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From Quizzism and Its Key. Quirks and Quibbles from Queer Quarters. A Mélange of Questions in Literature, Science, History, Biography, Mythology, Philology, Geography, etc. etc. With Their Answers, by Albert P. Southwick, A. M.; New England Publishing Company, Boston; 1886; pp. vii-xxii.




[Click on the Question or its page number and you will be magically flown straight to it.]

[You will see that the entries are not in perfect alphabetical order, in accordance with the written copy.]


Abélard and Héloise 146

Acestes 172

Achilles Puzzle 179

Acrostic, Napoleonic 34

Adoption of Bible as Constitution 5

Adoption of Stars and Stripes 92

A famous beauty stoned to death 174

A floating town 62

A fugitive king concealed in a tree 132

Age of Delaware and Rhode Island 113

Age of Niagara Falls 20

“A good poet, but a poor shoemaker” 135

Alexander the Great 22

American Daughters of Liberty 97

Amethyst, and its meaning 13

An army officer at the age of eleven 105

Animals noted for the golden tint of their skin 141

Animal that never perspires 141

Animal with a sixth sense 141

Animal called the Unicorn 142

An “atmosphere” 41

Aristotle, the founder of Botany 181

Asdrubal’s head 188

Assailant of Epaminondas 123

Assassin of William, Prince of Orange 99

Attack on Fort Bowyer 182

Attack upon Indian town of Mississinewa 133

Aurora and Tithonus 212

Author born on board a slave ship 133

Author of “Angels’ visits,” etc. 127

Author of “Early to bed,” etc. 177


Author of “For he that fights,” etc. 46

Author of “Our country, right or wrong” 77

Author of “Maryland, my Maryland” 41

Author of “Speech was given to conceal one’s thoughts” 91

Author of “The Three Rs” 93

Author of “What will Mrs. Grundy say?” 170

Author of “Whatever is worth doing at all,” etc. 175

Avernus 51


Baker’s dozen 51

Battle of Great Bridge 83

Battle of Hanging Rock 178

Battle of the Herrings 51

Battle of the Spurs 51

Bay of St. Mary 9

Becoming king by first seeing sun rise 159

Beginning of funeral orations 197

Beginning of slave trade 137

Beginning of the flood 107

Benedict Arnold’s assumed name 22

Bibliomancy 45

Bird without wings 143

Bird without a tail 143

Bird [error for Beast] supposed to be the “Cony” of Scripture 144

Bird used by Chinese for fishing 145

Bird with bristly gape 145

Birth of Adam 45

Birthplace of Homer 7

Black Friday 56

Black Hawk War 181

Black Monday 52

Black Saturday 52

Black Thursday 52

Blood’s Conspiracy 150

Bloodless victory to the Americans 191

Blue Beard 19

“Bort” 10

Boundary between United States and Canada 58

Brandy Nan 130

“Bravest of the Brave” 130

Brazilian slave gaining freedom 11


“Briareus of languages” 130

British force surrendering to a log 21

“Brown study” 26

Building bridge of boats across Hudson 102

Burning of Temple of Diana 83

“Burning spears” 35


Cæsar and the astrologer 27

Cats minus tails 76

California diamonds 73

Captain John Smith’s life saved 31

Capture of Pocahontas 31

Carat weight 10

Cause of “Sicilian Vespers” 89

Cause of pitcher sweating 74

Cause of slaughter of the Magi 81

Cause of Washington being called American Fabius 167

Cause of white streaks on plastered wall 73

Cento 33

Chronograms 26

City built on five small islands 62

City built on piles 4

City built on twenty-six islands 3

City founded by Pizarro 185

Cleopatra’s Needle 69

Climbing fishes 15

Connecting link between birds and reptiles 25

Coprolites 31

Corinth’s pedagogue 135

Corinthian Maid 191

Crocodile tears 137

Crowned king on the field of battle 205

Curse of Ernulphus 151

Curse of Scotland 124

Custom of Borough-English 186

“Cuttle-fish” bones 2

Cutty pipes 129

Cyprinodon 23


