INTERESTING TIDBITS -- WORD ORIGINS
(copied from an anonymous E-Mail)
All languages have well-used expressions that, in turn,
have roots that are often so logical that
In Shakespeare's time, mattresses rested on a criss-cross
of ropes, that were attached to the wooden frames. When you pulled on
the ropes, the mattress lost their sag, became tighter, more firm for
a better sleep. Hence the phrase, "Good night. Sleep tight."
It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years
ago that the father-in-law provide his new son-in-law with all the mead
he could drink for a month after the wedding. Mead is a honey beer,
and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the
"honey month", the origin of the word honeymoon.
In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts.
So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell
at them to mind their pints and quarts and settle down, the origin of
"Mind your P's and Q's."
In the same period in England, pub frequenters could
buy their own personal mugs that had a whistle baked into the rim or
handle of the mug. When they needed a refill, they blew on their whistle
to get service. Thus the phrase to "Wet your whistle".
For several hundred years in the English Royal Court,
a courtiers could not have sex unless they got the consent of the King.
Getting such consent, they would hang a sign on their door that gave
notice of the Royal permission. The placards, which were abbreviated,
gave notice of "Fornication Under Consent of the King". I
leave the abbreviation to you. True story.
In a similar spirit of abbreviation, when the new game
was invented in Scotland, the courses where it was played were posted
"Gentlemen Only. Ladies Forbidden" ... and thus the word "Golf"
entered into our vocabulary.
the logic is amusing. A few:
The term "the whole 9 yards" came from W.W.II
fighter pilots in the Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground,
the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before
being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at
a target, it got "the whole 9 yards."
The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from
an old English law which stated that you couldn't beat your wife with
anything wider than your thumb ? The name Jeep came from the abbreviation
used in the army for the "General Purpose" vehicle, GP.
TIDBITS -- Other
While not word or phrase derivation, here is some trivia:
The first toilet ever seen on television was on "Leave It To Beaver."
The sentence "The quick brown > fox jumps over
the lazy dog" uses every letter in the alphabet. (developed by
Western Union to test telex/twx communications.)
The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch
every year because when it was built, engineers failed to take into
account the weight of all the books that would occupy the building.
Maude Lucenda Enis Ricks
January 23, 1922-February 28, 2008
my beautiful, heroic mother.
January 26, 1920-January 13, 2010
My handsome loving father and my mother's knight in shining armor.