Posted by: episystechpubs | May 15, 2015

Editor’s Corner: Would you like to pet my monkey?

Over the past few years, a passel of people have sent me different collections of words and phrases with the “real” explanations of where they came from. I say “real” because I usually find some of the explanations so outrageous that I have to check the Snopes website to see whether these lists are vetted. Usually I find that someone has been mischievously passing around half-truths.

Today’s excerpts, from Tyrannosaurus Lex: The Marvelous Book of Palindromes, Anagrams, & Other Delightful & Outrageous Wordplay, by Rod L. Evans, Ph.D. are along those lines, but I am really hoping that he had a fact checker for this and his other book, Sorry, Wrong Answer.

Now, a few interesting tidbits from chapter 39, “Welsh Rabbit Is a Cheese Dish: Misnomers, Misleading Expressions, and Illogicalities”:

· Blackboards can be blue or green.

· Black boxes on large airplanes are orange.

· Peanuts aren’t peas or nuts; they’re legumes.

· English muffins weren’t invented in England but in America.

· French poodles originated in Germany.

· French fries weren’t invented in France but in Belgium.

· Danish pastries aren’t from Denmark, but Austria.

· The second hand on a watch is the third hand.

· Mobile homes got the name from the name of the place where they were first mass produced: Mobile, Alabama.

· The Norway rat originated in North China.

· Chinese checkers can be traced to a nineteenth-century English game called Halma.

· Great Danes originated in Germany.

· A jackrabbit is a hare.

· A Belgian hare is a rabbit.

· The monkey wrench was named after Charles Moncky.

Kara Church

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