Day of the Dupes 210

Dead Sea 63


Death of Cleopatra 61

Death of noted conqueror on eve of marriage 150

Defeating five kings 199

Definition of Aceldama 147

Definition of letter “A” 50

Definition of the Epact 210

Derivation of cameo 95

Derivation of word “punch” 128

Despard’s Conspiracy 194

Desperate naval battle 134

Destruction of Herculaneum and Pompeii 37

Destruction of Parthenon 103

Detection of a British spy 19

Detecting the waters of the Amazon 20

“Devil’s Arrows” 38

“Devil’s Pulpit” 20

Did George Washington see a steamboat? 113

Difference between a Bison and a Buffalo 142

Discovery of the Icthyosaurus 73

Discovery of magnetic power of copper wire 116

Discovery of Pompeii 203

Do barking dogs bite? 51

Does the porcupine throw his quills? 144

Doubling of the letter “y”? 116

Drinking the burnt remains (ashes) of her brother 188

Drinking vessels formed of human skulls 107

Driving last spike of the U. P. Railroad 57

Dutch Tear 182


Ear of Dionysius 56

Eclipse of moon causes defeat 43

Eclipse of sun terminates a batle 104

Eden of America 108

Ell English 38

English king holds stirrup for the Pope 57

Entrance of hell 70

“Era of good feeling” 14

Escape of a Pope from prison 109

Escape of Ulysses 28

Establishment of republic of Andorra 148



Fable of the Phœnix 210

Falls of Kartern 41

Falls of Tequendama 31

Familiar story of Sysla and a king 57

Famous lifting experiment 128

Famous sword captured by John Brown 15

Fate of Osceola 66

Fate of Louis XVII. 96

Fate or Romulus 98

Father of Russian poetry 82

Fifteen decisive battles 93

Fifteen hundred people trampled to death 98

Finland’s capital 32

First American vessels to circumnavigate the globe 100

First American flag 39

First appearance of actresses 179

First to ascertain the ratio of the diameter to the circumference 160

First commencement at Harvard College 105

First commercial transaction 21

First circumnavigation of the globe 67

First conjecture of spheroidal form of the earth 118

First engagement of Revolution 111

First English child born in America 102

First feat of pedestrianism 86

First Indian to become a Christian 80

First knowledge of the fan 197

First known game of cards 201

First martyr to American liberty 4

First naval battle 44

First newspaper 191

First parricide 200

First play in America 101

First proposer of secession 24

First ship built in America 39

First slave-trader 106

First suicide 138

First telegraph message 8

First Thanksgiving 35

First theatre in America built 139

First use of expression “Almighty Dollar” 50


First use of phrase “Over the left” 152

First use of post-paid envelopes 153

First use of the Clepsydra 184

First use of umbrellas 49

Fish living high on lofty trees 15

Fish who stick their heads in the mud 72

Fish with four beards hanging from the mouth 144

Flying squirrels 145

Fool’s gold 10

For what was Barataria Bay noted? 180

Fox-fire 71

Frequent quotation from Samuel Butler 187

Frog the size of an ox 72


Gaining three victories in a single day 139

General with two graves 78

Gift of a diamond ring to a Quaker 117

Gift of the Nile 37

Gilderoy’s Kite 38

Gold coin named “angel” 151

Golden Verses 169

Golour M’Crain 185

Gordian Knot 23

Governor of Delaware captured 102

Grasshopper War 39

Gray’s misapplied quotation 33

Green Stars 71


Hanging Gardens of Babylon 170

Harmonia’s fatal presents 171

Have reptile’s ears? 144

Henry Hudson’s crew 101

Henry Hudson’s vessel 27

Herculean Knot 23

Hermit of Niagara Falls 96

Highest fortress in the world 63

High-priced bird 25

High price paid for a cat 160

Hindoo’s belief 25

Historic castles 117


History of the derivation of the dollar sign 74

History of the Fabii 195

