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Conversation Pieces

Lt Kije

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Some new interesting conversation pieces.



*Q: Why do men's clothes have buttons on the right while women's clothes

have buttons on the left?**


**A: 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 since.*


*Q: Why do ships and aircraft use 'mayday' as their call for help?*


*A: This comes from the French word m'aidez -meaning 'help me' -- and is

pronounced, approximately, 'mayday.'*


*Q: Why are zero scores in tennis called 'love'?*


*A: In France , where tennis became popular, round zero on the scoreboard

looked like an egg and was called 'l'oeuf,' which is French for 'egg.' When

tennis was introduced in the US , Americans (mis)pronounced it 'love.'*


*Q. Why do X's at the end of a letter signify kisses?*


*A: In the Middle Ages, when many people were unable to read or write,

documents were often signed using an X. Kissing the X represented an oath to

fulfill obligations specified in the document. The X and the kiss eventually

became synonymous.*


*Q: Why is shifting responsibility to someone else called 'passing the buck


*A: 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.*


*Q: Why do people clink their glasses before drinking a toast?*


*A: 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.*


*Q: Why are people in the public eye said to be 'in the limelight'?*


*A:Invented in 1825,limelight was used in lighthouses and theatres by

burning a cylinder of lime which produced a brilliant light. In the

theatre,a performer 'in the limelight' was the centre of attention.*


*Q: Why is someone who is feeling great 'on cloud nine'?


**A: 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.


**Q: In golf, where did the term 'Caddie' come from?**


A. 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 chaperoned (and guarded) while she played, Louis hired cadets from

a military school to accompany her. Mary liked this a lot and when returned

to Scotland (not a very good idea in the long run), she took the practice

with her. In French, the word cadet is pronounced 'ca-day' and the Scots

changed it into 'caddie.*


*Q: Why are many coin banks shaped like pigs?**


**A: 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.**



So there! Now you


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Maybe I can chip in with a couple.


Why are small letters called 'lower case'?


Because in the early days of printing, the capital letters were kept on the bench top and the small letters were kept in a case under the bench.



Why do Mexicans call white folk gringos?


During the Spanish American war, at night, both armies would camp a few miles apart. The Americans would gather round the camp fire and have a sing along to pass the time. The most popular song happened to be "Green grow the rushes o". The Mexicans would listen to it coming over the still night air and to them it sounded like 'gringo'and the name was born.

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