Jul 5, 2018

Random Thursday

There's just a few more pages in the "People & Places" section of The Little Book of Answers by Doug Lennox! Soon we'll be moving into Pop Culture, which should prove to be interesting since this book was published in 2003! I didn't realize this book was that old when I bought it! Lol!

(image borrowed from sophomoremag.com)
Ever wonder why we call second year college (and I suppose high school too, but the book just mentioned college) students sophomores? This description first emerge at Cambridge in 1688. It's built from the Greek words "sophos" meaning wise and "moros" which means foolish. So a sophomore is somewhere between ignorance and wisdom. Which also goes in hand with when something is "sophomoric" it means it's pretentious or foolish.

I totally get it...but what about junior then? Is it just close to senior and therefore almost wise? I want to know the rest now!

(image borrowed from Thrilling Detective)
 The private detective gained the name "private eye" in a rather interesting way. The Pinkteron Detective Agency opened up in Chicago in 1850. They have the slogan and logo you see above and the agency was a very effective one. Criminals began calling this agency "the eye". Raymond Chandler and other fiction writers in the 1930s and 1940s embellished the expression by having their private investigators be referred to as "private eyes."

(image borrowed from TripAdvisor)
When a woman is temporarily separated from her husband she's called a "grass widow". The name originates from Europe hundreds of years ago when the summers were hot and unbearable. Since grass was scarce in the lowlands, husbands would send their wives, families, and resting workhorses up into the cooler grassy uplands while they remained behind to till the land. It was said that the women and horses were "sent to grass" which then led to the term "grass widow."
I honestly never heard of the term until this moment! 
(image borrowed from MyPostcard) 
A husband referring to his wife as his "better half" dates back to a Middle Eastern legend when a Bedouin man had been sentenced to his death. His wife pleaded with the tribal leader that since they were married they had become one. That to punish half of their union, you'd also be punishing the other half who was innocent. The court agreed to her reasoning and the man's life was saved by his "better half."
(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
Women being referred to the "distaff" side of the family dates back to medieval times when the marriage bargain had the man responsible for the labor outside of the house and the woman provided nourishment and comfort inside. A "distaff" was a rod used to hold wool when weaving and became a symbol of honor and respect to the value of a woman's work towards the family's well-being. The man's equivalent to the female "distaff" was the "spear side"--guessing because he protected the family?


1 comment:

  1. I love the breakdown of the word "sophomore." Haha! "Grass widow" is also one I've never heard of!


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