At a 1976 Amsterdam chess tournament, Soviet grandmaster Viktor Korchnoi politely asked an English competitor how to spell the words "political asylum." He then went straight to a police station and announced that he wished to defect. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vik…
In 408BC an actor named Hegelochus mispronounced a word and, instead of saying "after the storm I see again a calm sea," accidentally said "after the storm I see again a weasel." This mistake was so mocked by other Ancient Greeks that over two millennia later we still know his name. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San…
Swearing emerges by age two and becomes adult-like by ages 11 or 12. By the time children enter school, they have a working vocabulary of 30-40 offensive words. psychologicalscience.org/…
A majority of the people Christopher Walken interacted with as a child were non-native English speakers, including his father. Walken attributes his unique halting speaking style to watching people hesitate to think of the right English word. grunge.com/90509/untold-t…
In the 1830s the Swedish Navy planted 300 000 oak trees to be used for ship production in the far future. When they received word that the trees were fully grown in 1975 they had little use of them as modern warships are built with metal. atlasobscura.com/places/v…
In the extinct Aboriginal Mbabaram language, the word for 'dog' is 'dog'. This is purely coincidental as Mbabaram is unrelated to the English language. languagehat.com/dixon-the…
When George Carlin created his 'Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television' bit, the FCC didn't have the legal authority to ban dirty words from public airways. That bit, played uncensored by a NYC radio station, led to the getting that authority. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sev…
The stereotype of Native Americans saying "how" as a greeting comes from the Anglicization of the Lakota word "hΓ‘u", which was used by men to greet other men. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How…
The lyrics in Le Freak by CHIC originally contained the words β€œfuck off” rather then β€œfreak out”. They got the idea after being denied entry to a club and the bouncer told them to β€œfuck off”. The lyrics were changed since they couldn’t say fuck on the radio. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_…
Babies can acquire sign language just like they would acquire any language and follows the same patterns as vocal language acquisition, where deaf infants (if exposed to sign language early) start to "babble" 1-2 sign sentences around the time their hearing counterparts start to "babble" words. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lan…
Today I learned of the Wicked Bible. In 1631, the royal printers of London left out the important word 'not' from one of the Ten Commandments making it read "Thou shalt commit adultery." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wic…
Eminem broke the "Fastest rap in a #1 single" world record three times in a row - after having set the record with 6.46 words per second in "Rap God", he then broke it in "Majesty" at 6.5 wps and later broke it once again by rapping at 7.5 wps in "Godzilla". guinnessworldrecords.com/…
Red Rocks Amphitheatre was removed from consideration for the award for best outdoor venue in the word because it kept winning over and over (11 times). The award is now known as the Red Rocks Award. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red…
The only word in English that ends in -mt is "dreamt", and its extensions like daydreamt and redreamt. inshorts.com/en/news/drea…
Today I learned of Robert Metcalfe, who predicted in 1995 that the Internet would suffer a "catastrophic collapse" next year; he promised to eat his words if it did not. In 1997, he took a printed copy of his column about the collapse, put it in a blender with some liquid and then consumed the pulpy mass. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob…
The word β€œhuh” is a universal word, with almost identical meaning across 31 languages. americanscientist.org/art…
In 1802, Timothy Dexter wrote β€˜A Pickle for the Knowing Ones’ that had 8,847 words without punctuation or capitalization. In the second edition, he responded to grammatical complaints by adding an extra 11 pages of punctuation instructing that readers could insert them wherever needed. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim…
The pilot of the failed Challenger spacecraft's last audible words were "Uh oh" britannica.com/event/Chal…
While the words concrete and cement are often used interchangeably, cement is actually a bonding agent added to concrete, and they are not the same thing. msn.com/en-us/money/reale…
"Sardines" aren't a specific fish. The word is used for multiple species of small, oily fish. The definition for what constitutes a sardine varies by government and region with the UN citing 21 different species classified as sardines. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sar…
Marconi believed, late on in life, that no sound ever dies completely. He dreamt of building a device strong enough to pick up the actual words of Jesus at the 'Sermon on the Mount'. americanscientist.org/art…
America recruited 29 Navajo speaking men during world war 2, who later came to be called, Navajo code talkers. They had created a brand new set of code words in Navajo language, which even if intercepted could not be translated by the enemy forces. azcentral.com/story/news/…
The Kingsmen song "Louie Louie" (which was investigated for indecency by the FBI for 31 months, which turned up nothing) did in fact contain swear word that was never detected by the FBI: the drummer audibly shouts "F***!" at approx. 0:55, when he dropped a drumstick during recording. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lou…
There is a demon found in Catholic lore that collects all the mispronounced words said by priests and puts them in a sack. That sack is later carried by the offending priests in hell. gallimaufry.typepad.com/b…
Words like heck, darn , shoot are known as Minced oaths - expressions formed by misspelling, mispronouncing, or replacing a part of a profane, blasphemous, or taboo term en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Min…
