A Bit of Trivia
mlee303 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Mar 3 12:00:36 UTC 2001
> 1. In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by
> When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the
> firmer to sleep on. that's where the phrase, "goodnight, sleep
> tight" came from.
> 2. The sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog,"
> Uses every
> letter in the alphabet. (developed by Western Union to test
> 3. The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch every
> because when it was built, engineers failed to take into account
> weight of all the books that would occupy the building.
> 4. The term "the whole nine yards" came from W.W.II fighter pilots
> in the
> Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the 50 caliber
> machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being
> loaded into
> the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it
> got "the
> whole nine yards."
> 5. The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from an old English law
> stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than
> 6. The name Jeep came from the abbreviation used in the army for
> "General Purpose" vehicle, GP.
> 7. The first toilet ever seen on television was on "Leave It To
> 8. 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" or what
> we know
> today as the honeymoon."
> 9. In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old
> England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at
> them to mind their
> own pints and quarts and settle down. It's where we get the phrase
> your P's and Q's"
> 10. Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked
> 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.
Margaret G. Lee, Ph.D.
Associate Professor - English and Linguistics
& University Editor
Department of English
Hampton University, Hampton, VA 23668
e-mail: mlee303 at yahoo.com or margaret.lee at hamptonu.edu
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