology – study of how to measure stuff.

  30. Cath@VWXYNot? says:


  31. Nat Blair says:

    Rhinology – Study of the nose?

  32. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    YesWhy did you pick that one?(heheheh. I amuse myself).

  33. Nat Blair says:

    I have two little kids. There's no shortage of nose picking going on at home. πŸ™‚

  34. chall says:

    Dendrology – could it be the study of trees? I do remember something like that…. oh, it's something with the xylem and structure (lignin) in growing plants to exclude "flowers" and "grass"…. (note> the _proper_ term might be something else than bark. Maybe "consisting of woody structure"? although, that doesn't look to proper πŸ˜‰ )

  35. chall says:

    and I claim 19 too… although, I can't write anythin now since cath would be mad at me for breaking the rules then πŸ˜‰

  36. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Trees is right!Yeah, please don't break the rules πŸ™‚

  37. ScientistMother says:

    the rules aren't fair, some of us can't get here every hour, so people (NAT!!!!) steal our answers.

  38. Nat Blair says:

    @SM – MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAnd since it's been slightly over 1 hour, Oology – the study of eggs ?

  39. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Sorry SM. But a longer gap would mean that each quiz would take weeks! Just be glad that this quiz is running while Bob's travelling…Nat, right again!

  40. biochem belle says:

    Damn it! Nat got the two I had good guesses for while I was off doing real work. Stupid experiments, getting in the way of the truly important things in life-like Cath's quizzes.

  41. challl says:

    (I had to get the time stamp….) It's almost been an hour since my last comment and I am not going to be close to a computer for a couple of hours so….please pretty please?!19 = "Cave knowledge" – knowledge of caves and their stone/composition etc.It's a funnier word in Swedish for me, since 'Speleologi' could mean 'game knowledge' since 'spel' is games πŸ˜‰ Obviously how I remember that it is caves… right. (I can see why it doesn't seem to make sense but it does. Dungeons and dragons is a game, and dungeons are made of stone, right πŸ™‚ )

  42. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    OK – I let Bob have one at 41 minutes or something like that last time, and you were closer than that!I guess spel is from the same root as spiel in German?

  43. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    BB, I'll put the next one on a Friday again as more people have wastable time on Fridays than Wednesdays. I just needed to think about something other than grants today!

  44. scott says:

    Geomorphology is the study of the movement of rocks and tectonic plates and things like that.I also know semiology, but I have noted the exclamation mark in Cath's tweet directing me here about the one-answer-per-hour rule, and the emphatic meaning there-in. πŸ™‚

  45. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Yep – the official answer is "land forms", but every time someone gives an answer different to the official one I check it on Google, and in this case your definition actually seems more accurate than the official one on the back of the calendar page!Thank you for respecting my emphatic grammar πŸ™‚

  46. biochem belle says:

    It's ok, Cath. Mostly I was just being an ass πŸ˜›

  47. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    :)btw, does Ruchi get partial credit for geomorphology…?!

  48. Alyssa says:

    Oh, oh!! Selenology is the study of the Moon (specifically geology, but I think it can refer to anything Moon)!

  49. Scott K says:

    I did not spot Ruchi's post before I posted, sadly. I just noticed that some of the ones I knew had been bagged. Afraid my Greek isn't good enough to be able to work out the correct -ology for the study of grants…

  50. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Yep! Nice one. You've now officially redeemed yourself after you were UNABLE to get the NEBULA answer in my first ever quiz πŸ˜‰

  51. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Scott, I believe it's either rantology, painintheassology, or buggeroffandleavemealoneology

  52. Anonymous says:

    Agrology- the study of farming crops for food?antipodean

  53. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Still not quite specific enough, sorry – although both you and Thomas will get partial credit for this one!

  54. Alyssa says:

    Ha! I'm just glad there was one on this list that I knew!

  55. ruchi says:

    You know, I do feel that I deserve partial credit for geomorphology. πŸ™‚ And also, I picked "study of spelunkers" for Speleology because I thought it was funny, bit actually I was on the right track given that Speleology is the study of caves!!

