Why is it bad to open an umbrella indoors?

The umbrella, we all have used it probably sometime in our life. Whether it’s to protect us from sunlight, rain or some other bothersome object. But whenever you take it out, you must have heard that it’s not a good thing to open it inside and that you should wait till you’re outside. Where does this superstition of opening your umbrella outside come from? The umbrella is an old african invention, so the superstition rightfully comes from Africa. The use of the umbrellas changed, Africans used to protect themselves from Sunlight but upon entering Europe, through Spain in the 12 century, the use changed to protect one from rain. The superstition started in Africa, people believed if you opened the umbrella inside the sun god would feel insulted and harm the people.

Some facts point that the umbrella or the parasol was first invented in the middle east like many other things in the ancient times. If you go around the world you notice all kinds of different cloths for every culture and for that matter, different umbrellas.

The origin of Piggy Banks

Everybody has bought a piggy bank once, or has at least seen one. A pretty useful vessel to contain some change when you’re in a hurry. In medieval times, in England, pots and dishes were created with clay, that type of clay was called “pygg”. Much like now, pots were often used to keep some spare cash in the kitchen or in other areas in the house. Near 1600, an English pot maker got an offer to make a pot, though this one was unfamiliar with pygg bank, so he actually made a vessel in the shape of a pig. The pig had a slender hole on it’s back so you could put coins in it.

Since then piggy banks have become somewhat part of our culture. Rachel, is the biggest piggy bank in the world, it weights around 600 pounds and is made out of bronze.

Why are foot combatants called Infantry?

If you’ve ever seen anything army related, movie, book, you will know that we call the soldiers that operate on foot, infantry. This component of the army is the biggest, it has the most people in it too. Infantryman as they are called, the words meaning in Latin is non speaking, just like an infant who doesn’t reply back or refute back orders, soldiers were well trained to not answer back at a superior. Infantry also meant army ant in Latin, ants are the only other species than the humans to use army formations.

The word soldier comes from the word Solidus which meant a gold coin because it wasn’t cheap to raise an army of mercenaries.

Why do we call some people “black sheeps”?

Whenever we see someone in a pack of friends but he seems to not belong with them, we call that person a black sheep. Or when our favorite team has a player who doesn’t want to cooperate with the rest of the team. What about one of the siblings who doesn’t achieve any success and is a lazy bum unlike the rest of the family. Most families have at least one lazy person per family, that person is often called the black sheep. A black sheep is considered worthless, a normal sheep can produce wool that is useful. Nurturing a black sheep takes the same amount of time as a white one but the black wool has no value at all in the market. So raising a black sheep is a waste of time and often are considered  useless.

Black wool was useless because it could not be dyed. So uselessness of these sheep created an analogy with useless humans.

Why is an important moment called”moment of truth”?

The moment of truth is what the Spanish called the instant where a bullfighter choose to make the final slash of his sword and it was introduced into English by Ernest Hemingway. It was this American writer that wrote the novel Death In The Afternoon, it was written in 1932.  The instant the bullfighter does his last move is very crucial, it is a decisive moment for the bull and El Matador. So El momento de la verdad, or the moment of truth as it’s known in English, the phrase became associated with any big decisions.

Ernest Hemingway, was an influential writer born in Illinois, he wrote many important novels. He wrote in a distinctive style which is called the Iceberg Theory. He often never revealed the main part of the story and sidetracked a lot.

Why are Christmas Musicals Called “Carols”?

Whenever there are festive events, we like to sing some songs about these extraordinary events. Carol’s are suppose to be joyful songs that have some religious link, most often it has some relation to Christmas. The main feature of a carol is repetition more often or not chorally or musically, repeating like a circle. The word carole entered the English language from the French language  at the dieing end of the 13th century. Anciently a carole was a ring dance around a circle, where men and women held hands and danced & sang around the circle.

Most of the time these carols are sang at Christmas parties but there are quite a few Easter carols too. There are some advent carols out there too. So if you’re quite the festive type, you might like to look them up.

The origins of the word “Window”?

Window’s are an important part of every house. But there actual use appeared in the farm like many other human inventions.  The location it was invented in is somewhere in Scandinavia, early Norse homes were made for the human and it’s livestock. Up north the weather was very cold and livestock weren’t safe outside of a shelter. So this prompted a new design of home which included room for the humans and shelter for the livestock. They used the fire to warm the houses but the smoke would make it hard to breath. The Vikings decided to make holes in their houses which would become one of there most useful contributions to humankind. These openings in the structure were called vindr auga, which translates to “the wind’s eye”. Eventually the world travelled a bit south to the Briton Isles, where the word became window.

That is the great tale of why window’s were invented, what their initial use was, who invented them and how the word came to be.

Why is a fiasco something humiliating?

Whenever we say something is a fiasco why does it mean it’s humiliating and a disaster. The word Fiasco is Italian in origin, it means a normal flask or bottle and comes from the opera. The audiences would greet a bad performance by shouting the slang “Ola Fiasco”. It was compared to a glass blower’s failed attempt at a stunning piece of art. Or it was dismissed as a common flask, the opera was a second hand event and a fiasco.

The fiasco is a Italian style wine bottle with a straw design bottom. The straw basket is normally made of swamp weed and Sala, its cleaned with sulfur. Fiasco was also called the receipt for red wine in old Italy.

Why is a not funny joke called “corny”?

The word corny comes from mail order seed catalogues that existed in the early 20th century. The author of these catalogues wanted to increase the profits of his book and interest people in reading it too. The publishers helped the author by mixing in cartoon, jokes and riddles throughout the crop and garden book. These intriguing inserts were known to be very bad, very very bad. Since that every bad jokes were called corny catalogue jokes. But then the jokes simply became corny jokes and corny became associated with anything an failed attempt to something amusing.

Did you know corny is actually known as Maize, which resembles a lot to the french word Maïs which looks a lot like the Latin word.

Why is the Montreal Hockey team called “The Habs”?

The club is in the only French province of Canada, Quebec, in a time where the province was often despised by the others, the club owners decided to dedicate the club to the Quebecois people. Habs is an abbreviation for the french word “Habitants”, so The Habs basically translates into “Les Habitants“. It’s english equivalent would mean something like “those who live here“. The C.H in their jersey stands for “Club de Hockey Canadien”. The Canadians these days are a shadow of their former selves, they did win the first Stanley Cup before the NHL was actually formed… I say they’re a shadow of their selves because they have been eliminated in the first round of the play offs for the last 11 years consecutively.

Did you know that when the club was founded only french speaking players were allowed to play for the team. Later though with politically changes in the province and the country, players from all over the world were allowed into the team. This can be seen with large amount of Americans,  Belorussians and Russians.