Opsimath: A person who begins to study or learn late in life. From Greek opse “late” + math “learn.”
Opsimath is a nifty and useful word that turned up in an online vocabulary test I took last week. Test Your Vocab is part of an American-Brazilian research project “to measure vocabulary sizes according to age and education, and particularly to compare native learning rates with foreign language classroom learning rates.” (The Brazilian project hasn’t launched yet.) The first part of the test determines general vocabulary level; the second part has “a larger but narrower selection of words to determine the vocabulary level with greater precision.” From the About page:
The site provides accurate results for virtually everyone, from very small children (with answers inputted by parents) to professional linguists. It can calculate vocabulary sizes from less than 100 words to more than 40,000 words. [Emphasis in the original.]
Opsimath is ranked the fourth-hardest word in the quiz. I recognized most of the other “hard words,” but not this one.
Since Test Your Vocab launched last December, more than 300,000 people have taken the quiz. Read the Test Your Vocab blog to learn more about the results so far.
Hat tip: Johnson, the Economist magazine’s language blog.