Quiz on those who changed their names

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on March 27, 2021

Golden voice: Elton John’s earlier name was Reginald Kenneth Dwight   -  REUTERS

It was the birthday of Reginald Kenneth Dwight, better known in the world of entertainment as Elton John, on March 25. This week’s quiz is all about people who changed their names

A rose by any other name

1 Her first name was originally Ritu, but the director launching her in a 1997 film previously had great luck with heroines whose names started with ‘M’ — Manisha Koirala and Madhuri Dixit. Ritu succumbed to his wishes and took a new screen name. By what name is she now known?

2 James Alfred Wight practised his profession for almost 50 years in the Yorkshire Dales. He is most remembered for a series of eight books about his experiences in those Dales. What surname did he adopt for his literary efforts?

3 Born in Missouri in 1928, Marguerite Annie Johnson took her first name from what her elder brother Bailey Jr would call her and her second name from a Greek electrician whom she was briefly married to in 1951. By what name do we remember her in the world of literature?

4 Archibald Leach had a name chosen for him by Paramount Studios who thought it lucky to have a ‘G’ and ‘C’ in his name, given the success of American actors Gary Cooper and Clark Gable. What name did they finally settle upon?

5 The daughter of a country music legend, Destiny Hope decided that she would choose a slightly more subdued name on her way to becoming a teen idol and then a top singer, songwriter and actress. What name did she choose?

6 Which family name was changed during the World War I, soon after a 1917 bombing raid on London by German Gotha heavy bombers?

7 Austrian born Paula took the surname Wolff and her half-brother Alois the name Hiller after World War II. For what reason did they change their family name?

8 Which prominent novelist published novels under the name Richard Bachman because his publishers thought publishing more than one novel with his original name in a single year would create a glut in the market?

9 What specifically connects the adopted names Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell, George Eliot, George Sand, Isak Dinesen and James Tiptree Jr?

10 Which Indian lyricist was born Iqbal Husain but took his adopted surname from the North Indian city in which he was born?


1 Mahima Chaudhry. She was launched by Subhash Ghai in the film Pardes.

2 James Herriot, remembered for his amusing stories about the pets and farm animals he treated.

3 Poet Maya Angelou. Her brother would call her ‘Maya’ — derived from ‘Mya Sister’.

4 Cary Grant.

5 Miley Cyrus. Her father is Billy Ray Cyrus.

6 The British royal family, originally members of the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha family, formally declared themselves as the House of Windsor because of the strong anti-German sentiment during the war.

7 It was originally Hitler. Paula was Hitler’s youngest sister and Alois, a half-brother.

8 Stephen King — fans and critics caught on soon enough.

9 All male names adopted by women while publishing their work. The Bronte sisters took Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell; George Eliot was born Mary Ann Evans; Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin adopted George Sand; Karen Blixen was Isak Dinesen and Alice Sheldon adopted James Tiptree Jr.

10 Hazrat Jaipuri, who wrote his first song for Raj Kapoor’s Barsaat.

Joy Bhattacharjya   -  Business Line


Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster;

Twitter: @joybhattacharj

Published on March 27, 2021

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