History of the House of Plantagenet 202

History of the Orloff Diamond 13

Home of the Gold 78

Horse-shoe becoming an omen 77

How Bonaparte’s life was saved 106

How the Bonapartes derived the name of Napolean 91

How Captain Cook was killed 199

How do leafless plants respire 140

How did the character £ come in use 74

How far can flying fishes fly? 121

How a fortune was left to son of Henry Laurens 108

How General Rahl lost his life 40

How Glaucus obtained divine rank 69

How grasshoppers breathe 77

How the Liberty Tree was consecrated 100

How Lord Kingsale acquired his special privilege 172

How many Athenians fell at Marathon? 80

How often do birds moult their feathers? 142

How the shamrock came into use as a badge 137

How the buttercup derived its name 131

How the capitol of Rome derived its name 183

How the dahlia derived its name 193

How the Minié Rifle obtained its name 190

How the thistle became the insignia of Scotland 211

How the gift of prophecy was obtained 68

How Xerxes counted his army 42


Idleness punished by death 194

Inchcape Rock 173

Index Expurgatorius 83

Indians scalped by white men 13

Infant Prodigy 173

Insects injurious to books 119

Introduction of pantaloons 91

Introduction of slaves into Virginia 135

Invention of chess 57

Invention of clocks 154

Invention of gunpowder 81

Invention of masks 186


Invention of playing cards 46

Inverted volcano 72

Iron crown of Lombardy 148


Jeanne Hatchette 99

Jews-Harp 32

John O’Groat 170

Joice Heath 82

Joshua and Caleb 21


Killed by kindness 52

King becoming a cook 97

King Cophetua 18

King dying in his carriage 97

Ket’s Rebellion 84

Key of Bastile 44

Kufic coins 54


Lady of the Haystack 173

Lake of pitch 13

Lamp of Epictetus 184

Land of mud 41

Largest lump of gold 11

Last battle of the Revolution 109

Latest accession of United States Territory 8

Laura de Noves 82

“Lemures” 85

Location of Cape Hancock 179

Location of Captain Smith’s “Summer Isles” 80

Location of garden of the Hesperides 68

Location of Raleigh Tavern 60

London Stone 185

Longfellow’s mistake 8

Lord Cornwallis and his horse 34

Lynch law 85


Madame Chanoyes 80

Made king by the neighing of his horse 136

Man with the Iron Mask 84


Mantuan Bard 186

Mary Hamilton 140

Marriage of Columbus 7

Massacre at Paoli 86

Massacre at Valteline 140

Massacre of one hundred thousand Romans 190

Material of breastworks at New Orleans 163

Meal-Tub Plot 189

Meaning of Bab-el-Mandeb 62

Meaning of Brazil 183

Meaning of expression “Nestor of politics” 168

Meaning of Gibraltar 169

Meaning of Godwin’s Oath 177

Meaning of Manhattan 27

Meaning of Maunday-Thursday 188

Meaning of Patagonia 182

Meaning of phrase “A Roland for an Oliver” 168

Meaning of “Remember the Raisin” 200

Meaning of “Sardonic Smile” 175

Meaning of Texas 174

Meaning of the phrase “Cæsar’s wife,” etc. 127

Meaning of the word Assassin 120

Meaning of “True Blue” 129

Mecklenberg Resolutions 22

Meeting of Columbus with his brother 103

Mesas 73

Metamorphosis of Arachne 68

Michael Servetus 181

Military order instituted by Philip the Good 177

Monmouth’s Rebellion 193

Most curious book in the world 162

Most destructive earthquake on record 36

Mother of three kings 34

Mount Galongoon 105

Murmuring noise of sea-shells 23

Mutiny of crew of the Bounty 83


Name of the Indian that shot King Philip 62

Name of isthmus connecting Crimea with mainland 201

Name of longest street in Paris 122

Napoleon’s bon mot 33


Napoleon’s escape 85

Napoleon’s fortune 152

Nearest American town to Europe 63

Nell Gwynn 200

Nemean games 86

Nest-building fishes 14

Norfolk Island 87

Noted anagrams 149

Noted chair in Bodleian Library 128

Noted dinner party 20

Number of Iliads 172

