Here at Crikey we’re big fans of the epithets journos use to describe the public figures they write about: they’re what helps turn a straight news report into a cracking yarn.

Sometimes this language is deployed euphemistically — a code for the reader to work out. “Colourful racing identity” is a classic of the genre, a term editors use when they aren’t allowed to call someone a “dodgy crook”.

More often these tabloid nicknames are simply a way of quickly explaining who someone is to the readers, without resorting to boring official titles (think “F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone” or “media mogul Rupert Murdoch”).

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So do you think you know your news? We’ve put together 50 of our favourite tabloid titles for Crikey readers to work out. Take the test and see if you can put a name to the media moniker (no googling, please).

Email your list to — the best answers will receive a First Dog on the Moon prize pack. (Thanks to veteran tabloid tragic Terry Towelling for helping collate the list.)

  • A senior NSW Right source
  • ALP factional dalek
  • Australia’s Charles Dickens
  • Australia’s most powerful Catholic
  • Beloved philanthropist and media matriarch
  • Billionaire rag trader
  • Cardboard heir
  • Cash-strapped coal baron
  • Celebrity accountant
  • Commentary box doyen
  • Controversial hoop
  • Controversial medico
  • Crane operator and alleged crime boss
  • Disgraced AFL player manager
  • Disgraced former Labor MP
  • Editing wunderkind
  • Electronics kingpin
  • Embattled talkback king
  • Faceless man
  • Football idiot
  • Former NSW Labor powerbroker
  • Former TV funnyman
  • Game show legend
  • Hoax DJ pair
  • Human headline
  • Influential adman
  • Infrastructure tsar
  • Kings Cross nightclub identity
  • Labor elder
  • Leggy stage singer
  • Liberal Party love rat
  • Millionaire professional gambler
  • Music impresario and convicted tax fraudster
  • Outspoken mining magnate
  • PM’s estranged ex-lover
  • Press gallery doyenne
  • Publishing queen
  • Self-confessed union bagman
  • Seven News supremo
  • Slain gangland kingpin
  • Slimmed-down spin king
  • Swimming bad boy
  • The world’s richest woman
  • Troubled actor
  • Troubled tennis prodigy
  • Tuna tycoon
  • Turncoat MP
  • Underbelly lawyer
  • Union heavyweight
  • WAG queen
*Send your entries in to for your chance to win a First Dog pack.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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