DID YOU KNOW


Abbreviations
During the civil war, when troops returned with no casualties they would post a notice 0 Killed, which came to mean OK, all is well.

X's at the end of a letter signify kisses because in the Middle Ages, when many people were unable to read or write, documents were often signed using an X and kissing the X represented an oath to fulfill obligations specified in the document. 

Animals
The Elephant is the only animal which cannot jump.

Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur. 

A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes, at the same time.

Crocodiles cannot stick out their tongue.

A duck’s quack has no echo and no one has been able to figure out why.

Clothing
Most people are right-handed making it is easier to push buttons on the right through holes on the left.   

When  buttons were invented, they were very expensive and worn primarily by the rich, who were dressed by maids, so dressmakers put the buttons on the maid's right!   

Men's clothes have buttons on the right and women's clothes have buttons on the left,

English Language
Palindromes are words which are the same when read left to right or right to left - 'racecar,' 'kayak' and 'level'

There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous":  tremendous, horrendous,

stupendous, and hazardous. 

There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order:  "abstemious" and

"facetious."     

Fowl
There are more chickens in the world than there are people.

A duck’s quack has no echo and no one has been able to figure out why.

Fruit
Almonds are a member of the peach family.

Golf
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 guarded while she played, Louis hired cadets from a military school to accompany her.   Mary liked this a lot and when she returned to Scotland she took the practice with her.   In French, the word cadet is pronounced ‘ca-day' and the Scots changed it into caddie. 

Human Body
It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.

Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.

Babies are born without kneecaps.   They don't appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.

Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks; otherwise it will digest itself.   

The human body’s strongest muscle is the tongue.

Insects
A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours. 

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.

A snail can sleep for three years.

Butterflies taste with their feet.

Mosquitoes have teeth.

Inventions
Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors

The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.     

Money
A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.

All 50 states are listed across the top of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the $5 bill.

There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

Sayings
Shifting responsibility to someone else is called 'passing the buck' because 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. 

Someone who is feeling great is said to be 'on cloud nine' because the 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. 

Long ago, dishes and cookware in Europe were made of dense orange clay called 'pygg'.   When people saved coins in jars made of this clay, the jars became  known as 'pygg banks.'   An English potter misunderstood the word, and made a container that resembled a pig.   It caught on.   

The distress signal 'mayday' comes from the French word m'aidez - meaning 'help me' which pronounced, approximately, 'mayday.' 

Time
A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.

Tips
Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.

Traditions
People clink their glasses before drinking a toast because in earlier times 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. 

Weather
The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.

In Babylon 4,000 years ago the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead, a honey beer, he could drink, for a month after the wedding.   Because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.

Bats are shy animals which consume 3,000 or more mosquitoes and other insects nightly.   Bats are responsible for up to 95 percent of the seed dispersal essential to the regeneration of forests.   Bats are less likely to be infected with rabbis than dogs. 

You might consider putting up a bat house to encourage the presence of these if you have appropriate property space.

It takes glass one million years to decompose, which means it never wears out and can be recycled an infinite amount of times! 

If  you stop getting thirsty, you need to drink more water. When a human body is dehydrated, its thirst mechanism shuts off. 

Zero is the only number that cannot be represented by Roman numerals. 

Caffeine increases the power  of aspirin and other painkillers, that is why it is found in some medicines. 

The military salute is a motion that evolved from medieval times, when knights in armor raised their visors to reveal their identity. 

In ancient times strangers shook hands to show that they were unarmed.  

The moon moves about two  inches away from the Earth each year.  

Due to earth's gravity it is impossible for mountains to be higher than 15,000 meters. 

Coca-Cola was originally green. 

It is impossible to lick your elbow. 

The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven is $16,400

The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given hour is 61,000 

The first novel ever written on a typewriter was Tom Sawyer. 

The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments. 

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 

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 because of wounds received in battle.   If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes 

Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, John Hancock and Charles Thomson.   Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later. 

Bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers and laser printers were invented by women. 

Honey is the only food that doesn't spoil? 

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' 

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' 

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. 

The difference between http:// and https:// sites is security.   When you transfer data over an http:// site, your information is vulnerable to being stolen and abused.   With an https:// site your information is secure.   Never provide confidential information unless the site is https://.

To make half a kilo of honey, bees must collect nectar from over 2 million individual flowers

Heroin is the brand name of morphine once marketed by 'Bayer'.

Albert Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel in 1952, but he declined.

Because of the speed at which Earth moves around the Sun, it is impossible for a solar eclipse to last more than 7 minutes and 58 seconds.

Google's name is based on the word "googol" which is actually the common name for a number with a hundred zeros.

Gold is the only metal that doesn't rust, even if it's buried in the ground for thousands of years.

Your tongue is the only muscle in your body that is attached at only one end.

The song, Auld Lang Syne, is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year.