Nurse of Romulus 185


Oate’s Plot 196

Obelisk to Logan 117

Occasion of bad odor of burnt gunpowder 146

Offering a reward for her brother’s head 14

“Old Donation” 39

Old John Butler 35

Old Man Eloquent 67

Old Man of the Mountains 50

Oldest fable on record 196

Oldest poem in existence 44

Oldest republic in the world 44

Orator Henley 198

Order of the Garter established 171

Origin of a “bumper” 167

Origin of Arabic numerals 5

Origin of common saying “Eaten me out,” etc. 186

Origin of expression “Knock under” 53

Origin of familiar line “Hypocrisy is,” etc. 176

Origin of filibuster 115

Origin of Grog 54

Origin of kissing the Pope’s toe 53

Origin of mesmerism 189

Origin of pasquinades 201

Origin of “Ps and Qs” 45

Origin of phrase “A little bird,” etc. 126

Origin of phrase “Kicking the bucket” 166

Origin of phrase “Sub rosa” 47

Origin of superstition regarding the number 13 6


Origin of term “Yankee” 24

Origin of texts 45

Origin of the fable of the “Man in the moon” 206

Origin of the name of Lake Itasca 176

Origin of the Sandwich 209

Origin of the sycamore groves in Scotland 138

Origin of “To let the cat out of the bag” 132

Origin of word blarney 52

Origin of word “News” 158

Origin of Yankee Doodle 90

Original cause exempting Congressmen from arrest 196

Original legend of Gulliver’s Travels 208

Original Mrs. Partington 6

“Ossuary” 40

Ostracism 67


Pastimes of animals 141

Peculiar properties of salt 29

“Pele’s hair” 26

People regarding Friday as a lucky day 60

People using 355 days for a year 16

Petition of sixteen maids 49

Peter the wild boy 87

Philomela changed into a nightingale 68

Pillars of Hercules 165

Place where Captain John Smith was saved by Pocahontas 64

Plant producing sixty-six millions of cells 141

Plumage of birds rendered waterproof 143

Polka first danced 49

Pompey’s pillar 88

Pons Asinorum 175

“Poor Man’s Region” 30

Pope Joan 88

Possessor of the largest diamond 12

“Pot-holes” 37

Prediction of the death of Cyrus 175

Prince Rupert’s Drop 70

Prussian Leonidas 107

Pulaski’s Banner 9

Pulpit Rock 37

Punishment by cutting off the hair 178

Purchase of the Hessians 79



Quicksilver, a nickname for mercury 35

Quotation from Travels of Gulliver 18

Quotations from William Congreve 205

Quotation from William Shenstone 5

Quotations from speech of William Wirt 5


Reason of the promise of Columbus 103

Reason of circular boundary of Delaware 28

Red Canary birds 146

Rent paid by Lord Baltimore 98

Reply of Leonidas to Xerxes 166

Report of General Greene 133

Resina and its location 26

Resting-place of the Ark 149

Revolutionary officer kept prisoner at Jamaica 123

Rider of Black Horse 68

River of acid water and of ink 36

River of poetic inspiration 131

“Rock cities“ 30

Rosamond’s Bower 89

Royal dance of torches 107

Rustic lovers 100


Sayings of the Seven Wise Men 15

Scottish Solomon 32

Seven Cities of Cibola 75

Seven senses 32

Shipwreck of St. Paul 108

Sicilian Vespers 81

Ship canal across Panama 114

Signification of “I have a crow,” etc. 135

Sign of a wine-shop at Pompeii 129

Singing fishes 14

Singing mice 144

Simplest pocket rule 43

Skull of Alexander Pope 164

Snuff box sold for thirty dollars 130

Solidity of minerals 38

Solomon puzzled 80


Song of the Sirens 28

Source of glycerine 176

Spy swallowing the evidence of his guilt 59

Stalactites and stalagmites 11

St. Anthony’s diet 146

“Starving Time” in Virginia 64

Stone that imparted the gift of prophecy 207

Stone-suckers 145

Stopping the pulsation of the heart 29

Storks protected by law 62

St. Petersburg and its location 5

Story of Dorigen 166

Story of Inkle and Yarico 208

Story of Jaafer 211

Story of Mazeppa 206

Story of Prince San Severo 71

