Expert or eejit – how much do you know about the life and work of Scotland’s national bard Robert Burns?

Whether you are a bona fide scholar or can quote a few lines from Tam o' Shanter and Address To A Haggis, we’ve pulled together a quiz to test your knowledge.

If nothing else, it might help with swotting up ahead of all those inevitable Zoom gatherings set to replace traditional Burns suppers due to lockdown this year.

HeraldScotland: Robert Burns Statue in Ayr

Test your knowledge with our questions – and check your answers at the bottom.

1) Which of these creatures did Burns not write an ode to?

a) Mouse

b) Cat

c) Louse

2) What Burns' work provided the title for a Ken Loach directed film?

a) Ae Fond Kiss

b) Birks of Aberfeldy

c) Halloween

3) The poem Tam O'Shanter references which natural phenomenon in the skies?

a) Shooting stars

b) Aurora borealis

c) Solar eclipse

4) Where is Burns buried?

a) Dumfries

b) Ayr

c) Aberfeldy

5) Which British astronaut took a miniature book of Burns' poetry into space?

a) Tim Peake

b) Helen Sharman

c) Nick Patrick

6) How many children did Burns have?

a) 9

b) 12

c) 7

7) Which US president is said to have been able to recite Burns by heart?

a) Abraham Lincoln

b) Dwight D. Eisenhower

c) John F. Kennedy

8) Which US city has a life-size replica of Burns' first home in Alloway, South Ayrshire?

a) Chicago

b) Atlanta

c) Boston

9) It was claimed by the late David Gest that the work of Burns inspired what Michael Jackson song?

a) Thriller

b) Ben

c) Bad

10) Which of these is not a nickname Burns was known by?

a) Bard of Ayrshire

b) Deil of Words

c) The Ploughman Poet

11) What job did Burns do before becoming known for his poetry and song?

a) Stonemason

b) Labourer

c) Carpenter

12) Which modern day poet recently described Burns as a "sex pest"?

a) Jackie Kay

b) Carol Ann Duffy

c) Liz Lochhead

13) Which modern American classic did not draw from Burns as an inspiration?

a) Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

b) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

c) Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

14) What former republic or sovereign state featured Burns on a stamp?

a) Soviet Union

b) Yugoslavia

c) Czechoslovakia

15) How old was Burns when he died in 1796?

a) 28

b) 37

c) 42

16) Who did Burns refer to as "the jewel o' them a'"?

a) Elizabeth Paton

b) Jenny Clow

c) Jean Armour

17) An award was founded in 2002 to honour who in Burns' name?

a) Humanitarians

b) Explorers

c) Entrepreneurs

18) Where was Poosie Nansie's tavern – said to have inspired The Jolly Beggars – located?

a) Mauchline

b) Cumnock

c) Alloway

19) Which of these is not formally toasted at a Burns' supper?

a) Haggis

b) Whisky

c) Lassies

20) What was the horse in Tam O'Shanter called?

a) Maggie

b) Meg

c) Molly


1) B; 2) A; 3) B; 4) A; 5) C; 6) B; 7) A; 8) B; 9) A; 10) B; 11) B; 12) C; 13) B; 14) A; 15) B; 16) C; 17) A; 18) A; 19) B; 20) A & B