The Pattern Still Remains

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#France

Lily-of-the-Valley

Convallaria majalis is also known as Our Lady’s tears or Mary’s tears in some regions, possibly due to the pure white tear-shaped flowers. Majalis tells us that it flowers in May; traditionally the flowers are sold on the streets of France on the first day of May.

Latin for Gardeners by Lorraine Harrison, 2012.

Bistro

Bistro comes from bystra, the Russian word for “quickly.” It seems that certain sections of Paris were out of bounds to the Russians in 1814, and when the soldiers, disobeying the order, went into a tavern, they demanded fast service so that the patrols would not catch them.

The Quintessential Quiz Book by Norman G. Hickman, 1979.

Captain Louisa

A name given to Louisa Labe, a woman of various accomplishments; viz: knowledge of the classics, ability to write verses in Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, authoress of some poems, a fine lutanist, and an excellent rider. She aspired to distinction in arms, and in male attire conducted herself courageously at the siege of Perpignan.

Sobriquets & Nicknames by Albert R. Frey, 1888.

President

When George Washington became President, in 1789, a king ruled France, a Holy Roman Emperor ruled much of Europe, a czarina ruled Russia, a shogun ruled Japan, and an emperor ruled China. Of these, only the office of President remains.

Isaac Asimov’s Book of Facts, 1979.

Striptease

The first striptease originated as the result of an incident that occurred at the Four Arts Ball, held at the Moulin Rouge, Paris on 9 February 1893, when an artist’s mode called Mona stripped for the edification of the Paris students.

The Book of Firsts by Patrick Robertson, 1974.