Peanut oil is used for cooking in submarines because it doesn't smoke unless it's heated above 450F.

The roar that we hear when we place a seashell next to our ear is not the ocean, but rather the sound of blood surging through the veins in the ear.

The banana cannot reproduce itself. It can be propagated only by the hand of man.

Airports at higher altitudes require a longer airstrip due to lower air density.

In ancient Greece, tossing an apple to a girl was a traditional proposal of marriage. Catching it meant she accepted.

If you get into the bottom of a well or a tall chimney and look up, you can see stars, even in the middle of the day.

Strawberries are the only fruits whose seeds grow on the outside.

The Earth gets 100 tons heavier every day due to falling space dust.

Anthropomorphic Nouns
Herd of cows \ Flock of chickens \ School of fish \ Gaggle of geese \ Pride of lions \ Murder of crows \ Exaltation of doves \ Parliament of owls \ Congress of baboons

Why do men's clothes have buttons on the right and women's clothes have buttons on the left?   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 ever since.

Why do ships and aircraft use 'mayday' as their call for help?  This comes from the French word m'aidez -meaning 'help me' -- and is pronounced, approximately, 'mayday.'

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

Why is shifting responsibility to someone else called 'passing the buck'?   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.

Why do people clink their glasses before drinking a toast?   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.

Why is someone who is feeling great 'on cloud nine'?   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.

In golf, where did the term 'Caddie' come from?   When Mary Queen of Scots went to France as a young girl, Louis, King of France, learned that she loved the Scots game 'golf.'   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 she returned to Scotland, she took the practice with her.   In French, the word cadet is pronounced 'ca-day' and the Scots changed it into ‘caddie.’

Why are many coin collection jar banks shaped like pigs?   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.

Herd of cows \ Flock of chickens \ School of fish \ Gaggle of geese \ Pride of lions \ Murder of crows \ Exaltation of doves \ Parliament of owls

More than half of the coastline of the entire United States is in Alaska . 

The Amazon rainforest produces more than 20% of the world's oxygen supply

Antarctica is the only land on our planet that is not owned by any country.
Ninety percent of the world's ice covers Antarctica.
This ice also represents seventy percent of all the fresh water in the world. As strange as it sounds, however, Antarctica is essentially a desert;
The average yearly total precipitation is about two inches.
Although covered with ice (all but 0.4% of it, ice.), Antarctica is the driest place on the planet,

Brazil got its name from the nut, not the other way around. 

Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined. Canada is an Indian word meaning ' Big Village '.

Damascus, Syria, was flourishing a couple of thousand years before Rome was founded in 753 BC making it the oldest continuously inhabited city in existence.

There are more Irish in New York City than in Dublin , Ireland;
more Italians in New York City than in Rome , Italy;
And more Jews in New York City than in Tel Aviv , Israel

There are no natural lakes in the state of Ohio... every one is man-made.

Siberia contains more than 25% of the world's forests.

Spain literally means 'the land of rabbits'.

                  You are gonna say "I didn't know that!" at least 5 times. 

More than half of the coastline of the entire United States is in Alaska . 

The Amazon rainforest produces more than 20% of the world's oxygen supply.

The Amazon River pushes so much water into the Atlantic Ocean that, more than one hundred miles at sea off the mouth of the river, one can dip fresh water out of the ocean.

The volume of water in the Amazon river is greater than the next eight largest rivers in the world combined and three times the flow of all rivers in the United States .

Antarctica is the only land on our planet that is not owned by any country.

Ninety percent of the world's ice covers Antarctica.

The Antarctica ice represents seventy percent of all the fresh water in the world.   

Antarctica is essentially a desert;   The average yearly total precipitation is about two inches.   Antarctica is the driest place on the planet,

Brazil got its name from the nut, not the other way around. 

Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined. 

Next to Warsaw , Chicago has the largest Polish population in the world.

Woodward Avenue in Detroit was the first paved road anywhere.

Damascus, Syria, was flourishing a couple of thousand years before Rome was founded in 753 BC making it the oldest continuously inhabited city in existence.

Istanbul, Turkey, is the only city in the world located on two continents.

The term 'The Big Apple' was coined by touring jazz musicians of the 1930s who used the slang expression 'apple' for any town or city.   Therefore, to play New York City is to play the big time - The Big Apple.

There are more Irish in New York City than in Dublin , Ireland ;
There are more Italians in New York City than in Rome , Italy ;
There are more Jews in New York City than in Tel Aviv , Israel .

There are no natural lakes in the state of Ohio every one is man-made.

Siberia contains more than 25% of the world's forests.

Spain literally means 'the land of rabbits'.

Rule of Thumb

 The Rule of Thumb comes from a law in England, in the 1400's, that allowed a man to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb.