Story of the remains of James II. 54

Story of the diamond necklace 194

Story of the Kilkenny cats 132

Stratagem of Columbus 155

Supertition regarding “burning ear” 209

Swiftest of all runners 131


Taurosthenes 202

Tchernaya 138

Teacher of deaf and dumb 112

Temple of Jupiter Ammon 63

Termination of reign of gigantic reptiles 72

The Albatross 114

The Aqua Tofana 202

The bearded Tortoise 144

The Beggar Monarch 102

The Blue River 95

The Boy Bachelor 130

The Budians 81

The “El Dorado” 195

The eleven thousand virgins 174

The four labyrinths 184

The Golden King 95

The Golden Number 16

The herbivorous whale 142


The Governor with twenty brothers 121

The Greek woman attending Plato’s lectures 118

The killer of all people but three 167

The laughing philosopher 172

The Mons Meg 95

The newest mountains 18

The “Notables” 207

The original Tammany 138

The Pantheon 199

The Praslin murder 184

The puffing pig 145

The Santa Maria 7

The seven bibles 58

The “short-lived” administration 137

The sleeping philosopher 167

The stone mountain 11

The Sultan who strangled nineteen brothers 133

The Tarpeian Rock 122

“The Tea Parties” 64

The Tenth Muse 204

The three angels who warned Abraham 207

The “three joyous messages” 90

The three kings of Cologne 53

The three nations of Amazons 147

The three tobacco-takers 129

The three vitriols 12

The Thundering Legion 205

The tune of which the cow died 174

The “tin-cry” 69

The toad-stone 69

The tradition of St. Patrick and the serpent 212

The traitor at Thermopylæ 80

The transformation of the pious couple 69

The two Spartans who left the “Pass” 41

The Ungrateful Guest 170

The Walloons 150

The Wandering Jew 16

The “wish-bone” of birds 143

Titan’s Pier 30

To whom were a bird, mouse, etc., sent? 79

To whom were raised 360 brazen statues? 123

Trajan’s floating palace 99



Valley of Death 3

Valley of the Upas Tree 36

Venice and its location 4

Vestal Virgins 148

Victoria Cross 150


Water Volcano 182

Web of Penelope 168

What animal never sleeps? 22

What country has never been conquered? 180

What is Endymion? 167

What was the Strelitz? 204

When did cats, dogs, etc., cause the capture of a city? 79

When was an infant the only being saved? 106

When was Rome saved? 169

Where did Newton see the apple fall? 50

Where did John Falstaff drop his lance? 97

Where was Nephelo-coccygia? 203

“White Man’s grave” 63

Who were the Volsci? 204

Who called Shakespeare “the myriad-minded”? 176

Who died in consequence of a “ducking”? 205

Who first said “There’s many a slip” etc.? 136

Who first saw the New World? 7

Who killed Tecumseh? 56

Who said “Après moi le deluge”? 166

Who was Eucles? 44

Who was Iros? 207

Who was liberated in exchange for General Burgoyne? 134

Who were the “seven sleepers”? 17

Whose head was fixed on London Bridge? 103

Why Adrian’s wall was built 147

Why alligators swallow stones 160

Why are bricks red? 10

Why a body falls east of a vertical line 122

Why do soap-bubbles rise? 41

Why does lightning turn milk sour? 59

Why did no person die in England for eleven days? 114

Why Goldsmith wrote She Stoops to Conquer 209

Why have July and August each thirty-one days? 115


Why is fresh water frozen when enclosed by liquid salt-water? 117

Why John Cleves Symmes is remembered 98

Why metal Tungsten has the symbol W 142

Why Passion Flower was so named 208

Why was Temple of Piety built? 139

Why stones do not burn as well as wood 71

Wife of Martin Luther 134

Wine worth two millions of dollars a bottle 165

“Wise Men of Gotham” 126

Writer of 278 poems before the age of seventeen 102


Year of Great Babies 42

Yttrium. the rare metal 151

Part I

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