Words and Numbers Trivia
Subcategories: | Word Roots
The little metal ring or cap attached to or near the end of a cane or wooden handle (such as on a paint brush) to prevent splitting is called a ferrule. Its name was derived from the Latin "viriola," meaning "little bracelet."
U-boat is a shortened form of the German submarine's full name of Unterseeboot, which means “undersea boat.”
The term "rhinestone," from the French caillou du Rhin, came to be because the colorless, hard-glass artificial gems were originally made at Strasbourg (on the Rhine).
The little-known verb “gralloch” means to disembowel a deer.
Vikings would often enter a battle without armor or even a shirt after drinking buckets of ale. Their wild battle style was called “berserk,” Norse for “bare shirt.”
The term "sandlot baseball" originated in San Francisco. The term dates to the 1860s when a cemetery that stands where the Civic Center is now located was converted into a park. A sand hill was leveled to create a 17-acre park, which became known as the sandlots.
The little-used adjective "tabescent" means to waste or wither away.
The term "tall ship" emerged in the 1890s in the twilight days of commercial sailing ships as nostalgia arose over the gradual disappearance of large square-rigged vessels. The term was popularized by John Masefield, a former mariner who became poet laureate of England in his poem "Sea Fever", published in 1902.
The little-used word “cully” means to cheat, trick, or impose upon.
The longest alphabet is Cambodian. It has 74 letters compared with the 26 in English.
Vitreous humor is the jellylike substance that keeps the eye inflated.
Walter was one of the most popular names for boys in the United States from 1850 to 1950, but it disappeared suddenly from popular-name lists, and is now considered old-fashioned by new parents.
The term “bonbon” means “good-good.” It was used by royal French children to describe the candies made by an Italian cook who was imported to France by the Medici queens Catherine and Marie.
Welsh in origin, the male name Arthur means “brave.”
The term “classroom” didn't come into use in the United States until after 1865.
The longest English word consisting entirely of consonants (and not including "y" as a vowel) is the word "crwth" which is from the fourteenth century and means crowd.
What is called a "French kiss" in England and America is known as an "English kiss" in France.
The term “hung jury,” a jury that cannot agree on a verdict, was coined in the 1840s.
The magician's words "hocus-pocus" were taken from the name of a mythological sorcerer, Ochus Bochus, who appeared in Norse folktales and legends.
The term “quack,” comes from a 16th century word, “quacksalver,” that meant a peddler who sold fake medicines on the street.
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