Wordsy Wednesday: Collateral Adjectives

Today is not Wednesday, but I meant to post this yesterday. I swear.

As a nerd of sorts, one of my hobbies is collecting lists of words. Some of my favorite words to collect are collateral adjectives, which are adjectives that mean “of or relating to” a noun but usually with a different root than the noun. For example, canine for dog, solar for the sun, and cardiac for the heart.

Just for fun and in case you wanted to give your brain a little more of a workout today, I’ve created a mini quiz for you to take. Just read through the collateral adjectives listed and see how many of the corresponding nouns you know.

I think it’s a fun idea. Don’t you?

Easy (these are commonly recognized and used.)

  1. feline
  2. lunar
  3. dental
  4. cerebral
  5. paternal
  6. acoustic
  7. equine

Medium (you probably know most of these if you are pretty well read or have studied Latin or something.)

  1. crepuscular
  2. ursine
  3. apian
  4. labial
  5. sacerdotal
  6. vespertine
  7. nuptial

Hard (you might know these if you’re a word nerd and have a knack for remembering fun words.)

  1. avuncular
  2. pluvial
  3. vexillary
  4. murine
  5. pavonine
  6. littoral
  7. lacrimal

(This picture is a clue for one of the above collateral adjectives.)

OK, now here are the answers:


  1. feline=cat
  2. lunar=moon
  3. dental=teeth
  4. cerebral=brain
  5. paternal=father
  6. acoustic=sound
  7. equine=horse


  1. crepuscular=twilight
  2. ursine=bear
  3. apian=bee
  4. labial=lips
  5. sacerdotal=priest
  6. vespertine=evening
  7. nuptial=marriage or wedding


  1. avuncular=uncle
  2. pluvial=rain
  3. vexillary=flag
  4. murine=mouse or rat
  5. pavonine=peacock
  6. littoral=shore
  7. lacrimal=tears

See, that was fun, wasn’t it? Let me know how you did!

Look forward to more Wordsy Wednesdays in the future!



4 Responses to “Wordsy Wednesday: Collateral Adjectives”

  1. Yukiko Says:

    Aww you made me feel really NOT well read. I got the easy ones, but I only got labial and nuptial on the medium (I remembered ursine after, though) and none on hard :(. Pluvial and lacrimal ring a bell… Have you done any of PW’s word nerds?

  2. Hatsuho Says:

    WOW, I am obviously not on board the Nerd Train! No wonder you rule at Scrabble.

  3. josh Says:

    I guess you married way down on the intelligence list because I barely got the very difficult easy list. 😦

  4. mich Says:

    !!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!? (my brain just exploded)

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