Golf
 Comes from “Gentlemen Only...Ladies Forbidden”

Statues
 If a statue in a 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 because of wounds received in battle.   If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes

Goodnight, sleep tight
 In early times, 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'

Minding your 'P's and Q's
 In English pubs, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers.   A bar maid's job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming.   She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in 'pints' and who was drinking in 'quarts,' hence the phrase 'minding your 'P's and Q's'.  Or

 Customers ordered ale by pints and quarts.  When customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them, 'Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down.'   Which was shortened to Mind your P’s and Q’s.

"God willing and the Creek don't rise"
 Was a reference to the Creek Indians and not a body of water.  Benjamin Hawkin, a politician and Indian diplomat, wrote, when requested by the President to return to Washington. "God willing and the Creek don't rise.",  referring to the Creek Indian tribe and not a body of water.

It'll cost you an arm and a leg.
 Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted.   Hands and arms are more difficult to paint, therefore painting them would cost the buyer more.

Chairman or Chairman of the Board.
 In the late 1700's, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining.   The 'head of the household' always sat in the chair while everyone else sat on the floor.   Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal.. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge.  They called the one sitting in the chair the 'chair man.' Today in business, we use the expression or title 'Chairman' or 'Chairman of the Board.'

Mind your own bee's wax.
 In early days many women and men developed acne scars by adulthood.   The women would spread bee's wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions.   When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman's face she was told, 'mind your own bee's wax.'  Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term 'crack a smile'.  In addition, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt which hence the expression 'losing face.'

Straight Laced
 Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front.   Proper and dignified woman, wore a tightly tied laced corset which gave rise to the term “straight laced”

Not playing with a full deck
 In olden times entertainment largely involved playing cards.   However, there was a tax levied on playing cards but only applicable to the 'Ace of Spades...To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead.  Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren't 'playing with a full deck..'

Gossip
 Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important.   Since there were no telephones, TV's or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars.   They were told to 'go sip some Ale and listen to people's conversations and political concerns.  The information they gathered came to be referred to as 'gossip.'

'Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.'
 In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls.  It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon.   However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck?   The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen.  Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon.  There was only one problem....how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a 'Monkey' with 16 round indentations.   However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make 'Brass Monkeys.'   Few  landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled.   Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey;  Thus, it was quite literally, 'Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.'

 "Balls to the wall" \ Early aircraft's throttles had a ball on the end of it, in order to go full throttle the pilot had to push the throttle all the way forward into the wall of the instrument panel.   Hence "balls to the wall" for going very fast.

“The whole nine yards” \ During WWII , U.S. airplanes were armed with belts of bullets which they would shoot during dogfights and on strafing runs.   These belts were folded into the wing compartments of the planes and fed their machine guns.   These belts measure 27 feet and contained hundreds of rounds of bullets.   Often times, the pilots would return from their missions having expended all of their bullets on various targets and would say, “I gave them the whole nine yards,” meaning they used up all of their ammunition.

“It cost an arm and a leg” \ In earlier times, there were no cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted.   Paintings often portrayed individuals standing behind a desk with one arm behind their back, while others showed both legs and both arms.   Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted.   Arms and legs are arms are more difficult to paint' therefore painting them would cost the buyer more.   Hence the expression, 'Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg.'

“Chairman of the board” \ In the late 1700's, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The 'head of the household' always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor.   Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal.   To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge.   They called the one sitting in the chair the 'chair man.' Today in business, we use the expression or title 'Chairman' or 'Chairman of the Board.'

 

“He is not playing with a full deck” \ In earlier times, a tax was levied on playing cards, but the tax only applicable to the 'Ace of Spades.'   To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead.   Since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb, because they weren't 'playing with a full deck.'

“gossip” \ Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important.   Since there were no telephones, TV's or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars.   They were told to 'go sip some Ale and listen to people's conversations and political concerns.   Many assistants were dispatched at different times.   'You go sip here' and 'You go sip there.' The two words 'go sip' were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we have the term 'gossip.'

 

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong, the commander of the Apollo 11 lunar module, was the first person to set foot on the moon.   His first words after stepping on the moon were, "that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind", were televised to earth and heard by millions.   However, just before he re-entered the lunar module he made the enigmatic remark - "Good Luck, Mr. Gorsky."   It was assumed Armstrong’s remark were for a rival soviet cosmonaut.   But when asked about the comment, over a period of several years, Armstrong declined to comment.   On July 5, 1995, in Tampa Bay, Florida, while answering questions following a speech, a reporter brought up the 26-year-old question about Mr. Gorsky.   This time, Armstrong finally responded, noting Mr. Gorsky had died and reported in 1938, when he was a kid in a small mid-western town, he was playing baseball with a friend in his backyard.   His friend hit the ball, which landed in his neighbor's (Mr. And Mrs. Gorsky) yard, by their bedroom window.   As he leaned down to pick up the ball, young Armstrong heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky, "SEX! You want SEX?! You'll get sex when the kid next door walks on the moon".