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Quiz about The Twelve Days of Maths
Quiz about The Twelve Days of Maths

The Twelve Days of Maths Trivia Quiz


Two of the joys of Christmas are singing Christmas carols and songs, and maths. Maths? Yes.. this quiz lets you play a little maths with 'The Twelve Days of Christmas'. Please answer with numbers, not words.

A multiple-choice quiz by Tizzabelle. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
Tizzabelle
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
371,863
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
1979
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 35 (10/10), bernie73 (10/10), Guest 150 (10/10).
Question 1 of 10
1. To start our singing calculations, you need to enter the square root of the number of calling birds in 'The Twelve Days of Christmas'.

Answer: (A number, not words)
Question 2 of 10
2. Multiply the number of partridges in that pear tree by your previous answer.

Answer: (A number, not words)
Question 3 of 10
3. Multiply your previous answer by the number of lords a leaping.

Answer: (A number, not words)
Question 4 of 10
4. Add the number of gold rings to your previous answer.

Answer: (A number, not words)
Question 5 of 10
5. Now add the number of geese a laying to your previous answer.

Answer: (A number, not words)
Question 6 of 10
6. From your previous answer subtract the number of drummers drumming.

Answer: (A number, not words)
Question 7 of 10
7. Now please add the number of pipers piping to your previous answer.

Answer: (A number, not words)
Question 8 of 10
8. Divide the previous answer by the number of French hens in the song.

Answer: (A number, not words)
Question 9 of 10
9. Please multiply your last answer by the number of swans a swimming.

Answer: (A number, not words)
Question 10 of 10
10. Finally, add the number of maids a milking to your previous answer. The total will be the same as the number of presents given in the final chorus of the song, from twelve down to one.

Answer: (A number, not a word)

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Most Recent Scores
Jul 14 2024 : Guest 35: 10/10
Jul 05 2024 : bernie73: 10/10
Jun 14 2024 : Guest 150: 10/10
Jun 11 2024 : Guest 75: 7/10
Jun 10 2024 : Guest 205: 10/10
Jun 06 2024 : Zjamiso: 10/10

Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. To start our singing calculations, you need to enter the square root of the number of calling birds in 'The Twelve Days of Christmas'.

Answer: 2

There are four calling birds in the song, and the square root of four is two.

Here's the final chorus for you to hum while you go through your answers.

On the twelfth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Twelve Drummers Drumming
Eleven Pipers Piping
Ten Lords a Leaping
Nine Ladies Dancing
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree
2. Multiply the number of partridges in that pear tree by your previous answer.

Answer: 2

There is only one partridge in the pear tree, so one multiplied by the previous answer (two) still gives us two.

In the early 1990s, a hymnologist called Hugh D. McKellar espoused the notion that the song was a way for Catholics to learn about the Bible and its teaching during the years Catholics were persecuted. This idea spread thanks to the wonders of the internet, but Mr McKellar later admitted that he made the story up and there was no evidence for it.
3. Multiply your previous answer by the number of lords a leaping.

Answer: 20

There were ten lords leaping, gallivanting and frolicking around in the song. Ten multiplied by the previous answer (two) gives us a total of twenty so far.

What would one do with ten leaping lords if one were given a collection of them, or even one leaping lord?

'The Twelve Days of Christmas' is a traditional song first published in 1780, but having earlier origins, possibly French. The French version of the song also contained a partridge, but no pear tree.
4. Add the number of gold rings to your previous answer.

Answer: 25

The previous answer of twenty is added to those five go-old rings to give the answer of twenty-five.

It has been suggested that the five gold rings in the song weren't originally rings, but birds, ring-necked pheasants to be precise. That would make the first seven presents all birds (partridge, doves, hens, calling birds, pheasants, geese and swans).

The calling birds, four of them, were initially 'colly' birds, colly meaning black or dark in some regional English dialects.
5. Now add the number of geese a laying to your previous answer.

Answer: 31

A useful present of six laying geese is added to the previous answer of twenty-five to give a total of thirty-one.

Geese, as well as laying eggs to produce lovely wee goslings, are excellent guard dogs..um.. animals. They are as noisy as the dickens and are quite territorial, alerting their owners to any intruders.
6. From your previous answer subtract the number of drummers drumming.

Answer: 19

I suppose one could start up a military band with twelve drummers, but subtracted from the previous answer of thirty-one, it leaves us with a total of nineteen.

The northern parts of England had a different version of the song with only ten different presents being given. The two that missed out in this quiz were the two turtle doves and the nine ladies dancing. They could have danced with the leaping lords.
7. Now please add the number of pipers piping to your previous answer.

Answer: 30

More band members have arrived. The eleven pipers piping away can compete for barracks space with the twelve drummers. Eleven plus the previous answer of nineteen gives us thirty.

Other versions of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' have varied slightly from what we know as the standard version. Halliwell (in 1842) didn't have a true love giving the gifts, it was the recipient's mother. The calling birds have been colly, canary, colour'd and curley birds in other versions.
8. Divide the previous answer by the number of French hens in the song.

Answer: 10

Another useful present. The geese and hen eggs can be used to feed the growing band! The previous answer of thirty was divided by the number of hens (three) to arrive at the answer of ten.

Different regions have developed their own version of the song. One of the Australian versions allots presents in this manner:

Twelve parrots prattling
Eleven numbats nagging
Ten lizards leaping
Nine wombats working
Eight possums playing
Seven koalas climbing
Six platypuses
Five kangaroos
Four kookaburras
Three jabirus
Two pink galahs
And an emu up a gum tree
9. Please multiply your last answer by the number of swans a swimming.

Answer: 70

Does one do anything with swans other than admire them? Seven svelte, swimming swans multiplied by the previous answer of ten gives us seventy for this answer.

If you're in the Faroe Islands, your gifts will include a single feather, geese, meat, sheep, cows, oxen, dishes, ponies, banners, barrels, goats, men, hides, cheese and finishes off with fifteen deer!

A Scottish version has the king sending his lady a parrot on the first day, followed by partridges, plovers, one goose, starlings, finches, a bull, ducks, swans, deer, three dancing maids, three stalks of corn and, for reasons I can't fathom, an Arabian baboon. Another Scottish version has robins, dumplings, fiddlers, a capercaillie and twelve haggis puddings amongst the gifts.
10. Finally, add the number of maids a milking to your previous answer. The total will be the same as the number of presents given in the final chorus of the song, from twelve down to one.

Answer: 78

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10 + 11 + 12 = 78 :-)

The maids milking the cows (which we don't have in the song) will provide milk for the band and the leaping lords who must use a lot of energy. The eight maids were added to the previous answer of seventy to give the final total of seventy-eight presents in the final chorus!

If you counted all the presents given by the singer's true love, it adds up to 364 presents. One assumes the people involved were hired for the duration rather than bought.
Source: Author Tizzabelle

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor Pagiedamon before going online.
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