Quiz: Know your Cowries

Betty Hunter

So... you have been collecting cowries and cones for 35 years and know everything about them and their names. Retired Latin teacher Betty Hunter has prepared some 25 question quizzes so that you may put your acquired knowledge to the test. When you're ready, see the answers. Those answering all 25 correctly may go to the head of Ms. Hunter's class, but should begin studying immediately to prepare for her next installment in this series entitled, "Know Your Cones." Note: Answers may include validly proposed names which have been relegated to synonymy, sub-specific names, and forms.

  1. What two cowries need a set of dentures apiece?
  2. What cowrie seems amiable and very sociable?
  3. What cowrie is most in need of a flea bath?
  4. What cowrie might be found in Ft. Knox?
  5. What cowrie describes a heavenly choir?
  6. What cowrie seems perplexed and indecisive?
  7. What cowrie gives its name to one of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales?
  8. Eight cowries might inhabit a zoo. Name five of them.
  9. What cowrie might be described as secretive?
  10. What cowrie shares the name of a camera, suggesting that the camera/cowrie can see with a hundred eyes?
  11. What melancholy cowrie might need psychiatric help?
  12. What cowrie might easily avoid capture or detection?
  13. What cowrie suggests the two times a year when day and night are of equal length?
  14. What cowrie names a benefactress of Columbus?
  15. What cowrie might visit a soup kitchen or a restaurant very frequently?
  16. What cowrie takes a whole season for a vacation?
  17. What cowrie might serve as a steersman for a racing shell, directing the rowers?
  18. What cowrie names the air sacs in the lungs?
  19. Two of these cowries are often part of a wedding ceremony.
  20. What two cowries suggest the part of a page of a book outside the print?
  21. Which cowrie may be obtained in a bar or lounge?
  22. What cowrie gives its name to a dreaded bacteria often found in clusters like a bunch of grapes?
  23. What cowrie might be described as "a good egg"?
  24. What cowrie would most likely be found in bus stations, train stations, or on a safari?
  25. What cowrie suggests a common household pet?

First published in the Jacksonville Shell-O-Gram, edited by Bill Frank.

Betty Hunter, member of the Jacksonville Shell Club and Conchologists of America for many years, passed away Dec 3, 1996, mourned by her friends, former Latin students and fellow collectors everywhere. We'll miss her passion for shells and their names and for classical lore and language.