Trivia - true or false.

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  • #1
Astronuc
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Forwarded from a family member. The originator claims not to have verified any of this.

In the 1400's a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have "the rule of thumb"
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Many years ago in Scotland , a new game was invented. It was ruled "Gentlemen Only...Ladies Forbidden"...and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.
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The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
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Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S. Treasury.
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Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.
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Coca-Cola was originally green.
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It is impossible to lick your elbow.
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The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska
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The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% (now get this...)
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The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%
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The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400
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The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given hour: 61,000
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Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
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The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.
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The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.
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Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs -Alexander, the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar
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111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
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If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
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Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.
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Q. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what?
A. Their birthplace
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Q. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested?
A. Obsession
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Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter "A"?
A. One thousand
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Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common?
A. All were invented by women.
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Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
A. Honey
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Q. Which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the year?
A. Father's Day
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In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase......... "goodnight, sleep tight."
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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, which we know today as the honeymoon.
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In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England , when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them "Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down."
It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's"
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Many years ago in England , pub frequenters had a whistle baked into 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.

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For the one on Golf - I went to Wikipedia -
The word golf was first mentioned in writing in 1457 on a Scottish statute on forbidden games as gouf,[1] possibly derived from the Scots word goulf (variously spelled) meaning "to strike or cuff". This word may, in turn, be derived from the Dutch word kolf, meaning "bat," or "club," and the Dutch sport of the same name. But there is an even earlier reference to the game of golf and it is believed to have happened in 1452 when King James II banned the game because it kept his subjects from their archery practice.[2] It is often claimed that the word originated as an acronym for "gentlemen only, ladies forbidden", but this is an urban legend.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golf#Etymology

Never the less, golf is a boring game and I don't play it. My brother and father on the other hand love the game. I'd rather play football (soccer) or go hiking, running or kayaking/canoeing, or gardening.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Moonbear
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I thought "rule of thumb" came from using the distance between your knuckle and tip of your thumb as a rough approximation for an inch. But, I have no more to verify that than the claim above has.

I know I can't lick my own elbow...I tried really hard last time someone posted about that, and my shoulder was sore for a few days from the effort. But, I couldn't say for certain that there isn't someone, somewhere with an unusually long tongue, or especially flexible shoulder who can do it.

Haven't gotten any further through the list than that.

Edit:
Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter "A"?
A. One thousand
Hmm... I only had to count up to "quatro." :biggrin:
 
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  • #3
Evo
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I can lick the side of my elbow, does that count? Or do I have to lick the back? I bet that kid that can contort himself to fit in that little box can do it. :eek:
 
  • #4
Kurdt
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I heard somewhere that rule of thumb is derived from what is given above. I can't remember where though. Could have been QI. There are indeed other claims to where the term rule of thumb came from but noobody knows for sure which it is.
 
  • #6
arildno
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Well, supposedly, the most four-letterish word in English is a contraction of "Fornication Under Consent of the King".
 
  • #7
Kurdt
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I meant QI debunked the wife beating law. Sorry should have been more clear. :smile:
 
  • #8
Gokul43201
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All the word/phrase origins, except possibly for the 'wet your whistle' one and the honeymoon origin (never heard either explanation, but find the latter more plausible) but including arildno's "fornication..." are urban legends.

The letters 'p' and 'q' are just easy to confuse, because of how they look. 'Sleep tight' just means 'sleep well'. 'Tight' was synonymous with 'well' or 'soundly' in Elizabethan English.
 
  • #9
Gokul43201
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I remember being told the horse-statue explanation by an uncle - a Colonel in the army - when I was a wee lad.
 
  • #10
Moonbear
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The letters 'p' and 'q' are just easy to confuse, because of how they look.
Yes, particularly when one was typesetting letters in mirror image of what they would look like when printed.
 
  • #11
Evo
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Yes, particularly when one was typesetting letters in mirror image of what they would look like when printed.
That's right!! I remember now, it was about typesetting.
 
