From the Wayback Machine: Fragments of the Friday Quiz

Way back in the dark backward of time, I ran a website called (with customary lack of inspiration) the Wombat File.

Short explanation for the name: I’ve always liked wombats.

Every Friday on the File, I had a Quiz — no Googling, no asking your crazy-smart 8th-grader. First correct answer in the comments won bragging rights. Even though it’s a Wednesday, it’s a good one — a two part cortex-number from 2005:

The official language of two countries which, taken together, have a population of seventy million people, is also spoken by some of the residents of a number of other countries. For the great majority of these people, though, it is a second language picked up in later life, and only learned as a mother tongue by a small proportion of its speakers, and in no nation is it spoken by all. Interestingly, the name of this language itself is, according to the linguist Nicholas Oster, derived from a word in yet another, far more widely-spoken language, which referred to the geography of the area in which the native speakers of the smaller language live.

What is this language, and what is the more widespread language from which its name derives?

(It might be easier to play this one on Facebook — where I’ll also post it.)

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