When we read, we come across a lot of words that have interesting origins…check out today’s words!
~ The longest word used by Shakespeare in any of his works is “honorificabilitudinitatibus,” found in “Love’s Labors Lost.” Unfortunately he’s no longer around to tell us what it means.
~ Colgate faced a big obstacle marketing toothpaste in Spanish speaking countries. Colgate translates into the command “go hang yourself.”
~ Ever wonder where the phrase “two bits” came from? Some coins used in the American colonies before the Revolutionary War were Spanish dollars, which could be cut into pieces, or bits. Since two pieces equaled one-fourth dollar, the expression “two bits” came into being as a name for 25 cents.
~ OK is the most successful of all Americanisms. It has invaded hundreds of other languages and been adopted by them as a word. Mencken claims that US troops deployed overseas during WWII found it already in use by Bedouins in the Sahara to the Japanese in the Pacific. It was also the fourth word spoken on the surface of the moon. It stands for oll korrect, a misspelling of all correct.
~ Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of their unwanted people without killing them used to burn their houses down – hence the expression “to get fired.”
~ “Big cheese” and “big wheel” are Medieval terms of envious respect for those who could afford to buy whole wheels of cheese at a time, an expense few could enjoy. Both these terms are often used sarcastically today.
Any words or phrases that you want to share with us??
For more, check out Useless Facts!
Photo Credits: Boa-sortee&Careca (Creative Commons license on Flickr)