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Chris Lele

SAT Vocab Monday: Ends in “X”

‘X’ is a cool letter, but it’s even cooler when it comes at the end of the word (okay, I just sound really dorky saying that). There are quite few SAT words that fit this description. You might even recognize a few; but do you know what they mean?



Flies on a hot day, sticking to your head, gobbling up your sweat with their little licorice like tongues; someone in a Karaoke room signing off key, but in a way that is not consistently off key, while weird people from the 1980’s hold hands on a television screen behind them….yes, all of this is pretty vexing. That means it annoys and upsets you, even though it’s all pretty trivial (as long as the flies don’t go up your nose and plant larvae).


Here’s a cool two for one: a lummox is a clumsy, stupid person. It is really easy to flummox—or bewilder—a lummox. Hey lummox, “In what century did the war of 1812 take place”. At first they will be totally confused (that is, flummoxed). But then, a little light bulb will go on and they will say, “The 18th century”. The poor lummox will only be more flummoxed when you tell them that the years 1800-1899 comprise the 19th century (well, that fact still flummoxes me sometimes).


We usually hear this word embedded in the phrase, “the crux of the matter”. What this means is the most important or essential part of something. The crux of all of this SAT vocab stuff is not that you can spit out some prepackaged definition, but that you can determine how these words are used in context. As for that weird white and gold dress (or is it blue and black), the crux is that we can’t necessarily trust what we see.


Ortho- is an easy root to remember. What does an orthodontist do? He corrects your donts (Latin for teeth). Ortho- , therefore, means correct. Dox-, though, doesn’t relate to doctors, but to opinions. The orthodox way is the conventional way. It is orthodox for us to wear nice clothes when we to formal occasions. Of course, there is always that one unorthodox guy who insists on wearing shorts with his tux.


About Chris Lele

Chris Lele is the GRE and SAT Curriculum Manager (and vocabulary wizard) at Magoosh Online Test Prep. In his time at Magoosh, he has inspired countless students across the globe, turning what is otherwise a daunting experience into an opportunity for learning, growth, and fun. Some of his students have even gone on to get near perfect scores. Chris is also very popular on the internet. His GRE channel on YouTube has over 8 million views.

You can read Chris's awesome blog posts on the Magoosh GRE blog and High School blog!

You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

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