Pez is short for "Pfefferminz", the German word for peppermint, because the original product was a round peppermint. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pez
Today I learned about β€œdissimilation.” A linguistic phenomenon where people tend to drop an R if it is in the middle of a word and comes before another syllable that has an R. Ex.β€œsuprise”/β€œsurprise,”/β€œforwardβ€β€œforward,” /β€œcatepillar”/β€œcaterpillar,” and β€œpaticular”/β€œparticular.” quickanddirtytips.com/edu…
The word "gorilla" comes from the Greek word meaning, "savage hairy women." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gor…
The words you use when questioning witnesses greatly affects their answer. They showed study participants video of a car crash and asked them to estimate the speed. Their estimates got progressively larger when using the verbs contacted, hit, bumped, collided, smashed in the question. simplypsychology.org/loft…
The free use of -ass to form punchy adjectives began 100 years ago, with words like "fat-ass" and "silly-ass". By the 1950's, it was particularly productive in forming new American slang. Smart-ass, candy-ass, bad-ass, and crazy-ass were all first found in the 1950s. thedailybeast.com/weve-hi…
The word "Kimosabe" is a fictional word derived from the Ojibwe and Potawatomi word "Gimoozaabi," which translates to "he/she looks out in secret." Another way to translate it is "trusty scout," someone who "looks out," often in "secret," hence why Tonto referred to the Lone Ranger as Kimosabe. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ke-…
The name β€˜Britain’ comes from the Celtic word 'Pretani,' meaning the β€˜painted’ or the β€˜tattooed’ ones bbc.com/future/article/20…
The word β€œmile” originally comes from the Latin phrase β€œmilia passuum” which means β€œ1000 paces” as paces was the way Romans measured distances. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mil…
The first known mention of the word abracadabra was in a second century AD book (written by a physician) which prescribed that malaria sufferers wear an amulet containing the word written in the form of a triangle and the power of the amulet would make lethal diseases go away. wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraca…
The reason why businesses refer to the Super Bowl in their advertisements as "The Big Game" is because the NFL owns the trademark to the phrase "Super Bowl" and will severely crack down on any business that uses those words without officially licensing it from the NFL foxbusiness.com/markets/n…
"Astronaut" means star sailor and the word is coined by NASA. supercluster.com/editoria…
Charles Darwin, who's work greatly contributed to the Theory of Evolution, was at one point in his life training to become an Anglican Minister. For a time, he "did not then in the least doubt the strict and literal truth of every word of the Bible." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cha…
In 2007 that Philip Ray Workman requested a vegetarian pizza for his last meal, and that the pizza be given to homeless person. The prison refused but due to the media spreading word of his request, thousands of pizzas were donated to TN homeless shelters, with one shelter receiving 170 pizzas. nydailynews.com/news/crim…
Unicorns appear in the KJV Bible 9 times due to the translation of an ambiguous Hebrew word. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uni…
The formal clothing of the Roman Citizen was the Toga. During Roman elections, those running for political office would rub their Toga with a dazzling white chalk to stand out. Called Toga Candida (pure-white) this clothing was the origin of the word "candidate". ancient.eu/article/48/the…
Eminem has reportedly set a new Guinness World Record for having the most words in a hit song. According to Billboard, the record was clinched by "Rap God," Eminem's rapid-fire hit which is said to have a whopping 1,560 words squeezed into just over 6 minutes. huffpost.com/entry/eminem…
In the 1790s, an Oxford student introduced using guano (bird poop) as fertiliser. He spread guano across the university lawn, using it to spell G U A N O. The lawn was soon scrubbed, but when spring came, the word GUANO was clearly visible, growing higher and thicker than the rest of the grass npr.org/sections/krulwich…
A 10x10 perfect β€œword square” has yet to be found, but has also not been disproven. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wor…
The feeling you get when a word is repeated so much that it loses all meaning or doesn't sound like a word anymore is called "Semantic Satiation", a term coined by Leon Jakobovits James. Basically when you keep repeating a word, your brain eventually stops associating it with an idea. scienceabc.com/eyeopeners…
The movie "The Wolf of Wall Street" set a Guinness World Records record title for most swearing in one film. Saying the f-word 506 times with an average of 2.81 times per minute. guinnessworldrecords.com/…
Today I learned of "Harambee", a Swahili word that means "All pull together" and describes a tradition of community self-help. It comes from the Hindi "har har Ambeh"; Indian workers on the Uganda Railway invoked Amba, the Hindu god of strength, for tasks requiring a team effort, such as lifting heavy loads. bbc.com/travel/story/2020…
The French word for "key" is "clef," which is where we get clefs and different keys within a clef in music. musictheoryacademy.com/ho…
A monty python sketch repeatedly referring to SPAM (canned cooked pork that got popularized in WW2) inspired the use of the word for mass unsolicited emails tools.ietf.org/html/rfc26…
Mammoths were known to indigenous Ugric peoples before Europeans, but they conceived of it as a water spirit or a giant burrowing rodent. The word mammoth even comes from an Ugric term meaning "earth horn" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mam…
The word "avatar" originated from Hindu mythology. It refers to the physical manifestation or incarnation of a deity on earth and is most often associated with the god Vishnu, who has numerous different avatars described in various scriptures. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ava…

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