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Conundrum is a word with a strange origin. We will examine the definition of conundrum, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

A conundrum is a difficult problem, a question that is not easily answered, a mystery. Conundrum is also used to mean an entertaining riddle  with a pun for an answer. The origin of the word conundrum seems to be at Oxford University in the 1590s, as a coined nonsense word. Among the learned at this time, conundrum was a pseudo-Latin word that was used to mean a silly, fussy person. Oxford students evidently invented many Latin-sounding words as a form of amusement during the late 1500s. The word conundrum evolved to mean a silly idea, and then a pun, and finally in the late 1700s it came to mean a difficult problem or a mystery. The plural form of conundrum is conundrums.


Ferber believes the key to solving Kep’s crab conundrum is closer cooperation between all stakeholders to enforce existing regulations to prevent further destruction to the ecosystem, especially considering that the ecosystem itself is the main driver behind the local economy. (The Khmer Times)

This week’s focus looks at the early childhood pay conundrum child care centers, preschools and parents in Randolph County deal with every day. (The Asheboro Courier-Tribune)

It took a combination of federal data, “Googling” and educated guessing to figure out how much locals are contributing to Santa’s cookie conundrum. (The Chinook Observer)

“At the same time, it is worth noting some of the journalistic conundrums that I faced when dealing with the Trump administration, many of them the result of the White House’s absence of official procedures and the lack of experience of its principals,” he wrote. (The Washington Examiner)