Category Archives: Answers

What is the Origin of the Word “Tip”, as in Leaving a Tip

Frank Hintz: What is the origin of the word “tip” (as in leaving a tip)? You may have heard that the few hundred year old definition of “tip”, as referring to gratuity, comes from “To Insure Promptness” or similar backronyms, but this isn’t correct. In fact, pretty much anytime you’ve ever heard of a word that originated before the 20th […]

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Why Do They Call Grandfather Clocks by That Name?

J.Kaus asks: Why are Grandfather clocks called Grandfather clocks? At first glance, the answer seems obvious. Think about it- when was the last time you saw a grandfather clock in the house of anyone under the age of 70? Grandfather clocks- with their long cases, pendulums, echoing chimes, and Roman numerals- seem to belong to the world of courting parlors, […]

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Why are Women Called Sluts, Dames, and Broads?

Rinni asks: Why are women sometimes called “sluts”, “dames”, and “broads”?  Where did these words come from? Origin of the Word “Slut” “Slut” originally didn’t mean at all what it means today.  For instance, in a diary from 1664, Samuel Pepys writes, “Our little girl Susan is a most admirable slut, and pleases us mightily, doing more service than both […]

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Do Olympic Medalists Receive Cash Prizes With Their Medals?

Now You Know

Kelly asks: Do Olympic medalists receive cash prizes with their medals? Some are awarded cash prizes by their respective local Olympic committees or governments.  Also, sometimes private businessmen will match values given, such as in Armenia where a man donated $700,000 to be added to the cash given by the Olympic committee for medals. Another similar thing occurred for Belarus […]

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Why are Beets Red?

Now You Know

Sharon S asks: Why are beets red? Beets contain a pigment known as betalain, which incidentally is Latin for a certain type of common beet (Beta vulgaris).  It was this type of beet that the betalain pigment was first extracted from. (It is contained in many different types of plants) Depending on which type of betalain pigment and the concentration […]

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What Causes Dew?

Now You Know

Abi asks: What causes dew to form on grass and why does dew only form in the mornings? Actually, dew can form at any time; it just needs the right weather/temperature patterns to make it happen.  However, nighttime is usually the primary period when the factors that cause dew to form are just right. Although, as an example of when […]

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