  56. Anonymous says:

    Dactylology- The study of fingers and/or toes?-antipodean

  57. Anonymous says:

    Addendum if allowed…Agrology- Is it the business of farming crops?-antipodean

  58. knutty knitter says:

    Pomology – study of apples I think!viv in nz

  59. chall says:

    Oh, I can guess again πŸ˜‰ I wonder if I can half guess on something that have a guess but "not completely correct?" (I will and hope for partial points… πŸ˜‰ )I thought Pomology was the study of "fruits to cultivate for eating…. " and maybe even stone fruits or whatever they are called in English (apples might fall into that category… but rather apricots/peach/plums…. or so I thought)and agrology, would be "crops used in farming, especially grains?"…. but I think antipodean was right so I guess it's not a partial guess in that case (only a late guess… but I will say that I heard that explanation both in sweden and in Canada as I studied agronomy related stuff πŸ˜‰ stories, that'd be me…. pah.. )

  60. chall says:

    …and I don't know how both ) ended up on a row of their own…. strange…hope you enjoy the beer Cath!!!

  61. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    OK, my last comment for the day – we're about to head out for dinner! Please keep the guesses coming in the mean time – I'll assign credit tomorrow!For the guesses so far:Ruchi, I'll update with partial credit :)Antipodean, you are very close on both counts, but not there yet! Sorry!Chall and KK, the definitions on the calendar and on the internet are the study of fruit. So Chall gets that one with a partial credit for KK.We still don't have the right definition of agrology…

  62. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Well I guess I'll add the partial credits for agrology and dactylogy once we have the right definition – if I put them in now it might make people think they've been answered, and then they won't add their own guesses.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Rats. MUST RESIST GOOGLE.I have no further guesses for agrologyBut would dactylogy be the study of extra fingers/toes as in polydactyly?Hope the dinner was good.-antipodean

  64. Lisbeth says:

    So Scott hasn't claimed it yet?! Semiology is the study of semiosis – which is the relation btw. sign and meaning. Probably not an accurate definition but I won't go and dust off those Peirce and Saussure books now πŸ™‚

  65. Nico says:

    OK I'll give it another try, would myology be anything to do with the study of muscle? You know, myosin and all that…

  66. Nat Blair says:

    One wild guess for agrology: the study of grain farming?(Then I'm googling that, and some others – can't take the suspense, especially with this Pacific time nonsense some of you are living by).

  67. Thomas Joseph says:

    Myology – study of muscles

  68. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Antipodean, it was great, thanks – we went to our favourite Thai restaurant. Mmmmmmmm.Still incorrect on dactylology. The subject does involve fingers, but not in any of the ways mentioned so far.Lisbeth, signs is right! It's a Da Vinci Code kinda thing!Nico, you are right!Nat, sorry, still wrong :(Thomas, correct, but Nico got there first. I'm going to assume non-reading-of-comments rather than plagiarism πŸ™‚

  69. pika says:

    Semiology is about properties of symbols, I think – for example, in statistical multivariate visualisation and in cartography. There is a famous French cartographer Jacques Bertin who wrote a book Semiology of Graphics, which is very important in cartography.

  70. chall says:

    ok, if it's not farming crops and not grains… then Agrology has to do with the _earth (soil)_ that gives the grains and crops which we covet. (I'm really trying to deduct since I know I have friends who have that blasted subject in thier/our undergrad mishmash of classes, and if it isn't the actual crops, it has to be how they get yummy.)Although, at my uni I think that was called "soil science" but that was at the subset of agrology studies so maybe? I do remember that building at UBC though… hmm…agrology = study of the soil that gives us yummy crops to eat πŸ™‚

  71. chall says:

    and am I the only one thinking "dinosaurs" when it comes to 'dactylology'?? I can't stop visualising big clawy like dino hands πŸ˜‰

  72. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    YES!!!!!Agrology is the study of soil, as it relates to the growing of crops.YAY! Partial credit for almost everyone on this one :)Dacylology is nothing to do with pterodactyls πŸ™‚

  73. Thomas Joseph says:

    Thomas, correct, but Nico got there first. I'm going to assume non-reading-of-comments rather than plagiarism πŸ™‚ I guess my Ctrl-F for myo was insufficient. It's been one of those days anyways … bleh. Now where is that rock that's big enough for me to crawl under?

