Tuesday, August 02, 2011

I Never Knew That...


Uh...do you recon any of this shit is true?

Q: Why do men's clothes have buttons on the right while women's clothes have buttons on the left?
A: When buttons were invented, they were very expensive and worn primarily by the rich. Since most people are right-handed, it is easier to push buttons on the right through holes on the left. Because wealthy women were dressed by maids, dressmakers put the buttons on the maid's right!  And that's where women's buttons have remained since. (I thought it was because it was easier to unbutton and get your hand in the blouse at the drive-in.)

Q: Why do ships and aircraft use 'mayday' as their call for help?
A: This comes from the French word m'aidez -meaning 'help me' -- and is pronounced, approximately, 'mayday.' (Now days ships us SOS - Shit! Oh, Shit!)

Q: Why are zero scores in tennis called 'love'?
A: In France , where tennis became popular, round zero on the scoreboard looked like an egg and was called 'l'oeuf,' which is French for 'egg.'  When tennis was introduced in the US, Americans (mis)pronounced it 'love.'

Q. Why do X's at the end of a letter signify kisses?
A: In the Middle Ages, when many people were unable to read or write, documents were often signed using an X. Kissing the X represented an oath to fulfill obligations specified in the document. The X and the kiss eventually became synonymous. (The have found, in old hotel registries out West, where some of the X's had a circle around it.  That was because when the young, illiterate cowboys came to town the didn't want to use their real names.)

Q: Why is shifting responsibility to someone else called 'passing the buck'?
A: In card games, it was once customary to pass an item, called a buck, from player to player to indicate whose turn it was to deal. If a player did not wish to assume the responsibility of dealing, he would 'pass the buck' to the next player.

Q: Why do people clink their glasses before drinking a toast?
A: It used to be common for someone to try to kill an enemy by offering him a poisoned drink. To prove to a guest that a drink was safe, it became customary for a guest to pour a small amount of his drink into the glass of the host. Both men would drink it simultaneously.  When a guest trusted his host, he would only touch or clink the host's glass with his own.

Q: Why are people in the public eye said to be 'in the limelight'?
A: Invented in 1825,limelight was used in lighthouses and theaters by burning a cylinder of lime which produced a brilliant light. In the theater,a performer 'in the limelight' was the center of attention.

Q: Why is someone who is feeling great 'on cloud nine'?
A: Types of clouds are numbered according to the altitudes they attain, with nine being the highest cloud. If someone is said to be on cloud nine, that person is floating well above worldly cares.

Q: In golf, where did the term 'Caddie' come from?
A. When Mary Queen of Scots went to France as a young girl, Louis, King of France, learned that she loved the Scots game 'golf.' So he had the first course outside of Scotland built for her enjoyment. To make sure she was properly chaperoned (and guarded) while she played, Louis hired cadets from a military school to accompany her. Mary liked this a lot and when returned to Scotland (not a very good idea in the long run), she took the practice with her. In French, the word cadet is pronounced 'ca-day' and the Scots changed it into caddie.

Q: Why are many coin banks shaped like pigs?
A: Long ago, dishes and cookware in Europe were made of a dense orange clay called 'pygg'. When people saved coins in jars made of this clay, the jars became known as 'pygg banks.' When an English potter misunderstood the word, he made a container that resembled a pig. And it caught on.

Q: Did you ever wonder why dimes, quarters and half dollars have notches (milling), while pennies and nickels do not?
A: The US Mint began putting notches on the edges of coins containing gold and silver to discourage holders from shaving off small quantities of the precious metals. Dimes, quarters and half dollars are notched because they used to contain silver. Pennies and nickels aren't notched because the metals they contain are not valuable enough to shave. (Did this make sense to you? Me either. How would having notches prevent anyone from shaving or cutting off a bit of coin?)

Oh well, believe what you want to believe. I don't stake my life on any of this.


Beau's Mom said...

It's all true, my little disbeliever. Trust me. I've never lied to you.

AirmanMom said...

fascinating (if it is indeed true!)

Coffeypot said...

BM, there is no need to lie to me, we aren't married.

AM, I'm a doubter.

Maxwell said...

I'm nerdy enough to know from independent sources that most of those are true. And quite interesting!

Oh, and the notches would prevent people from shaving the coins, but a corollary to that is that many bankers and shopkeepers would refuse to accept coins (dimes and quarters) with smooth sides because they knew they'd been shaved.

Coffeypot said...

Thanks, Maxwell. I understand the coin thing now.

Paxford said...

I like the "Anonymous Cowboys" - can you send a few this way? :D


dc said...

You must work really hard to find all this stuff for us to enjoy reading! Keep up the good work and don't get to hot! Are you as hot as we are here in the mid west?

Coffeypot said...

Pax, I KNOW you luvs you some cowboys. I need to sends some IRL cowboys down to you. (Tipping the Stetson) Ya welcome, Ma’am. )

dc, we have had several weeks with high 90’s and just touching 100, but we also had some late afternoon thunder showers to help steam up the place. We’ve had nothing like you guys out West have had. It’s been a brutal summer for you guys. I head it was so dry the catfish had ticks on’em.

JihadGene said...

Deer Coffeyplots,
Wonderful post LOOONG time!!!
Great Reader, KIM Jong IL

Coffeypot said...

JG, My favorite North Korean midget, it's good to see you back here. Don't stay gone so long...I might have some fresh porn for ya.

Momma Fargo said...

I have always been frustrated with the button thingy. Silly.

Not So Simply Single said...

I guess I learn something new every day!


Still pondering!


Not So Simply Single said...

I may have to confiscate this post and use it on my blog...

Oh yeah, I am bad...

But you already knew that..........

Marnie said...

Very interesting! Especially about the buttons. xo

Coffeypot said...

N triple S, help yourself.

Marnie, which comment, mine or the explanation? In high school I really thought that it must be true because it was so convenient.