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The Useless Facts Website
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    • Telephone is derived from two Greek words, tele + phone, meaning far off voice or sound.(Tele, far off + phone, voice or sound).
    • The word for "name" in Japanese is "na-ma-e," in Mongolian "nameg."
    • "Polish" is the only word in the English language that when capitalized is changed from a noun or a verb to a nationality.
    • Facetious and abstemious contain all the vowels in the correct order, as does arsenious, meaning "containing arsenic."
    • Sheriff came from Shire Reeve. During early years of feudal rule in England, each shire had a reeve who was the law for that shire. When the term was brought to the United States it was shortened to Sheriff.
    • The ball on top of a flagpole is called the truck.
    • The difference between a "millennium" and a "chiliad"? None. Both words mean "a period of one thousand years", the former from Latin, the later from Greek.
    • The stress in Hungarian words always falls on the first syllable.
    • The word for "dog" in the Australian aboriginal language Mbabaran happens to be "dog."
    • The side of a hammer is a cheek.
    • The initials for morning and evening are based on latin words—ante meridiem and post meridiem. "Ante," of course means "before" and "post" means "after." "Meridiem" means "noon."
    • The @ symbol has become an important part of e-mail culture. It separates the User Name from the Domain Name. All countries throughout the world use the same symbol but it obviously has a different name in other tongues. In English it is simply the 'at' sign.
      Here are just a few of the more endearing terms:
    • Italy: 'chiocciolina' - which, in Italian, means 'little snail'
      France: 'petit escargot' - also 'little snail'
      Germany: 'klammeraffe' - which means 'spider monkey'.
      Dutch: 'api' - a shortened version of 'apestaart' or 'monkey's tail'.
      Finland: 'miau' or 'cat's tail'.
      Norway: 'kanel-bolle', a spiral shaped cinnamon cake
      Israel: 'shtrudel' - following the pastry concept
      Denmark: 'snabel', an 'A' with a trunk.
      Spain: 'arroba'. the Spanish symbol for a unit of weight of about 25 pounds.
    • A "pogonip" is a heavy winter fog containing ice crystals.
    • The little bits of paper left over when holes are punched in data cards or tape are called Chad.
    • The loop on a belt that holds the loose end is called a "keeper".
    • Las Vegas means "the meadows" in Spanish. Ironically, the city in the desert was once abundant in water and vegetation.
    • The word "mullet" describes a hairstyle worn, particularly in the southern USA, which is characterized by short hair on the top and sides, with very long hair in the back.
    • "Quisling" is the only word in the English language to start with "quis."
    • The French equivalent of "Pumpkin" (our pet name) is calling them "Chou-Chou" which is little cabbage.
    • In ancient Egypt, the apricot was called the "egg of the sun."
    • The equivalent of calling someone a jerk in English is calling them a pickle in French.