Quiz: What's in a name

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on November 10, 2017

This week therefore, our quiz is all about such misnomers.

This month is the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution. If that sounds strange, it’s because in those days the Russian monarchy was still using the Julian calendar, which lagged behind the Gregorian, and it was still October in Russia.

1 Either because of a bone close to it, or because of how we usually react to any contact near or on it, how do we more commonly know the ulnar nerve?

2 Originally called ‘Stern-Halma,’ and a slightly different-shaped version of the original ‘Halma,’ which game got a completely different name in the US thanks to a marketing ploy by the Pressman Company?

3 The hints are in the question. What is the more common name applied to echinoderms belonging to the class Asteridea?

4 A country in Europe is often referred to by the name of a province in its west, which is just a part of the whole country. Name the country, or the province, which is the home of Randstad, one of the largest urban conglomerates in the world.

5 The Panama hat is traditionally made from the plaited leaves of the toquilla palm and in 2012 was added to the Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists as a local community skill. Only, the Panama hat is not made in Panama. Where did it originate?

6 A ninth-century book by the Arab Al-Kindi, titled the Kitab fi Isti’mal al-’Adad al-Hindi was of huge interest to the West. Which misnomer did the popularity and influence of the book help propagate, which is a bit of a surprise given the literal translation of the title?

7 Given that this rodent originates in the Andes, it is strange that it bears the name of a country from a different continent altogether. One of the theories is that the country it was named after was often used to refer to any far-off country. Name the rodent.

8 Which misnomer would you associate with the number 9,460,528,400,000 or 5,878,499,810,000, depending on your scale of reference?

9 Which Indian delicacy is also called the ‘strange’ fish, is most often found around the west coast of India, and is a favourite both there and in the east of the country?

10 Which successful American sports team gets it name from the nickname of the State in which it originally played?


1. The funny bone, which is not a bone at all; humerus is the name for the bone of the upper arm close to it

2. Chinese checkers, which have absolutely nothing to do either with China or the game of checkers

3. Starfish, which are definitely not fish

4. Holland, The Netherlands. The Randstad is the urban sprawl that includes Rotterdam, The Hague and Amsterdam

5. Ecuador

6. The Indian number system being referred to as Arabic numerals. It’s surprising because the book title clearly translates as ‘On the use of Indian numerals’

7. The Guinea pig; the second part of the name is equally inaccurate

8. The light year, which is actually the distance that light would travel in a year. The first is the distance in kilometres, the second in miles

9. The Bombay duck, often consumed after it has been dried and tasted

10. The Los Angeles Lakers, originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, which is known as the ‘land of 10,000 lakes’

Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster and Project Director, FIFA U-17 World Cup; Follow Joy on Twitter @joybhattacharj

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Published on November 10, 2017
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