PSA-210129-Did You Know?

In George Washington’s days, there were no cameras. One’s image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his 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 ‘limbs,’ therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, ‘Okay, but it’ll cost you an arm and a leg.’ (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint)   

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As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October) Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn’t wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term ‘big wig.’ Today we often use the term ‘here comes the Big Wig’ because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.
   

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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..’

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Personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had 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 . . . Therefore, the expression ‘losing face.’

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Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A proper and dignified woman, as in ‘straight laced’. . Wore a tightly tied lace.

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Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing 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.’

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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.’

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At local taverns, pubs, and bars, 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 term minding your ‘P’s and ‘Q’s 

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One more and betting you didn’t know this!

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.’ (All this time, you thought that was an improper expression, didn’t you.

IN CASE YOU THINK YOU KNOW EVERYTHING

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*A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.*

*A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.*

*A crocodile cannot stick out its tongue.*

*A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours.* Definitely not true check out the link

*A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.*

*A “jiffy” is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.*

*A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.*

*A snail can sleep for three years.*

*Al Capone’s business card said he was a used furniture dealer.*

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

*Almonds are a member of the peach family.*

*An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain.*

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

*Butterflies taste with their feet.*

*Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds. Dogs only have about 10.*

*”Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt”.*

*February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.*

*In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.*

*If the population of China walked past you, in single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.*

*If you are an average American, in your whole life, you will spend an average of 6 months waiting at red lights.*

*It’s impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.*

*Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors.*

*Maine* *is the only state whose name is just one syllable.*

*No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.*

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

*Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.*

*Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.*

*”Stewardesses” is the longest word typed with only the left hand and *
*”lollipop” with your right.*

*The average person’s left hand does 56% of the typing.*

*The cruise liner, QE2, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.*

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

*The sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” uses *
*every letter of the alphabet.*

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

*The words ‘racecar,’ ‘kayak’ and ‘level’ are the same whether they are read *
*left to right or right to left (palindromes).*

*There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.*

*There are more chickens than people in the world.*

*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.”*

*There’s no Betty Rubble in the Flintstones Chewables Vitamins.*

*Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.*

*TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only *
*on one row of the keyboard.*

*Winston Churchill was born in a ladies’ room during a dance.*

*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.*

*There, now you know almost everything!*

Tracey J Boothe Publishing Blog

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