How Much Do You Know About Mark Twain?

November 26, 2012



1. What was Mark Twain’s real name?

2. Where did he get the name “Mark Twain” and what is it related to?

3. What part did Halley’s comet play in his life?

4. What did he name his three dogs?

5. From which prestigious university did he receive his doctorate in letters in 1907?


1. Twain’s birth name is Samuel Langhorne Clemens.

2. The pseudonym Mark Twain, meant “two fathoms deep” on the Mississippi, and was called out on the steamboat to indicate the boat was in sufficiently deep water. Clemens first used the name in a publication on February 3, 1863, in a piece he contributed to the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise.

3. Twain was born (1835) and died (1910) in years in which Halley’s Comet passed by earth. In “Mark Twain: A Biography“, he is quoted as saying, “I came in with Halley’s comet in 1835.  It’s coming again next year (1910), and I expect to go out with it.”  Clemens died on April 21, 1910, the day after the comet’s orbit came closest to the Earth.

4. He named his dogs “I Know” ,”You Know” and “Don’t Know”.

5. Twain received a Doctorate in Letters from Oxford University in 1907.