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Celebrate National Trivia Day with Oxford trivia

Today, Saturday the 4th of January, is National Trivia Day. We may employ a few competitive pub quiz champs in our offices, so we gathered together a few trivia questions from our resources to play a game. Why not bring these puzzlers to your next Trivia Night and let us know how it goes?

Oxford Trivia Questions


In which Spanish city did George Orwell arrive on Boxing Day 1936 in order to offer his services to the Spanish Republic in the Civil War?

Whose Alfoxden Journal was begun in January 1798?

Only one of King Henry VIII’s and Catherine of Aragon’s children survived into adulthood and took the English throne. Who were they?

What animal does the Buddha talk of in his story of the former king of Sāvatthī and his blind subjects?

Following which famous publication did psychology expand to include the functions as well as the structures of consciousness?

What part of the frog do the three witches throw in their cauldron in Shakespeare’s Macbeth?

In Shakespeare’s Othello what does Othello accuse Desdemona of giving to Cassio?

Whose birthday was being celebrated when the famous crack in the Liberty Bell first appeared?

What southern state is predicted to outgrow New York in terms of population in 2014?

What did the slang term ‘dudes’ mean in the 16th century?

Triviidae (Trivia family). Photo by David Eickhoff from Pearl City, Hawaii, USA. Creative Commons License via Wikimedia Commons
Triviidae (Trivia family). Photo by David Eickhoff from Pearl City, Hawaii, USA. Creative Commons License via Wikimedia Commons.
Oxford Trivia Questions and Answers


In which Spanish city did George Orwell arrive on Boxing Day 1936 in order to offer his services to the Spanish Republic in the Civil War?

ANSWER: Barcelona
From George Orwell: English Rebel by Robert Colls.

Whose Alfoxden Journal was begun in January 1798?

ANSWER: Dorothy Wordsworth
From William and Dorothy Wordsworth: All in Each Other by Lucy Newlyn.

Only one of King Henry VIII’s and Catherine of Aragon’s children survived into adulthood and took the English throne. Who were they?

ANSWER: Mary I
From The Children of Henry VIII by John Guy.

What animal does the Buddha talk of in his story of the former king of Sāvatthī and his blind subjects?

ANSWER: An elephant.
From Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction, “Chapter 1: Buddhism and elephants,” available on Very Short Introductions Online:

“A former king of the town of Sāvatthī, he related, ordered all his blind subjects to be assembled and divided into groups. Each group was then taken to an elephant and introduced to a different part of the animal—the head, trunk, legs, tail, and so forth. Afterwards, the king asked each group to describe the nature of the beast. Those who had made contact with the head described an elephant as a water pot; those familiar with the ears likened the animal to a winnowing basket; those who had touched a leg said an elephant was like a post, and those who had felt a tusk insisted an elephant was shaped like a peg. The groups then fell to arguing amongst themselves, each insisting its definition was correct and all the others were wrong.”

Following which famous publication did psychology expand to include the functions as well as the structures of consciousness?

ANSWER: The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin in 1859.
From Psychology: A Very Short Introduction, “Chapter 1: What is psychology? How do you study it?,” available on Very Short Introductions Online:

“…following the publication by Charles Darwin of The Origin of Species in 1859, the scope of psychology expanded to include the functions as well as the structures of consciousness. Mental structures and functions are still of central interest to psychologists today, but using introspection for studying them has obvious limitations…”

What part of the frog do the three witches throw in their cauldron in Shakespeare’s Macbeth?

ANSWER: The toe.
From The Oxford Shakespeare: The Tragedy of Macbeth, available from Oxford Scholarly Editions Online:

“Fillet of a fenny snake
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog;”

In Shakespeare’s Othello what does Othello accuse Desdemona of giving to Cassio?

ANSWER: A handkerchief.
From The Oxford Shakespeare: Othello, the Moor of Venice, available from Oxford Scholarly Editions Online:

“DESDEMONA: What’s the matter?
OTHELLO: That handkerchief which I so loved and gave thee,
Thou gav’st to Cassio.
DESDEMONA: No, by my life and soul—
Send for the man, and ask him.”

Whose birthday was being celebrated when the famous crack in the Liberty Bell first appeared?

ANSWER: George Washington’s — celebrated in February 1846
From American Civil Religion: What Americans Hold Sacred by Peter Gardella

What southern state is predicted to outgrow New York in terms of population in 2014?

ANSWER: Florida.
Listen to a clip with Social Explorer creator and sociology professor, Andrew Beveridge, from The Takeaway show for more.

What did the slang term ‘dudes’ mean in the 16th century?

ANSWER: Clothes.
Discover more fashion history with the Berg Fashion Library.

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