Read some interesting trivia about language and words.One of the problems with 'majority rule' is the majority is usually wrong. - Thomas Jefferson
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Language Trivia

Read some interesting trivia about language and words.

Duffle Bags

Duffle bags get their name from the town of Duffel, Belgium where the thick woolen cloth used to make them was produced.

How Many?

There are about 6,703 different languages in the world.


If you remove the letters, one by one, starring on the right, the word will be pronounced the same.

The Chevy Nova

When Chevrolet tried to introduce the Nova to Spain, it was a flop because in Spanish, "no va" means "does not go."


In English, "bookkeeper" and its plural are the only words with three sets of double letters.

Longest Word Using the Top Row of a Keyboard

The longest word you can make using only the keys on the top row of a keyboard (or typewriter) is "typewriter."

Number with "a"

If you spell out numbers, you would have to get to 1,000 before you found a letter "a."

Ends in "mt"

The only word in the English language which ends in "mt" is dreamt.

Left Hand Typing

The longest word that can by typed with only your left hand is " Stewardesses."


In the last 50 years, the average vocabulary of a 15 year old had gone from 25,000 to 10,000.

The average American's vocabulary is about 10,000 words. It's 15,000 if you are REALLY smart. Shakespeare's vocabulary was over 29,000 words.

Shakespearean Words

Shakespeare made up words. Among them are assassination, bump, puke and bedroom.

Tongue Twister

Try saying this tongue twister: "The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick.” It is believed to be the toughest in the English language.


There are more people who speak English in China than there are in the US.

Mind Your P's and Q's

Ale is order by pints or quarts in England. In the old days, when a patron became unruly, the bartender would yell at him, "Mind you pints and quarts and settle down." This is where the phrase "Mind your p's and q's" comes from.


The term "toddler" came from England in the time when water was not safe to drink. Beer was a common alternative. It was inexpensive and plentiful. The water used to make it was boiled. Young children just learning to walk had an especially hard time and would toddle.

Wet Your Whistle

In years gone by in England, pub patrons would have a whistle baked into the handle or rim of their cups. When they wanted a refill, they would blow their whistle to get service. And so we have the phrase, "Wet your whistle."


Four thousand years ago in Babylon, a bride's father would supply his new son-on-law with all the mead he could drink for the first month of the marriage. Mead is a honey beer. Since their months were based on the lunar calendar, this time was known a the honeymoon.


The word "spa" comes from the town of Spa in Belgium, which has been famous for its healing waters since the 17th century.

Ring Around the Rosey

"Ring Around the Rosey" was originally a rhyme about the plague. People who had the plague would get red circular sores (Ring around the rosey). The sores would smell bad, so people with them would wear flowers somewhere, inconspicuously, (Pocket full of posies). People who died of the plague would be cremated to help stop the spread (Ashes, ashes, we all fall down).

Good Night, Sleep Tight

Mattresses used to be stuffed with feathers. They were set on ropes which were attached to a wooden frame. If the ropes sagged, the bed could be quite uncomfortable. Hence, the saying, "Good night, sleep tight."

Devil's Advocate

The term "devil's advocate" comes from the Roman Catholic church's process of giving someone sainthood. When deciding whether or not someone should be sainted, a devil's advocate is always appointed to give an alternative view.

Getting Fired

Long ago, when a clan wanted to get rid on someone without killing them, they would burn down their house. Hence, the term "to get fired."


In the early days of ocean liners, rich people traveling from England through the Mediterranean Sea would pay for the side which faced north because it wouldn't get as hot from the sun beating in the windows. On the way out, they would have a room on the port side. On the way back, they would have a room on the starboard side. This came to be referred to as Port Out, Starboard Home, or POSH accommodations.


There is no word in the English language which rhymes with any of these words: silver, purple, orange and month.


In Tibetan, the word for snowman (yeti) means "magical creature."


Tegestology is the collecting of beer mats or beer coasters.


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