  • #12
Moonbear
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That's right!! I remember now, it was about typesetting.
And yet, I'm the one who failed miserably on the pointless trivia test. Apparently they just didn't make the questions pointless enough. :biggrin:
 
  • #13
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I remember reading about the 'honey month' that honey is an aphrodisiac (it increases hormone levels), and the time period (month) was, that IF the woman got pregnant, the man would know for certain that it was his child.
 
  • #14
Evo
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I remember reading about the 'honey month' that honey is an aphrodisiac (it increases hormone levels), and the time period (month) was, that IF the woman got pregnant, the man would know for certain that it was his child.
Silly men. :tongue:
 
  • #15
Kurdt
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I remember reading about the 'honey month' that honey is an aphrodisiac (it increases hormone levels), and the time period (month) was, that IF the woman got pregnant, the man would know for certain that it was his child.
Obviously that should be the natural conclusion. If your partner gets preganant during the month that everyone is running around under the influence of an aphrodisiac then that guarantees the child is yours.

Is there any consensus over whether it is 'whet your whistle' or 'wet your whistle'? Not that it would make too much difference but if it were the former then the story Astronuc gave may not be true.
 
  • #17
Astronuc
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Silly men. :tongue:
Hey, whatever works. :wink: :tongue2:

Honeymoon sounds better than meadmoon, alemoon or beermoon.
 
  • #18
arildno
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"whet" is related to the Norwegian word "kvesse", meaning "to sharpen".

The transition from "kv" in Norse to "wh" in English is very common, as in whelp/kvalp, where/kvar, wheat/kveite (or hvete), whale/kval (hval), white/kvit (hvit) and so on.

In modern Norwegian, "kv"-s have usually been substituted with "hv"-s.
 
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  • #19
mgb_phys
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Well, supposedly, the most four-letterish word in English is a contraction of "Fornication Under Consent of the King".
Generally acronyms are always myths - they weren't common outside the army before the 1950s.
Focken is a low German / Dutch word for hit or 'bang'
 
  • #20
mgb_phys
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Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs -Alexander, the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar
Only french playing cards have different kings, English ones are the same.
 
  • #21
arildno
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Generally acronyms are always myths - they weren't common outside the army before the 1950s.
Focken is a low German / Dutch word for hit or 'bang'
Great!
We have that word in Norwegian, too!
But in a very special sense:

The verb "fokke" is used exclusively about how snow blowing in the wind amasses in hard, growing piles. The snow is "hitting" itself into rest.

I am not joking; this is true.
 
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  • #22
mgb_phys
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The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given hour: 61,000
Boeing claim that there are 1500, 737s airborne at any time. With 150 passengers each and half the 737s being used in the US thats probably right.
 
  • #23
arildno
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Great!
We have that word in Norwegian, too!
But in a very special sense:

The verb "fokke" is used exclusively about how snow blowing in the wind amasses in hard, growing piles. The snow is "hitting" itself into rest.

I am not joking; this is true.
I made an excursion into the dictionary, and the following interesting trail revealed itself:

The verb "fokke" concerning primarily snow originally referred to how snow particles (and other tiny objects) whizzed through the air in strong wind (the snow slamming into the ground/surroundings later on).

This meaning is directly related to the verb "fyke", having the general meaning of "moving very swiftly/whizz".

Furthermore, the banging aspect (after very swift movement) is retained in our verb "fike", usually reserved to expressions like "å fike til noen", i.e, "to slap someone".

And the German verb "ficken" has the same meaning as that four-letterish English word..
 
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  • #24
mgb_phys
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And the German verb "ficken" has the same meaning as that four-letterish English word..
It's interesting how slang survives 1000 yars of language separation better than polite terms!
 
  • #25
mgb_phys
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"whet" is related to the Norwegian word "kvesse", meaning "to sharpen".
It should be 'whet' and dates from the C14.
"Had She oones Wett Hyr Whystyll She couth Syng full clere Hyr pater noster"
From whet = prepare/sharpen as in whetstone.
 

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