Names for fortune tellers – a quiz
There are plenty of names for fortune tellers throughout the history of English, some of which you could probably guess and some of which would require a supernatural gift. Our quiz will put you to the test, to see if your knowledge is almost psychic, or if your fortune’s run out…
But first – did you know that the Oxford English Dictionary currently dates fortune teller to the early 17th century? It relates to a sense of fortune that’s been around since at least the early 15th century – ‘that which is to befall a person in the future’. An earlier sense meant ‘chance, luck’ and was sometimes personified as a goddess. While fortune often suggests something positive in modern English – particularly when considering the sense ‘a large amount of money’, or compared with the word fortunate – it originally had neither negative nor positive connotations.
We’re going to offer up some words. Some are synonyms for fortune teller, some are other words from the OED, and others are words I’ve just cruelly made up to taunt you. Get out your crystal ball and see how you do.