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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Fast Facts

    • Camel’s hair brushes are not made of camel’s hair. They were invented by a man named Mr. Camel.
  • To decimate does not mean to obliterate or wipe out. It means to destroy one-tenth of something. Originally the word referred to a Roman military tradition in which an entire troupe would be punished for disobedience by decimation, that is, by the killing of every tenth man. There are accounts of this form of punishment being used in the English and French armies up to the time of World War I.
  • The word gas, coined by the chemist J.B. van Helmont, is taken from the word chaos, which means unformed in Greek.
  • The word toady originally referred to a magician’s assistant who literally ate toads as part of the show. Toads, at one time, were thought to be poisonous; when the toady recovered from eating one of them, it was considered an indication of the magician’s great power.
  • New York was the first state to require the licensing of motor vehicles. The law was adopted in 1901.
  • The letter “”B”” took its present form from a symbol used in Egyptian hieroglyphics to represent a house. Its original Egyptian form looked very much like its modern one.
  • The word Mikado did not refer to the Japanese emperor himself but to the door of his royal chamber. In medieval Japan, it was considered in bad taste to speak of this great personage directly, so instead his existence was inferred by referring to the entrance to his place of residence.
  • In the vast majority of the world’s languages, the word for “”mother”” begins with the letter “”M.””
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