7 questions on status symbols


Britons consider hot tubs to be the most desirable status symbol of 2012, according to a new survey. Test yourself on status symbols new and old.

People in a hot tub

1.) Multiple Choice Question

Hot tubs may top the list but what comes second?

  1. Walk-in wardrobe
    Clothes on hangers
  2. Temperature-controlled wine cabinet
    Wine bottles
  3. Music equipment with speakers in every room
    Music system

2.) Multiple Choice Question

What did Charles II do at banquets to show off his wealth?

Charles II
  1. Have a 24-hour feast
  2. Have a top table with 100 guests
  3. Have elaborate salt cellars


Salt was extremely expensive during the reign of King Charles II, from 1660 to 1685. At one banquet he had a 2ft-high silver salt cellar made in the shape of a castle and encrusted with jewels, according to Kathryn Jones, author of For the Royal Table: Dining at the Palace.

Salt sellers

3.) Missing Word Question

I love the * as an anti-status symbol

  1. leather jacket
  2. T-shirt
  3. denim jean

4.) Multiple Choice Question

What did the ancient Maya in Central America do to their bodies to show high social status?

A Mayan relic
  1. Pulled their teeth out
  2. Flattened their foreheads
  3. Both

5.) Multiple Choice Question

The Australian government sent the Queen 500 cases of what former status symbol as a wedding present?

Queen and Prince Philip on their wedding day
  1. Pineapple
  2. Barramundi cod
  3. Macadamia nuts


In 1493 Christopher Columbus found pineapples growing on the island of Guadeloupe and brought them back to Europe. By the 17th Century they were a sign of high status in the UK. Charles II was one of the first people in the UK to eat pineapple. Only the rich had the hothouses to cultivate them on English soil.


6.) Multiple Choice Question

Bling is slang for expensive or ostentatious jewellery and possessions flashed around to show success and wealth. But what year did the word make it into the Oxford English Dictionary?

Rapper Chingy showing off his bling
  1. 1986
  2. 1999
  3. 2003

7.) Multiple Choice Question

Avocado bathroom suites were a sign of status in the 1980s, but how much were they estimated to slash off the value of a home two decades later?

  1. 2,000
  2. 5,000
  3. 8,000
  4. 12,000


  1. It's a walk-in wardrobe, according to the survey by Vision Critical for DeLonghi. Music equipment with speakers in every room came fourth on the list and a temperature-controlled wine cabinet was ninth.
  2. It's have elaborate salt cellars. Dinner would usually start at 3pm and a maximum of six people could sit at the top table with the king.
  3. It's T-shirt. The fashion designer said: "I love the T-shirt as an anti-status symbol, putting rich and poor on the same level in a sheath of white cotton that cancels the distinctions of caste."
  4. It's flattened their foreheads, according to the Archaeological Institute of America. Children's skulls were pressed into a variety of shapes to reflect their place in society. The elite would also put jade inlays in their teeth to show social status.
  5. It's pineapple, according to Francesca Beauman, author of The Pineapple: King of Fruits. A total of 500 cases of tinned pineapple were sent by the Australian government in 1947 to the future Queen as a wedding present.
  6. It's 2003. The specific term bling was first popularised by the hip hop community but is now widely used.
  7. It was 8,000 in 2004, according to television property experts Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan.

Your Score

0 - 3 : Bottom of the pile

4 - 6 : Upwardly mobile

7 - 7 : Bling bling

For past quizzes including our weekly news quiz, 7 days 7 questions, expand the grey drop-down below - also available on the Magazine page (and scroll down)

Find out more about how people have traditionally shown-off their wealth at BBC History. Also, discover more about the history of your home.

More on This Story