The word quiz is of unknown origin. There are several different senses of quiz, which may or may not be etymologically related.
The oldest sense is that of a strange or eccentric person. It’s pretty much archaic today, but survives in the adjective quizzical. This sense dates to 1782 when it appears in The Early Diary of Frances Burney for 24 June of that year:
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He’s a droll quiz, and I rather like him.
Copyright 1997-2013, by David Wilton