Quiz on nicknames

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on June 12, 2020 Published on June 12, 2020

“Iron Lady” Margaret Thatcher   -  REUTERS/SUZANNE PLUNKETT

Two Roman emperors were born on this day — Charles the Bald in AD 823 and Charles the Fat in AD 839. This quiz is all about the nicknames and honorifics of leaders and rulers.

What’s in a name

1 The daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, she was the queen during a war between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants. What was the name of this queen and the nickname given to her?

2 He came to the Russian throne in 1547 and was known for the reign of terror he unleashed in his country. His temper was legendary and he killed his son Ivan during one such outburst. Name the ruler and his epithet.

3 Harald Gormsson was a 10th-century king of Denmark and Norway who was, by all accounts, very capable. But his nickname is the reason we remember him in the 21st century. By what name was he known?

4 What title was first given to an 11-year-old Jai Singh by Emperor Aurangzeb, and was also used to refer to Madhavrao Narayan, the 11th Peshwa ruler?

5 What nickname connects the British Air Chief Marshal Arthur Harris, the Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic, Italian General Rodolfo Graziani and British Field Marshal Douglas Haig?

6 On the same note, which animal connects Karl Dönitz, Lala Lajpat Rai, King Richard I and Afghan guerrilla leader Ahmad Shah Massoud?

7 Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus was a Roman emperor who was better known by a nickname that literally meant “Little Boots”. What was the nickname of this ruler, more known for his bizarre lifestyle than his leadership qualities?

8 Louis XIV was one of the most successful French rulers and reigned for 72 years at a time when France was the preeminent power in Europe. By what nickname was he known?

9 Lorenzo de’ Medici was one of the most famous rulers of the Medici clan of Venice and probably one of the most capable. By what nickname was Lorenzo known?

10 Two Mughals had the title Sahib-e Qiran-i Sani, which literally meant ‘the second lord of auspicious conjunction’, indicating that they were born at a particularly auspicious time. One was Akbar Shah II. Who was the other, much better known ruler?


1 Mary I of England, known as Bloody Mary, from whom the cocktail gets its name.

2 Ivan IV Vasilyevich, known as Ivan the Terrible.

3 Bluetooth. The technology is named after him.

4Sawai, indicating they were a quarter better than all their fellow men. Jai Singh’s family continue to use the title.

5 They were all nicknamed ‘Butcher’, either because of the number of men they lost or their excessive cruelty.

6 They were all referred to as lions. Dönitz was nicknamed Der Löwe, Rai was the Lion of Punjab, Richard was known as ‘Lionheart’ and Massoud was the Lion of Panjshir.

7 Caligula, also the subject of an adult film in 1979, starring Peter O’Toole.

8Roi Soleil, the Sun King.

9 Lorenzo the Magnificent — il Magnifico in Italian

10 Prince Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Khurram, later known as Shah Jahan


Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster

Twitter: @joybhattacharj

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Published on June 12, 2020
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