  74. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    No worries – I think this is the most comments I've ever got on a post, so there's a lot to read through!

  75. Anonymous says:

    Dactylology. HmmmOk. How about the growth or development of fingers?Chall- Damn your Swedish cunning, ma'am!Nat- I'll give you Pacific timeIn other news: We Are All Utter Nerds.-antipodean

  76. Nina says:

    bloody goodness Cath your puzzles are popular. Being in a different timezone has disadvantages here I see.I don't know the two that are left, but I do know that the study of soil is called pedology. But perhaps the study-of-soil-related-to-crop-growth-which-I-don't-care-about is indeed agrology. Still, if I earn credits for pointing out a mistake in your puzzle, that would make my day.

  77. Nina says:

    ooh I'm going to sound like a total prefectionist here but I can;t help myself πŸ˜‰ It is Friday night after a science laden week after all…Dendrology is the science of tree-RINGS. Trees as a whole fall under forestry or biology right …geomorphology is about landscape forms, so for instance forms caused by tectonics, but tectonics themselves belong to geology. If Google tells you differently, I do not agree. I could argue the whole night if you wishSorry if this is not according to the rules, but this way I have my fun too hahahahaha!

  78. pika says:

    Here's another guess for dactylology – how about communicating with fingers, e.g. sign language for deaf people or something like that?

  79. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    HURRAH!Pika has the right answer – dactylology is the study of sign language. Partial credit for everyone who mentioned fingers (sorry Chall, dinosaur claws don't count!)Antipodean, yes we are all nerd and that is a damn good thing :)Nina, you're a pedantologist! (I love it!) I did Google all -ologies where someone gave a different answer to the one on the calendar, but didn't look up dendrology because the answer given matched the official one. But I've just looked and the first page of hits all say "study of woody plants" – none of them mention tree rings specifically… one of the sources, among the Wikis and various dictionaries, is the botany department of the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Maybe you should call them and yell at them?:)

  80. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Oh, and Pika, I just spotted that you also got semiology, a couple of minutes after Lisbeth – sorry, I missed that earlier (sooooo many comments!)

  81. Ricardipus says:

    Nobody got "vexillology" yet (man, that's hard to type…)?Sounds like the study of some small structure found on insect antennae or something. I refuse to Google so that's the best guess I have at the moment.Figures Alyssa would get "Selenology" right… πŸ˜‰

  82. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Sorry, wrong. It's a bit bigger than that.It is a bit of a strange thing to study… limited subject matter, one would think.

  83. Nico says:

    vexillology = the study of vexing questions/quizzes?I've heard the name before but I'll be damned if I can remember what it is… something to do with the voice (vox)?

  84. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Heh – both of those would be too easy an answer :)A clue: the subject under study is more historical / political than scientific. More similar to semiology than to anything else on the list.

  85. Nina says:

    I guess I should not have spoken so degradingly about tectonics eh! Jezus Christ I got punished all right with real life tectonicsI googled dendrology too and apparently you are right and I am wrong. It was dendrochronology I was referring too. Sorry, pedantologist indeed.

  86. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    LOL, yeah, maybe you'd better keep a look out for ents and all other forms of moving trees for the next few days…

  87. chall says:

    so, since I lost and all… (no happy winner here) what is vexillology πŸ™‚ still refuse to google stuff apparently….

  88. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Not telling!At least, not yet… I'm hoping that the 20 questions stage of this last question will take me over the 100 comments mark for the first time EVAH on this blog :)But if no-one's commented by Friday morning, I'll give you the answer!

  89. Bob O'H says:

    Oooh, you left one for me.Buggered if I know what it is, though.

  90. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Yeah, and I think everyone else has given up. I shall have to find another way to get 100 comments…Vexillology is the study of flags, from the Latin vexillum, meaning flag. So now you know.

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