Keep On Punning

Are there still good quiz team names out there that haven’t been used? … these are the type of the big, deep questions I sometimes find myself asking.

Who knows? Who knows except the Quizzard of Oz himself (that’s been used, though not overused)? Of course, there are always new ones created by recent events or crazes. The last couple of years have seen a slightly baffling surge in “50 Shades of Grey”-based names, baffling because there isn’t that obvious a quizzy pun in there, and the best there is, 50 Shades of Grey Matter, is rarely used. 50 Shades of Greatness, 51 Shades of Grey, 50 Shades of Pay etc … well, ok, but it’s not really quizzy enough for me.

Then there are those pushing the envelope a little – i’ve seen a few Quizlamic States lately … not necessarily a big winner with the crowd on the night (as, no longer, is Gin’ll Fix It, naturally enough, although one of my fellow QuizMasters told of a team called Apocalypse Now Then Now Then).

Personally, I’ve enjoyed a couple of interactive names recently. They won’t change the world, but they’ve enlivened the evening – Boom Boom, Boom, Let Me Hear You Say … and It’s My Round, Who’s Having What? (good, clean fun …)

Still, it’s the quizzy pun which still holds sway but, without wishing to question people’s imagination, these are still overwhelmingly Quizteam Aguilera, Quizzee Rascal and Quiz Akabusi (with a sprinkling of Quiz Eubank, though no Quiz Eubank Jr as yet)

I’m easily pleased, but I’d be delighted to see any of the following at quizzes I run in the coming weeks – Quiz Quiztofferson, Onward Quizteam Soldiers, The Magic Quizteam, QuizQuoss’ll Make You …, Les Quizerables, Sealed With a Quiz, If You Want To Know If He Loves You So It’s In His Quiz (That’s Where It Is) … I could go on.

What’s the most popular quiz team name?

It won’t surprise anyone to know that here at QuizQuizQuiz we can be a little bit geeky sometimes. Spare moments are rare, but when they arise, we like nothing better than carrying out exhaustive and geeky studies into pressing quizzy issues of the day. Like – what really is the most popular pub quiz team name?

In order to find out, I took a sample  of scoresheets from the 2000+ quizzes that we have run over the years. This sample gave me 7,769 quiz teams which I sorted (including lumping together essentially identical variations on a name – e.g. Quiz Hoy + Sir Quiz Hoy etc.) to discover what names had been used more than any others.

And, so, exclusively for you, I can reveal the 10 Most Popular Quiz Team Names.

In reverse order …

10. (ironically) The Winners (21)

9. Ken Dodd’s Dad’s Dog’s Dead (22)

8. The Magnificent Seven (23)

7. Let’s Get Quizzical (24)

6. Gin’ll Fix It (25)

5. We Thought It Was A Disco (29)

4. Quizzee Rascal (54)

3. Norfolk and Chance (61)

2. Universally Challenged (66)

and, top of the pile, not by as much as I expected, but still going strong, it is

1. QuizTeam Aguilera (68)

Just missing the top 10, DENSA, Fat Kids Always Win at See-Saw, The A-Team, Quiz Akabusi and (dear oh dear), Fact Hunt.

This means that almost 1% of all quiz teams are called QuizTeam Aguilera. More than 3% of quiz teams are called either QuizTeam Aguilera, Universally Challenged, Norfolk and Chance or Quizzee Rascal.

Not too many surprises really – all good solid names, but there’s always room for weirder, wittier or less comprehensible names next to the standard ones, and for new names to appear on the scene. Will the new quiz season see a burst of Sir Quiz Hoys and QuizTeam Ohuruogus?

What are the most common names at your quizzes? And what’s your favourite?


What’s in a Name?

For more on pub quiz team names, follow @quiznames on Twitter.

“And before we get started, one thing you can do for me is think of a team name – it can be something funny, something topical, something rude, something about someone here, whatever you wish. Please think of a team name and write it at the top of every answer sheet”

I say this at the start of nearly every quiz (unless I’m told they already have team names) and the ensuing quiz night team names are always a key part of the quiz night experience. There are various types of name that confront me every quiz, but equally it is true to say that there are a few names that pop up more often than others…

QuizQuizQuiz has run over 2000 quizzes down the years, and I would conservatively estimate that within that time we have encountered at least 1500 ‘QuizTeam Aguilera’s. It is the definitive quiz team name, no doubt about it. So often do I encounter it, I sometimes make a wry aside when i read it out – “Nice to see them here again” – before realising that, since these people have not been travelling around to 100s of quizzes, there is no reason why they should be amused by the repeated use of QuizTeam Aguilera – indeed, it may have been made up fresh on the night, and who am i to steal their thunder?

QuizTeam Aguilera is the king (or queen) of that common name type – the “quiz” pun – not far behind, we get, Quizzee Rascal, Quiz Akabusi, sometimes Quiz Eubank (though not enough Quiz Quiztoferssons) – I once had three teams called Quiz on My Face and two called Let’s Get Quizzical at the same event. Confusing.

What other types of name are there?

  • The tongue-twister – Ken Dodd’s Dad’s Dog’s Dead is a good one, and more originally Pete Postlethwaite’s Preposterous Posthumous Pizza Party;
  • the rude play on words – Norfolk and Chance the most famous, and within the bounds of acceptability, though others push it;
  • the insult to someone there – So-and-So is a So-and-So etc (often to much hilarity);
  • the cry for help – Need Help With the Picture Round, And in Last Place, We’re rubbish, Can We Bribe you Quiz Master? etc.;
  • the casual – Only Here For the Beer, We Thought It Was a Disco;
  • then, a nice option, the pun on your company. Recently, I saw Deutsche Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me?, which I liked;
  • the somewhat desultory, when I know my instructions at the start haven’t really been heeded properly and I may need to do a bit more work to get the atmosphere going – Team 1, Team 2, Team 3, (mixing it up now) Table 4, The A-Team perhaps;
  • the topical – in April last year, there were a lot of ‘SuperInjunction’s and ‘Can’t Be Named For Legal Reasons’;
  • the gratuitously offensive, often relating to something sexual or to someone who has recently died, or both;
  • and, of course, you often get something totally original, where you can’t even guess how they’ve come up with it.

Quiz team names are a massive part of the fun, and surprisingly hard to come up with, as I know from my own experience of pub quizzes. Initially, my teams used to come up with tortured laboured puns which we thought were hilarious but were met by silence after being mangled by the quiz master. Then, in a successful team I was part of, we were Lovely Touch for a Big Man – a reference to Peter Crouch which we were pleased to discover was amusing to different people in different ways.

I know people who are daring enough to go for rude jokes about topical stories, though I’ve always been a bit timid for that. I couldn’t tell you the best pub quiz team name I’ve ever heard, nor even give that much advice – [I have a soft spot for little twists on the name of your company, i'm less enamoured of flat out insults of colleagues in general, but if they are funny, they bring the house down]. I’ve one which anyone who wishes to can steal – this was the name which got the best reaction I ever heard – a simple mishearing of a lyric in a Weathergirls song – ‘Israeli Men, Hallelujah, Israeli Men’. Not sure what magic ingredient that name had on that particular night, but it worked.

What other favourites have you heard down the years?

What is your best team name?

For more on pub quiz team names, follow @quiznames on Twitter.