The Pattern Still Remains

Jul 24

Burlap Coffee Sacks at Gather.

Burlap Coffee Sacks at Gather.

Kissing & Wine Tasting

Among the ancient Romans matrons and virgins, the use of wine was unknown and the women were taxed with immodesty whose breath smelled of the grape.   Pliny tells us that Cato was of the opinion that kissing first began between kinsmen and kinswomen, that they might know whether their wives, daughters or nieces had tasted of wine.

Complete Speaker’s And Toastmaster’s Library by Jacob M. Braude, 1965.

Hokum

This is a happy combination of hocus and bunkum and means “a sentimental or melodramatic device for attracting attention, stimulating emotion, or winning support” - often for a questionable proposition.

Complete Speaker’s And Toastmaster’s Library by Jacob M. Braude, 1965.

Gunny Sack

This word has been traced back to India.  It is from Sanskrit, goni, meaning “sack” or “bag” made from the coarse fibers of jute.

Complete Speaker’s And Toastmaster’s Library by Jacob M. Braude, 1965.

Golf Cadets

In France, Mary Queen of Scots called the boys who fetched her golf balls, “cadets,” pronounced “cadday,” hence “caddie.”

Complete Speaker’s And Toastmaster’s Library by Jacob M. Braude, 1965.

Jul 23

Swan-and-Skunk Cocktail at Seattle Weekly

Swan-and-Skunk Cocktail at Seattle Weekly

Friday the 13th

One theory links together the fact that Christ was crucified on Friday and that there were thirteen present at the Last Supper, with Judas counting as the thirteenth.

Complete Speaker’s And Toastmaster’s Library by Jacob M. Braude, 1965.

Curfew

Literally, “cover the fire,” from the French couvre le feu.

Complete Speaker’s And Toastmaster’s Library by Jacob M. Braude, 1965.

Cocktail & Feathers

It is said that this word was born during the American Revolution when a barmaid who served Colonial and allied French officers their evening drinks decided on an extra touch. She garnished the drinks with tail feathers of chickens stolen from a British sympathizer.  This so delighted one of the Frenchmen that he shouted bilingually “Vive le coq’s tail!”

Complete Speaker’s And Toastmaster’s Library by Jacob M. Braude, 1965.

Chicago & Skunk

It would seem that all forms of the spelling go back to an Indian word, she-gahg, meaning “skunk,” but whose uses were synonymous with strong, pungent, mighty.

Complete Speaker’s And Toastmaster’s Library by Jacob M. Braude, 1965.

Jul 22

Anecdotes Venitiennes et Turques at Rare Books and Manuscripts Section

Anecdotes Venitiennes et Turques at Rare Books and Manuscripts Section

Anecdote

Originally this term was reserved for a story told in strict confidence. It is from the Greek an ekdotos, meaning not to be published or given out.

Complete Speaker’s And Toastmaster’s Library by Jacob M. Braude, 1965.

Jul 19

Arrowhead Christmas Tree Candles at Ruby Lane.

Arrowhead Christmas Tree Candles at Ruby Lane.

Christmas Lights

Martin Luther was the first person to put lights on a Christmas tree. Luther reportedly placed candles on his tannenbaum to represent the stars above Bethlehem on the night of Christ’s birth.

2201 Fascinating Facts by David Louis, 1983.

Jupiter & Prescriptions

The Rx sign used today on pharmaceutical prescriptions was originally an astrological sign for the planet Jupiter. 

2201 Fascinating Facts by David Louis, 1983.