It's not enough to just learn vocabulary. In order to really learn a language, you have to be able to think abstractly about word meanings. Practicing riddles can help! Here is the list we used in class. Some of the riddles are Anglo Saxon, some are medieval, all of them are interesting! Here's a tip: Number one is the hardest, so do that one last.

1. I am the beginning of sorrow, and the end of sickness. You cannot express happiness without me, yet I am in the midst of crosses. I am always in risk, yet never in danger. You may find me in the sun, but I am never out of darkness.

2. This is as light as a feather, yet no man can hold it for long. What is it?

3. What always runs but never walks, often murmurs, never talks, has a bed but never sleeps, has a mouth but never eats?

4. There was a green house. Inside the green house there was a white house. Inside the white house there was a red house. Inside the red house there were lots of babies. What is it?

5. The person who makes it, sells it. The person who buys it never uses it and the person who uses it doesn't know they are. What is it?

6. Ripped from my mother's womb,
Beaten and burned
I become a blood thirsty killer.
What am I?

7. What does man love more than life
Fear more than death or mortal strife
What the poor have, the rich require,
and what contented men desire,
What the miser spends and the spendthrift saves
And all men carry to their graves?

8. A box without hinges, lock or key, yet golden treasure lies within. What is it?

9. A strange thing hangs by a man's thigh
hidden by a garment. It has a hole
in its head. It is still and strong
and its firm bearing reaps a reward.
When the man hitches his clothing high
above his knee, he wants the head
of that hanging thing to poke the old hole
(of fitting length) it has often filled before.

10. The creature ate its words-- it seemed to me
strangely weird when I heard this wonder:
that it had devoured human speech.
A thief in the darkness gloriously mouthed
the source of knowledge-- but the thief was not
the least bit wiser for the words in his mouth.

11. A giant, now toppled, hollow and dead, still glides where it never would when alive

12. I am the black child of a white father;
A wingless bird, flying even to the clouds of heaven.
I give birth to tears of mourning in pupils that meet me,
and at once on my birth I am dissolved into air.

13. He who struggles against my strength,
he who dares grapple with me, discovers immediately
that he will hit the hard floor with his back
if he persists

14. I have an eye but cannot see. I am stronger and faster than any man alive but have no limbs. Who am I?

15. With a knife, cut open my head
Then weep beside me when I am dead.

16. Take one out and scratch my head
I am now black but once was red