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Words and Numbers Trivia

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The “&” sign was invented in 60 B.C. by Marcus Tullius Tiro. As part of Tiro's shorthand system, the symbol combined the letters “e” and “t” from the Latin word for “and,” “et.”

India ink (sometimes called "Chinese ink") was not known until recently in either China or India.

Coined in the early 1980s, the slang term “rock jock” is a mountaineering enthusiast.

The “B” setting on most cameras, used to take long exposures, stands for ‘bulb' and is named after an old method of using an air current to release the shutter.

Cold-blooded means that an animal doesn't have the ability to maintain an internal body temperature all the time. They must rely on the sun to warm them up.

The 1960s phrase "flower power" was coined by Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsberg.

It is believed that the slang term “give me a break” originated as a pool hall and billiards room expression.

Corn means wheat in England. In the Bible, corn means grain.

The act of a husband murdering his wife is called "uxoricide."

It is proper etiquette in Japan to put "-san" after another adult's name, or "-chan" after a young girl's name, or "-kun" after a boy's name, but never use these after your own.

Crayola has renamed only three crayon colors in its corporate history. In 1958, Prussian Blue was renamed Midnight Blue because, according to teachers, children could no longer relate to Prussian history. In 1962, Flesh was renamed Peach to recognize that not everyone's skin is the same shade. In 1999, Indian Red was renamed Chestnut after a public contest, which drew more than 100,000 entries; rejected contest entry names included ginger spice, crab claw red, old penny, and baseball mitt.

The act of doing more than what is required or expected is called "supererogation," although there are several earthier phrases often used by jealous co-workers.

It takes 100 sen to equal one ringgit, which is Malaysia's basic unit of currency. Malaysia is the only country that uses the ringgit as its primary legal tender.

Data suggests that 1,000 or more heart attacks may occur each year aboard scheduled U.S. airliners.

The act of snapping one's fingers has a name. It is called a "fillip."

It would take 31,688 years to reach a trillion if you counted 24 hours a day.

Dé jà lu, meaning "already read,” is the feeling that one has already read something.

The act or habit of talking while asleep is called "somniloquy."

Ketchup's name is thought to come from the Chinese word “ke-tsiap.” While some people spell it “catsup,” or “catchup,” the predominant spelling of the word today is “ketchup.”

Deborah is Hebrew for “bee.”

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