Friday, January 29, 2010

That Explains It!

My camera is still MIA, so I really can't post anything crafty, so I thought I would share some useless trivia with you. (Not sure how accurate they are)

1. Why are many coin banks shaped like pigs?

Long ago, dishes and cookware in Europe were made of a dense orange clay called ' pygg. ' When people saved coins in jars made of this clay, the jars became known as ' pygg banks.' When an English potter misunderstood the word, he made a bank that resembled a pig and it caught on.


2. Did you ever wonder why dimes, quarters and half dollars have notches, while pennies and nickels do not?


The U.S. Mint began putting notches on the edges of coins containing gold and silver to discourage holders from shaving off small quantities of the precious metals. Dimes, quarters and half dollars are notched because they used to contain silver. Pennies and nickels aren't notched because the metals they contain are not valuable enough to shave.

3. Why do men's clothes have buttons on the right while women's clothes have buttons on the left?


When buttons were invented, they were very expensive and worn primarily by the rich. Because wealthy women were dressed by maids, dressmakers put the buttons on the maid's right! Since most people are right-handed, it is easier to push buttons on the right through holes on the left and that's where women ' s buttons have remained since.

4. Why do X ' s at the end of a letter signify kisses?


In the Middle Ages, when many people were unable to read or write, documents were often signed using an X. Kissing the X represented an oath to fulfill obligations specified in the document. The X and the kiss eventually became synonymous.


5. Why is shifting responsibility to someone else called ' passing the buck ' ?


In card games, it was once customary to pass an item, called a buck, from player to player to indicate whose turn it was to deal. If a player did not wish to assume the responsibility, he would 'pass the buck' to the next player.

6. Why do people clink their glasses before drinking a toast?

It used to be common for someone to try to kill an enemy by offering him a poisoned drink. To prove to a guest that a drink was safe, it became customary for a guest to pour a small amount of his drink into the glass of the host. Both men would drink it simultaneously. When a guest trusted his host, he would then just touch or clink the host's glass with his own.

7. Why are people in the public eye said to be 'in the limelight'?

Invented in 1825, limelight was used in lighthouses and stage lighting by burning a cylinder of lime which produced a brilliant light. In the theatre, performers on stage' in the limelight' were seen by the audience to be the center of attention.

8. Why do ships and aircraft in trouble use ' mayday ' as their call for help?

This comes from the French word m ' aidez -meaning ' help me ' -- and is pronounced ' mayday ' .

9. Why is someone who is feeling great said to be 'on cloud nine'?
Types of clouds are numbered according to the altitudes they attain, with nine
being the highest cloud. If someone is said to be on cloud nine, that person is floating well above worldly cares.

10. Why are zero scores in tennis called 'love'?


In France , where tennis first became popular, a big, round zero on scoreboard looked like an egg and was called ' lóeuf, ' which is French for ' egg. ' When tennis was introduced in the U.S., Americans pronounced it ' love. '

11. In golf, from where did the term ' Caddie ' come?

When Mary, later known as Queen of Scots, went to France as a young girl, Louis, King of France, learned that she loved the Scot game 'golf.' So he had the first golf course outside of Scotland built for her enjoyment. To make sure she was properly chaperoned (and guarded) while she played, Louis hired cadets from a military school to accompany her. Mary liked this a lot and when she returned to Scotland, she took the practice with her.. In French, the word cadet is pronounced ca-day and the Scots changed it into caddie.


12. Why do I get more car sick in the backseat?

It’s probably because you don’t have such a good view of the horizon. Motion sickness occurs when the balance mechanism in your ear registers movement while your eyes are telling you that you are stationary.

13.Do hot drinks cool you down?

Yes. They make your body think you are hotter than you really are so you sweat more and that leads to heat loss.
-As a personal note, I would always see my grandpa drinking a hot cup of coffee on a 100* day while mowing the grass. I thought he was crazy, well, he still was, but not because of the coffee :)

2 comments:

Crafty Sue said...

Thank you Amber, these are always interesting.
I hope you'll find your camera soon.
Hugs,
Sue.

Ginger said...

' When people saved coins in jars made of this clay, the jars became known as ' pygg banks.' Awesome & who knew that not me wonderful info!
Hugs and keep up the awesome blog love it!