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What the Dot Over the Lower Case Letter “i” is Called

What the Dot Over the Lower Case Letter “i” is Called

Daven Hiskey October 20, 2010 2

Today I found out what the dot over the lower case letter “i” is called, namely a “tittle”. While this isn’t a commonly used word any longer, the expression “jot or tittle” still endures

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Where the Word “Wiki” Comes From

Where the Word “Wiki” Comes From

Daven Hiskey October 15, 2010 9

Today I found out where the word “wiki” comes from. Howard G. Cunningham, the developer of the first wiki which was launched in 1995 called WikiWikiWeb, upon his first visit to Hawaii was informed

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Why the Hottest Part of the Summer is Called the “Dog Days”

Why the Hottest Part of the Summer is Called the “Dog Days”

Daven Hiskey October 14, 2010 5

Today I found out why the hottest part of the summer is called the “Dog Days”. The earliest reference to some aspect of this expression goes all the way back to the Ancient Egyptians. 

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Where the Word “Lego” Comes From

Where the Word “Lego” Comes From

Daven Hiskey October 13, 2010 1

Today I found out where the word “lego” comes from. In 1934, Danish carpenter Ol Kirk Kristiansen, the founder of what we now know of as Lego®, asked his staff to come up with

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Where the Term “Rock and Roll” Came From

Where the Term “Rock and Roll” Came From

Daven Hiskey October 5, 2010 7

Today I found out where the term “rock and roll” came from. The word “roll” has been used since the Middle Ages to refer to, among other things, having sex: “Let’s go for a

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Where the Words “Geek” and “Nerd” Came From

Where the Words “Geek” and “Nerd” Came From

Daven Hiskey September 30, 2010 19

Today I found out where the words “geek” and “nerd” came from. The first documented case of “geek” dates all the way back to 1916.  At the time, the term was used to describe

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Where the Word “Plastic” Came From

Where the Word “Plastic” Came From

Daven Hiskey September 22, 2010 4

Note: This is a guest article contributed by plastics engineer and owner of Polymeric Life, Noah. Today I found out where the word plastic came from. The word plastic existed long before the first

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How the Word “Spam” Came to Mean “Junk Message”

How the Word “Spam” Came to Mean “Junk Message”

Daven Hiskey September 10, 2010 23

Today I found out how the word “spam” came to mean “junk message” or “junk mail”. While some have suggested that this was because SPAM (as in the Hormel meat product) is sometimes satirized

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“Hip Hip” in “Hip Hip, Hooray” Was Once an Anti-Semitic Phrase

“Hip Hip” in “Hip Hip, Hooray” Was Once an Anti-Semitic Phrase

Daven Hiskey September 9, 2010 23

Today I Found Out the “Hip Hip” in “Hip Hip, Hooray” was once anti-Semitic. This phrase is thought to have its origins in the middle-age Latin battle-cry “Hieroslyma est perdita’, which means “Jerusalem is

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Why a Baker’s Dozen is 13 Instead of 12

Why a Baker’s Dozen is 13 Instead of 12

Daven Hiskey September 7, 2010 26

Daniel G asks: Why is a baker’s dozen 13 and not 12? There are three main theories for why a baker’s dozen is 13 instead of 12, but most think it has its origins

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How Earth Got Its Name

How Earth Got Its Name

Noreen September 6, 2010 34

Today I found out how ‘Earth’ came to be called so. Firstly, it’s important to understand that nearly every language has its own name for the planet. It’s called ‘terra’ in Portuguese, ‘dünya’ in

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Origin of the Word “Bacon”

Origin of the Word “Bacon”

Daven Hiskey August 30, 2010 5

Today I found out the origin of the word “bacon”. The word derives originally from the Old High German “bacho”, meaning “buttock”, which in turn derived from the Proto-Germanic “backoz”, meaning “back”.  By the

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The Word ‘Man’ was Originally Gender Neutral

The Word ‘Man’ was Originally Gender Neutral

Daven Hiskey August 25, 2010 15

Today I found out that the word ‘man’ was originally gender neutral, meaning more or less the same as the modern day word “person”.  It wasn’t until about a thousand years ago that the

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What the “ZIP” in “ZIP Code” Stands For and What the Numbers Signify

What the “ZIP” in “ZIP Code” Stands For and What the Numbers Signify

Daven Hiskey August 16, 2010 6

Today I found out what the “ZIP” in “ZIP Code” stands for and what the numbers signify. ZIP Code or “Zone Improvement Plan Code” was a system put in place by the U.S. Postal

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Origin of the Name of the Sport Cricket

Origin of the Name of the Sport Cricket

Daven Hiskey August 11, 2010 2

Today I found out the origin of the name of the sport Cricket. The name is originally thought to either have been derived from the Old French “criquet”, meaning “goal, post, or stick” or

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Why the Toilet is Sometimes Called a “John”

Why the Toilet is Sometimes Called a “John”

Daven Hiskey August 9, 2010 8

Today I found out why the toilet is sometimes called a “John”. The term is thought to derive from Sir John Harrington or, at the least, to have been popularized due to Harrington. (There

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The Fear of Being Buried Alive is Called ‘Taphophobia’

The Fear of Being Buried Alive is Called ‘Taphophobia’

Daven Hiskey August 4, 2010 11

Today I found out that the medical term for the irrational fear of being buried alive is called Taphophobia, also occasionally spelled Tephephobia, which means the same thing.    Taphophobia derives from the Greek

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Origin of the Term “Booze”

Origin of the Term “Booze”

Daven Hiskey August 3, 2010 15

Today I found out the origin of the term “booze”. The first references to the word “booze” meaning “alcoholic drink” in English appear around the 14th century, though it was originally spelled “bouse”.  The

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