No One Can Get a Perfect Score On This General Knowledge Quiz Without Cheating



By: Mark Lichtenstein

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

General knowledge sounds pretty easy, but most people don't know their facts as well as they think they do. Take this quiz and see if we can stump you.

What do you call it when you hit a cue ball so it rolls backwards after striking another ball?

Putting "an English" on a cue ball means to put backspin on it so it rolls backwards after striking its target ball.


What is the official title of Prince Phillip, with regards to his relationship to Queen Elizabeth II?

Prince Phillip is "Royal Consort," meaning he is the husband of the Queen, but that does not make him a king.


What is the highest order of British knighthoods?

The Order of the Garter is the highest order in British chivalry, boasting only 25 members at a time. It outranks all other orders in the UK, and is the most exclusive.


What is your weight in gold?

Indeed, your weight in gold is your weight. If you were to produce an amount of gold equal to your weight, it would not be your "volume" in gold, it would just equal your weight.


How were Roman soldiers paid?

While the term "salary" comes from "salt used to pay soldiers" the idea came from a Roman historian referring to a "long forgotten" civilization that probably never existed in the first place. Roman soldiers were paid in coins, and received a special allowance for salt, which they would buy with money, like everyone else in history.


What is the name of the New York City comedy school that serves as a AAA team for SNL?

The Upright Citizens Brigade is a school and theater where improv comedy is taught and practiced.


What word means both the name of an African pygmy tribe, and a rude word in Japanese?

Baka means "idiot" in Japanese, which is about as rude as it gets over there.


Why does the Japanese word for a diagonal cut, "kesa," mean cutting?

Kesagiri is a term meaning a diagonal cut, done to the human body at the angle of the garment worn by Japanese monks


How many bills in a c-note?

A c-note is a bill, and while it is worth $100 bills, it contains only one bill, a $100 bill.


What is the magnetically-powered weapon now used by the US Navy?

Railguns use magnetism to propel non-explosive projectiles at high speed, so you can hit something hard without causing fires, which is useful when taking out a runway without blowing up jet fuel.


Who invented the Death Ray?

Nicola Tesla posited a weapon that would kill using microwaves, however he thought it could only be used for defense since it would require a city's entire power grid to power. Of course, he was alive before we split the atom.


Why should Tesla cars be called "Edison" cars?

Batteries use direct current (DC) not alternating current (AC). AC was a Tesla patent, and DC was an Edison patent. Since Tesla is seen as cooler than the much more successful and marginally less racist Edison, Tesla it is.


What is the space between the lens and the film called, in film making?

The gate is the only opening in the camera that lets light onto the film, so it is frequently checked between takes so as not to contaminate film with light.


Why do the British drive on the left side of the road?

The tradition in Britain and indeed in Japan, comes from the fact that people wore swords on their left side. Slapping someone's scabbard, even by accident, was considered a major insult, so by riding on the left of a two-lane road, you could ensure you wouldn't strike the scabbard of someone coming the other way.


What was the biggest new feature of the iPhone 2?

Indeed, there was no iPhone 2. There was the iPhone, then the 3G, then the 3Gs, then the 4 (which was a 3G phone) and the 4s (also 3G) then the 5 (finally 4g) and so on. There never was an iPhone 2. It is likely that Apple had too many 3G chipsets in stock when they were making the 4, and saw that the other smartphone makers were all going to 4G and thought "we'll call it the 4 and no one will know the difference."


Can you spot the nonsense expression?

Yogi Berra's saying about a fork in the road referred to a place where both sides of the fork arrived in the same place, so it's actually fine. The correct version of "Hold down the fort for me, okay?" would be "Hold the fort for me, okay?" Holding a fort means not giving it up to an enemy. Holding down a fort implies that the fort is inflatable, and full of helium.


What are bats' wings?

Indeed, bats' wings are really webbed fingers, giving bats tremendous control.


What does a six-sided die's opposite sides always add up to?

Any opposite sides on a die always add up to seven.


What is a dum dum round?

Dum dum rounds are designed to explode on impact, meaning if you were to shoot a deer with one, the bullet would split upon hitting a bone, acting like shotgun shell going off inside the deer.


How many pips are there on a deck on poker cards, minus the jokers?

A standard deck of playing cards contains the same number of suits as there are seasons, cards as there are weeks, and pips as there are days.


What did the first nine US Presidents have in common?

Shamefully, all nine owed slaves.


What is the root of the term "blackmail"?

Second sons in the middle ages didn't stand to inherit much, so they would sometimes buy cheap armor (kept from rusting by painting it black with tar) and competed in jousts. The prize in jousting was your opponent's armor and horse. Most would gallantly return this prize, but black knights would ransom them back.


Other than Anglo-Saxon, what is the other linguistic root of English?

The Normans, who spoke French, changed English to what it became over several centuries.


When was the bicentennial?

The bicentennial celebrated two hundred years of the United States, and took place 2000 years after the Declaration of Independence.


What kind of bear has a sort of thumb?

Pandas have special bones in their hands that work like thumbs.


In Japanese swords, what is the purpose of the "blood groove"?

The bohi of a Japanese blade exists to lighten the blade, making it easier to use, though it also makes it easier to withdraw from a wound.


Where do Labradors come from?

Labradors originate on the Labrador Coast of Canada.


How many gigs of RAM does the older version of OSX allow any given program to use?

Older versions of OSX that can run Final Cut Pro 7 cannot allow any program to use more than 4 GB of RAM, making truly massive projects impossible.


What is hot splicing?

Hot splicing is an archaic term for the process by which a work print edit of a film, held together with tape, is matched to negative film, wherein the negatives are cut half a frame before or after the cut, and the half frames are melted together. This master edit is used to make prints.


Approximately how much did an old fashioned 35mm film print cost in 2000?

The titanic cost of film printing is one of the reasons film went to digital. While the print and advertising budgets (P&A) of modern films are still referred to as such, they no longer include "printing," yet somehow they only seem to go up.


Which kind of fish must one not eat too much of?

Larger fish that live longer absorb more mercury and if you eat enough of them, it can be bad.


What is a "pack" of gorillas called?

Since a sketch starring Rowan Atkinson, the term whoop has stuck, and indeed a group of gorillas is referred to as a whoop. Leave it to Mr. Bean.


What is a letter of marque?

A letter of marque is an official license to be a "privateer" which is a sort of state-sanctioned pirate.


Which of these professions is a kind of doctor?

A law degree is still known as "a Juris Doctor"


How many combinations are there of all the cards in a deck of 52 playing cards?

The full number is 80658175170943878571660636856403766975289505440883277824000000000000. This is an astronomically high number. If you were to put a trillion planets around every planet in the Milky Way, and a trillion people on each planet and a trillion decks of cards in the hands of each person, and each person was somehow shuffling all these decks once per second every second since the dawn of time, we still wouldn't repeat a single order of a deck of cards.


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