Words and Numbers Trivia
Subcategories: | Word Roots
The word "grease monkey" comes from the person (usually a young boy) that would crawl up in the rafters to grease all of the pulleys and belts that ran all of the equipment in a blacksmith shop or machine shop.
The word "idiot" is derived from a Greek word that originally meant merely a private citizen or layman.
The word "jungle" is an old Indian term for a dense mass of plants and trees.
The word "karate" means "empty hand."
The word "live" spelled backward is "evil."
"Kemo sabe" reportedly means "soggy shrub" in Navajo.
"Lobster shift" is a colloquial term for the night shift of a newspaper staff.
"Mrs." is the abbreviation of Mistress, which originally was a title and form of address for a married woman. It was always capitalized.
"Penetralia" refers to the most private or secret of things.
"Poikilothermal" refers to anything that is cold-blooded.
"Ponce" is a British slang expression for a pimp or a campily effeminate male.
"Scapulamancy" was a method of fortune telling involving the study of cracked shoulder bones.
"Singapore" means "City of Lions," but none have ever been seen there.
"Stewardesses" is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand. Unless of course, you use the hunt-and-peck method.
"Surtitles" are English translations projected above the stage during a foreign-language performance, such as an opera.
"The Cat in the Hat" by Dr. Seuss was an answer to a 1957 report about children who were struggling to read in school. The study declared that children responded to illustrations and retained more from "fun" books. Geisel was hired by a publisher to come up with a book that would use no more than 220 words. He found two words on the list that rhymed – "cat" and "hat" – then spent nine months writing the story.
"The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" is commonly believed to be the only English sentence devised to include all the letters of the alphabet. However, typesetters and designers have alternatively employed "Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs."
"To siffilate" means to speak in a whisper.
"To whinge" is Australian slang for "to complain constantly."
"Turnip" used to be a U.S. slang expression for a pocket watch.
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