A short history of the glove……

  Gloves evolved from the desire to protect the hands from cold and from heavy manual labour. Among the numerous examples discovered in parts of Northern Europe are “bag gloves,” sheaths of animal skin that reach to the elbow. These mittens are at least ten thousand years old. The earliest …

A very short history of the Top Hat…..

John Etherington, a London haberdasher with a fashionable shop on the Strand, emerged from his store in the twilight hours of January 15, 1797, wearing a new hat of his own design. The Times newspaper reported that Etherington’s tall black hat drew a crowd so large that a shoving match …

The real story of Sleeping Beauty….

  Originally titled “The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood”, it first appeared in Italy in 1636 by Giambattista Basile in his collection Pentamerone. In this Neapolitan “Sleeping Beauty,” a great king is forewarned by wise men that his newborn daughter, Talia, is in peril from a poison splinter in flax. …

13…..

Why is the number 13 viewed with such suspicion? Surveys show that of all bad luck superstitions, unease surrounding the number thirteen is the one that affects most people today—and in almost countless ways. The French, for instance, never issue the house address thirteen. In Italy, the national lottery omits …

Legs…..

In Chaucer`s Canterbury Tales, the Wife of Bath immediately fell in love with her fifth husband the moment she saw his legs “ so clene and faire” as he walked behind the funeral procession of her fourth husband. Lusting after a man`s leg was common practice in the middle Ages …

Medieval pregnancy tips…..

  Taken from Jacob Grimm Deutsche Mythologie (1835) If a woman walks over a garden bed or a field within six weeks of giving birth, then nothing will grow on it in the next few years, or everything will perish. A pregnant woman should never crawl under a coach pole, …

Teeth and words……

  Why doesn’t English have an expression for the space between the teeth when Malay does – gigi rongak? And that’s not the only gap in our dental vocabulary: mrongos (Indonesian) to have ugly protruding upper teeth angil (Kapampangan, Philippines) to bare the fangs like a dog laglerolarpok (Inuit) the …

Hello…….

  The first and most essential word in all languages is surely ‘hello’, the word that enables one human being to converse with another, such as: aa (Diola, Senegal) beeta (Soninke, Mali, Senegal and Ivory Coast) bok (Croatian) boozhoo (Ojibwe, USA and Canada) daw-daw (Jutlandish, Denmark) ella (Awabakal, Australia) i …

Pythagarus, beans and death….

  Pythagarus viewed as either a Shamanistic shyster or intellectual innovator, is still one of the most important names in Western philosophy. He and his followers followed some rather strange rules such as not to stir fires with iron pokers or to eat meat or beans This was because he …