May 30, 2019

Random Thursday

We're about halfway through the chapter on Words, so let's see what new word meanings Doug Lennox will teach us with The Little Book of Answers.

(image borrowed from UT News)
"Boycott" means to ostracize an oppressor and the term originated in Ireland in the late 19th century. Captain Charles Boycott started punishing tenant farmers in County Mayo when they fell behind in rent by tossing them out of their homes. Eventually the tenants reused to take in the harvest and brought about the downfall of Boycott and making the land useless to its owner.

I'm kind of surprised they honored the jerk by using his name for this act. But still interesting!

(image borrowed from Wikitionary)
When European settlers came to America, they brought their money and coins with them. Back then, coins were made from precious metal that were accepted everywhere at face value. The Spanish peso was divided into eight silver coins when the English called bits or pieces of eight; two bits was one-quarter of the Spanish dollar. When they started printing and minting money in they still used the expression "two bits" to mean one-quarter of a dollar despite the dollar's coinage being divided by ten.

(image borrowed from Beef-It's What's For Dinner)
A select roast of beef earned the name sirloin from King James I of England. Legend says that in 1617 during dinner and after some wine, King James stood and laid his sword across the entree and declared, "Gentlemen, as fond as I am of all you, yet I have a still greater favorite--the loin of a good beef. Therefore, good beef roast, I knight thee Sir Loin and proclaim that a double loin be known as a baron!"

Now I wonder if that's true or not! Lol!

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
"Eavesdropping" is something that came about in the medieval times. Back then, houses didn't have gutters to carry off rainwater, instead they used "eaves" which are the lower, wide projecting edges of a sloping roof. The eaves protected the walls from damage from the rain dropping from the roof. Were someone to stand under one of these during a rain shower they could hear everything that was being said inside and thus were "eavesdropping."

That's kind of funny!

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