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Who was the Laughing Murderer of Verdun?

January 14, 2017 | Author: | Posted in History

Frederick William, Crown Prince of Germany from the time of his birth in 1882 until the downfall of the Hohenzollerns in 1918, was called the “Laughing Murderer of Verdun” by his enemies during the First World War. He commanded the forces before Verdun and the name referred to the terrific losses his army sustained in …

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How did “gunny sack” originate?

January 13, 2017 | Author: | Posted in History

Gunny in gunny sack is an Anglicized form of Hindu and Sanskrit Boni, meaning sack or bag. Because bags for gross commodities were made on a large scale in Bengal from a strong, coarse, heavy sacking, the material itself came to be called gunny and the bags gunny sacks. The original gunny fabric was woven …

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How did “son of a gun” originate?

January 12, 2017 | Author: | Posted in History

This expression is used daily in conversation by thousands of persons who would never think of using it if they even so much as suspected its unsavory origin. It formerly expressed the utmost contempt for the person to whom it was applied. William Pulleyn, in his Etymological Compendium published in 1828, probably gave the correct …

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How do broadswords differ from small swords?

January 7, 2017 | Author: | Posted in History

The broadsword has a long cutting edge and usually an obtuse or blunt point. It is a distinctively military sword and was originally so called because of its broad blade. In 1842 James Shields challenged Abraham Lincoln to a duel and the latter chose as weapons “cavalry broadswords of the largest size.” A thrusting sword, …

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When did Oslo become capital of Norway?

December 29, 2016 | Author: | Posted in Geography, History

Oslo, or Opslo, was the ancient name of the capital of Norway. According to Norwegian tradition, the city was founded in 1048 by King Harald Haardraade. By the end of the fourteenth century it had become the chief city of the kingdom. In 1624 Oslo was destroyed by fire. King Christian IV immediately rebuilt the …

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What is the origin of “A Number One?”

December 19, 2016 | Author: | Posted in History, Insurance

A Number One in the sense of prime, superior or first-rate originated with a symbol used in classifying ships in Lloyd’s Register of British and Foreign Shipping, a yearly publication dealing with the design and construction of vessels of all nations and with data about docks and harbors. Beginning with its issue of 1775-4776, Lloyd’s …

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Why wasn’t the year 1900 a leap year?

December 12, 2016 | Author: | Posted in History, Science

According to the Gregorian calendar, which was introduced by Pope Gregory in 1582 A.D. and which was adopted by Great Britain and the English colonies in 1752, every year whose number is divisible by four is a leap year, with the exception of those years whose numbers are divisible by 1oo and not by 400. …

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Who are the Anzacs?

December 9, 2016 | Author: | Posted in History

This is a name often applied collectively to the people of Australia and New Zealand. It originated during the First World War. The Australian and New Zealand divisions in the British forces were merged into a single unit officially known as the “Australian-New Zealand Army Corps.” In popular usage this name was shortened to Anzac, …

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What queen reigned after death?

December 8, 2016 | Author: | Posted in History

Inez de Castro, wife of Dom Pedro, King of Portugal in the fourteenth Century, is often referred to as the Queen who “reigned after death.” She became the morganatic wife of Dom Pedro while he was heir to the throne. The Prince’s father, the King, seriously objected to the marriage. He feared the powerful Castro …

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What is the origin of the bridal veil?

December 7, 2016 | Author: | Posted in History, Weddings

The wedding or bridal veil is believed to be a survival of an ancient superstition dating back to the time of the Greeks and Romans, if not much earlier. It was first worn to conceal and protect the bride from evil spirits that it was thought would harm her if she were not veiled. Perhaps …

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