Note: This article is about the common English term, "trivia." For the poem by the same name, see Trivia (poem). For the Greek mythological goddess, see Trivia (mythology).

The term trivia is widely used to refer to tidbits of unimportant (trivial) information and more generally to Trivial Pursuit. It is also used, inclusively, to refer to general knowledge. There is no clear dividing line between those; trivia may include any obscure factual points, such are used in quiz questions (from pub quiz to Who Wants to be a Millionaire).

The word trivia is believed to have originated from the Roman word trivium, which used to denote a junction of three (or more) lanes in a town. Apparently, common townsfolk used to gather at such meeting points, making small talk, and hence the topics they discussed came to be described as trivial. Another possible origin is the trivium or first three subjects taught as liberal arts, namely grammar, rhetoric, and logic; the remaining four liberal arts of the quadrivium were more mathematical and therefore seen as being harder and more serious, namely arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy.

Gradually, the word trivia came to be applied for any information that is of fleeting importance and of general interest.

See list of trivia lists for typical topics and areas. In respect to Roman mythology, see Trivia (Roman mythology).

See Also

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