Apr 4, 2019

Random Thursday

Just one more week in the Animals chapter of The Little Book of Answers by Dave Lennox. This book has sure proven to be an excellent find! I love all these oddball little facts!

(this image was borrowed from ASPCA)
When a woman is acting hysterical it's said that she's "having kittens." This saying dates back to the Salem Witch Trials when a pregnant woman had the misfortune to have premature pains people would assume she was bewitched. Since cats were grouped with witches, people feared she was about to have a litter of kittens and they were trying to claw their way out of her. Her hysteria would be due to her "having kittens."

Wow. Clearing procreation was not discussed or studied well in this era!

(image borrowed from Wiktionary)
When a particular venture is risky it's called a "wildcat" especially if there's a good chance of failure. It came from a time before there were regulations for banks. Banks such as Bank of Michigan were allowed to issue their own money that depicted a panther's face on the bills. The money was called "wildcats." The bank eventually went down as did a lot of fortunes. It was at that point that all high-risk ventures were described as "wildcats."

Never heard of that before! 

(image borrowed from National Geographic Kids)
When your computer has a problem, it's said that it has a "bug." This came about in 1945 when Grace Hopper was designing the first large-scale computer for the American Navy. There was an unexplained problem with it that lasted for days. Finally, the problem was found to be a moth that had gotten stuck it the relay system. From that point on, any computer problems that were in-explainable were called "bugs." 

That's rather funny!

(image borrowed from Cook's Illustrated)
When someone is successful we say that they are "bringing home the bacon," an expression that dates back to thousands of years ago when there was a British competition of trying to catch a greased pig. The first time the expression came into North American use was in 1910 when Jack Johnson's mother told the press after he won the competition, "My boy said he'd bring home the bacon." From that point on the expression would mean achieving success.

Another interesting factoid I had no clue as to its origins!

(image borrowed from The Motley Fool)
A "nest egg" is money that grows with interest of through investments over a period of time. The saying about saving money for a rainy day refers to this "nest egg." The expression is very old and refers to when poultry farmers would use a trick to increase a hen's egg-laying skills by placing a fake egg (generally a doorknob) in her nest and it basically fools the chicken into laying more eggs than usual which basically meant more money for the farmer when he sold all the eggs.

Okay, I'll admit I was even confused with this as I read it! I mean if you put a doorknob in the nest, why does the chicken want to lay more eggs? I'd think it would think, I laid one. I'm done! Lol.

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