A Few Words from the Fur Trade (Quiz)
Home Article Index


Art. IV. A Few Words from the Fur Trade.

In which the editors extend an invitation to test your fur trade vocabulary.

This quiz will test your 1800's word power! Pick the best answer based on the definition of these fur trade words between the years 1790 to 1815. Answers are at the end  (No peeking!)


1. A tranche is

a) an ice chisel ; b) a large platter ;

c) a ditch ; d) all of the above


2. A hatchet is a kind of

a) ax ; b) tomahawk ;

c) bungled job


3. Moccasins are most commonly called

a) mukluks ; b) rackets ;

c) shoes ; d) none of the above


4. A red deer is a(n)

a) white-tailed deer ; b) mule deer ;

c) elk ; d) antelope


5. Elk means

a) moose ; b) elk ;

c) white-tailed deer ; d) mule deer


6. An orignal is a(n)

a)misspelling of original ; b) wapiti ;

c) red deer ; d) moose


7. A day spent marching is a day spent

a) travelling by canoe ;

b) travelling on horseback ;

c) travelling on foot ;

d) any of the above


8. A female buffalo is most commonly called

a) a cow ; b) a bison ;

c) a buffalo ; d) a berdash


9. To be crazy is to be

a) confused by drink ; b) in a towering rage ;

c) full of cracks and patches ; d) feverish


10. Calico is best described as

a) cotton cloth ;

b) a cotton cloth printed with small colored flowers ;

c) a small feline ;

d) an intense stomach pain


11. Lace means

a) a delicate tracery ;

b) a gold or silver decoration, esp. on military uniforms ;

c) an herbal remedy ;

d) all of the above


12. A foreman is

a) a supervisor ;

b) occupies the position of avant ;

c) a bowman ;

d) a & b above ;

e) b & c above


13. Poires are

a) pears ; b) saskatoons ;

c) serviceberries ; d) b & c above ;

e) a & c above


14. To be 'knocked up' is to be

a) awakened by a companion ; b) pregnant ;

c) exhausted ; d) beaten up


15. A train is

a) dog sleds on the trail ; b) part of a harness ;

c) anything that runs on rails ; d) a procession


16. A liard is

a) a poplar tree ; b) a Scottish lord ;

c) a kind of plaited rope ; d) a small copper coin.


17. A juggler is

a) someone who juggles ; b) a trickster or conjurer ;

c) part of a dog team's harness ; d) a person who drinks too much


18. Milk normally refers to

a) maple sap ; b) cow's milk ;

c) mother's milk ; d) rum


19. A beau-père is

a) one's father-in-law ; b) a priest ;

c) a canoe-building tool ; d) the chief trader at a post


20. A cod is

a) a fish ; b) a small pouch ;

c) male private parts ; d) none of the above


21. A cock is

a) a fish ; b) male private parts ;

c) part of a gun ; d) a cod


22. Equipment usually refers to

a) brazen sundries ; b) clothing, blankets, &c;

c) found ; d) all of the above


23. In the North West Company, 'found' is

a) knowing where you are ; b) fodder ;

c) food ; d) food & equipment


24. A berdash is

a) a hat maker ; b) a female buffalo ;

c) an Indian transvestite ; d) a carriage on runners


True or False?

25. A kettle has a spout.

26. A road is the route taken between two points.

27. Outard is a common misspelling for 'outward'.

28. Buffalo are sometimes referred to as cattle.

29. A canoe is a machine.



Answers below:




1.(a) 2.(a) 3.(c) 4.(c) 5.(b) 6.(d) 7.(d) 8.(a) 9.(c) 10.(a) 11.(b) 12.(e) 13.(d) 14.(c) 15.(a) 16.(a) 17.(b) 18.(d) 19.(a) 20.(c)  21.(c) 22.(b) 23.(d) 24.(c)  25-F  26-T  27-F  28-T  29-T



0-7 correct Pork-eater. Spend a few more summers on the Great Lakes before going further west.
8-14  correct. Homme du Nord. You're obviously learning the language. Put another feather in your cap.
15-21  correct. Clerk. Keep on reading & writing and you'll be a partner one day.
22-28  correct. Wintering Partner. Congratulations! You've earned a share in the North West Company. Time to join the Beaver Club!


Copyright 1994-2002 Northwest Journal ISSN 1206-4203.  May I copy this article for my class?

Article Index