Origin of words and phrases


This was sent to me by Ron in Finchley, and I thought, for a little light reading, I would publish it to show the origins of some of our sayings.

Starts:

In the 1400’s a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have ‘the rule of thumb’

Many years ago in Scotland , a new game was invented. It was ruled ‘Gentlemen Only…Ladies Forbidden’ … and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.

The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S. Treasury. I am not so sure whether this is true of today, America and Britain are printing money as if it is going out of fashion.

Coca-Cola was originally green.

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

The first novel ever written on a typewriter was “Tom Sawyer”.

The king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history: Spades – King David; Hearts – Charlemagne; Clubs -Alexander, the Great; Diamonds – Julius Caesar

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested? Answer: Obsession

If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter ‘A’? Answer: One thousand

What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common? Answer: All were invented by women.

What is the only food that doesn’t spoil? Answer: Honey

In Shakespeare’s time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase … ‘goodnight, sleep tight.’

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride’s father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the 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 ‘Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down.’ It’s where we get the phrase ‘mind your P’s and Q’s’

Many years ago in England pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. ‘Wet your whistle’ is the phrase inspired by this practice.

At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow!

Now…. Don’t delete this just because it looks weird. Believe it or not, you can read it. I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid. Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in what oredr the ltteers in a word are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is that the first and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it wouthit a porbelm. This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?

You know you are living in 2008 when…

1. You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave.

2. You haven’t played solitaire with real cards in years. Yup.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you. I do this with my wife sitting next to me in our home office!

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don’t have e-mail addresses.

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries. I sometimes lose my wife in the Hypermarket and ring her to find which aisle she is in!

7. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee. Every day!

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  1. #1 by Andrew on Friday, 18 July 2008 - 9:51 am

    A very interesting comment. I would think it is down to semantics (Gawd I’m illiterate! I spelled that Symantecs at first) I mean, whether you include the “and” as a number or not. If one says “one hundred and one” you are correct but if one says “one oh one” then they are correct :-)But you have made a valid point. Thanks for the comment.Ampers

  2. #2 by Olliebean on Friday, 18 July 2008 - 9:38 am

    “If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter ‘A’? Answer: One thousand”This is wrong, surely? Shouldn’t it be one hundred and one?

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