Where is Swat, and do they still have a Sultan?

I know Babe Ruth was nicknamed after one, but were they still active when he was playing? Are they still active now?
Are Sultans heriditary, so there is one waiting in exile someplace until the dictator of Swat is overthown, for example?

Sultanates are inherited.

There is no place called “Swat”. The Bambino was nicknamed that for the power of his batting.

You might as well ask where “Swing” is, as there is a “King of Swing”.

And I usually just ignore questions that are too self-consciously clever…

There are currently at least three sultans in power around the world. A good assumption is that there were more when The Babe was alive.

Manny has asked posters to refrain from frivolous postings here . Please do so.

Sam and Manhattan: I hope you won’t think this frivolous, because I really would like to know, do you include “thank- you” postings with that request?



Swat is “a district of the Malakand division, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan”; it was a minor princely state within British India. The current claimant to the throne would appear to be His Highness Sayed Aurangzeb; his title, however, is not Sultan but Wali, or in full “Badshah and Wali of Swat and Buner”. The Almanach de Bruxelles notes that the “sovereign status” of Swat “was altered by the Republic of Pakistan in 1969”, which I presume means His Highness the Badshah and Wali of Swat and Buner was given the old heave-ho; however the Almanach also indicates that HH is (or was at one time) a Member of Parliament (of Pakistan, I presume), so he may not feel any pressing need to assemble an army of adventurers and return to claim the throne.

Incidentally, Babe Ruth was also nicknamed the “Wali of Wallop” (not to mention “the Rajah of Rap”, “the Caliph of Clout”, and “the Wazir of Wham”).

Quasimodem said

I can’t speak for Manny, but “thank you” postings, while they are ego-building, are extraneous and should be avoided. As should my reply to you here. But I couldn’t figure out how to not answer. Damn! :smiley:

Babe Ruth’s sobriquet must have ben inspired by a bit of doggerel by Edward Lear:

I love this board.

No where else in the world would someone be challenged on the statement “There is no place called Swat.” in response to the OP.

I only wish that they had actually had a Sultan.

Incidently, Rogers “Rajah” Hornsby was sometimes called the “Rajah of Swat.” And Lou Gehrig, for obvious reasons, was called “The Crown Prince of Swat.”

And an even more obscure bit of trivia: Moe Solomon, a Jewish player of the 1920s, was nicknamed “The Rabbi of Swat.” He never went very far in the majors, though.

Cripes, I thought it was common knowledge that Ruth’s nickname was a punning derivation from the Lear poem. :smiley:

Eh. I’d tend to go a little easy on the OP here. The way I read it, the “swat” part was just a little joke to introduce his question, which I read as “are there still people who have the title ‘Sultan?’”

Which does not detract even a little bit from the fact that your answer rocked, MEBuckner!

Thanks, manny. It’s nice to be appreciated for all the work I do, slaving away in the Trivia Mines.

So, which slugger shall we nickname “The Badshah & Wali of Swat”?

Hmmm…the only fully sovereign Sultans I can think of are the Sultans of Brunei and Oman. (The Maldives used to be a Sultanate, but they’ve been a republic since 1968.) I think there are also some sub-sovereign sultans in the East Indies; I believe the rulers of some or all of the nine states of Malaysia which are hereditary monarchies are titled Sultans. There used to be a passel of Sultans in what is now Indonesia; that country is now a republic, but there is at least one guy hanging around giving himself airs as Sultan of Yogyakarta (a special district of Indonesia on the island of Java)–actually, his titles in full are “His Highness The Sultan of Yogyakarta, Master of the Universe, Commander in Chief, Servant of God, Lord of the Faithful”. Modest fellow, eh?

Man, is Zotti going to be pissed when he finds out that someone swiped his titles.

[I hope I’m allowed to correct a mod on my own thread. If not, please delete this entry.]

The question I have asked is the one I would like an answer to:“Where is Swat, and do they still have a Sultan?”

The word “they” refers to its antecedent, “Swat”. In American, I suppose one refers to collective nouns in the singular, so it would be “Where is Swat, and does it still have a Sultan?”

This is not a stupid question. I am trying to confirm something that my father told me. He said “Babe Ruth was called the Sultan of Swat because there was a real Sultan of Swat that was in everyone’s Geography lessons in those days.” I presume the term Sultan applied at that time, at least in English usage. At that time all Islamic titles were Anglicized, as PC hadn’t been invented. Americans did the same with Red Indians, calling their leader all “Chief”, when now they prefer titles based on their own various languages.

If this is not a valid question for some reason, please lock the thread.

I stand corrected, and slack-jawed in amazement…

The Sultan of Swat appears in Rudyard Kipling’s writings, which were quite popular in the 20’s. Gunga Din, A Maid of Mandalay, and The Naulahka were being recited in school and such. Since most of his works include a historical backdrop, they include a lot of real personages of the day, from the monarchs of the empire on down.

Escanaba said

Could you please tell me which story. Thanks.

Well, for “Wally (:wally) of Swat,” either Sammy Sosa or Gary Sheffield might be good candidates. But usually several players volunteer for the accolade every season.

You got me stumped on Badshah, though.

Google doesn’t offer much help. There were hints that “Kim” or “The Man Who Would Be King” might provide a source for the SofS, but I scanned the Project Gutenberg texts of both works for “swat” and found nothing.

I recently accidentally purchased a complete semi-scholarly edition of Lear (I was trying to buy an illustrated book of limericks for my kids), and when I got to the Swat poem, it reminded me of this excellent thread.

I’m linking to the poem and its illustration by Lear which, as is noted, doesn’t seem to have much to do with the poem. (Note the variation in the spelling of “Akond/Ahkond.”)

Also, I think the footnote (by Lear) is amusing:

“For the existence of this potentate, see Indian newspapers, passim. The proper way to read the verses is to make an immense emphasis on the monosyllabic rhymes, which indeed ought to be shouted out by a chorus.” [bolding mine]