March 16th……

On this day, the first service uniform was trademarked with the U.S. Patent Office: the Playboy bunny costume. The formfitting satin corset with the fluffy cottontail, white collar, black bow tie, and rabbit ears was the official work uniform of servers at the Playboy Clubs from 1960 to 1988. Credit …

Capital, Cattle and Chattel……

The medieval Latin term capitate denoted ‘property, principal stock of wealth’. It was the neuter form of the Latin adjective capitalis (the source of English capital) which meant ‘chief, principal’, being derived from the noun caput,‘head’. Capitate was borrowed into Old French as chatel and from there passed into Old …

March 15th…..

Alexandre Dumas, the French author known for his sword- dueling epics The Man in the Iron Mask and The Three Musketeers, was no great duelist himself. On this day in 1825, the 22-year-old won his first and only sword duel when his opponent tripped over a tree root, fell backward …

March 14th……

In 1649, Oliver Cromwell helped abolish the British monarchy and overthrow King Charles I, but by 1660 the kingdom was restored and Charles’s son was in power and was determined to avenge his father. He accused Cromwell of treason and sentenced him to death. There was only one problem: Cromwell …

Where do peas come from?……

Peas first appeared on earth, according to Norse legend, as a sign of displeasure from the god Thor. He was angry at the lack of devotion he was receiving so he sent a squadron of dragons to block the wells of his feckless worshippers with peas being held in their …

March 13th…..

Alexander Graham Bell and his rival, Elisha Gray, invented the telephone independently of each other and filed their patents on the exact same day, March 13, 1876. The patent examiner, Zenas Wilber, had served with Bell’s lawyer in the Civil War and was heavily indebted to him for money loaned …

A short history of the Pun…….

The word pun is believed, at least by some etymologists, to be a contraction of the English word pundigrion or, possibly, punnet—both of which are thankfully now archaic, but in their prime were used to mean a “quibble,” a “cavil,” or a “small or fine point of argument.” Both words …

A very short history of Fur……

Fur, such as beaver, ermine or miniver, was sometimes used to line the cloaks and surcoats of the wealthy in the thirteenth century, but during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries fur was much in evidence both as a rich trimming on the edges or panels of a garment and as …

March 11th…..

Why does the G in Margaret sound different from the G in margarine? Why does C begin both case and cease? And why is it funny when a philologist faints, but not phunny to laf about it? English spelling is notoriously clumsy, with its surfeit of silent letters, fickle i’s …