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How did “Labrador” originate?

June 9, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Geography

According to Scandinavian sagas, Bjorn and Eric the Red discovered Labrador about the year 1000 A.D. They called it Helluland, meaning land of slate or naked rocks. The region was rediscovered in 1498 by John Cabot, who supposed it to be the eastern extremity of Asia. There are three theories as to how the region received its present …

Why is Rome called the Eternal City?

June 7, 2017 | Author: | Posted in History

Rome was known as the Eternal City even among the ancient Romans themselves. It was so called because the Roman people thought that no matter what happened to the world, no matter how many other empires might rise and fall, Rome would go on forever. Tibullus (54-18 B.C.), Roman elegiac poet, and Ovid (43 B.C.-17 A.D.), one of the …

What famous Scottish king was a leper?

June 6, 2017 | Author: | Posted in History

Robert the Bruce (1274-1329), liberator of Scotland and King of that country from 1315 until his death, was a victim of leprosy. The Scottish King had made a vow to go on a crusade to the Holy Land, but was prevented from doing so, first by wars at home and then by the disease that he knew would …

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What does “fort” in “fortnight” mean?

May 31, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Language

Fortnight is a contraction of fourteen nights. The latter phrase, in the sense of a period of two weeks, was used in England as early as 1000 A.D., when it was used in a translation of the laws of Ine, who was King of the West Saxons in the seventh century. Fortnight has been gradually falling into disuse, …

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What is the belief about the seventh son of a seventh son?

May 30, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Science

It was once widely believed that the seventh son of a seventh son (or child or either sex as some supposed) was endowed with notable talent and supernatural powers. According to a belief that persisted through the Middle Ages, the seventh son of a seventh son is endowed with the power not only of curing diseases and disorders of …

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May 25 – What is a creole?

May 25, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Language

Creole is used in so many different senses that it is hard to define. In fact the term has been so distorted by usage that it is not safe to employ it except with extreme care. In the United States creole is generally applied to the white descendants of French and Spanish settlers of Louisiana and other Gulf …

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Are any Americans buried in Westminster Abbey?

May 23, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

No persons of American birth are interred in Westminster Abbey. The deans of the Abbey, however, have thus far consented to the specific recognition of three Americans of distinction. James Russell Lowell (1819-1891), poet and essayist, is commemorated by a stained-glass window in the vestibule of the Chapter House, which is known as “the cradle …

What is the surname of David Lloyd George?

May 22, 2017 | Author: | Posted in History

Lloyd George, not simply George, is the surname of the British statesman who was Prime Minister during the First World War. David Lloyd George was born in Manchester in 1853 of Welsh parents. His mother was a daughter of David Lloyd, and his father was William George, who died when his son David was a …

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Which is correct, “spic and span” or “spick and span”?

May 19, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Language

Spick and span is the correct spelling of this common phrase. It is often but erroneously written spic and span, owing apparently to a mistaken notion of its derivation. The original phrase was span-new, which, although little used now, means quite or perfectly new, and which is derived from Old Norse spann (“chip”), and nyr …

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Why is the shamrock Ireland’s national emblem?

May 18, 2017 | Author: | Posted in History

The shamrock is believed to have become the national emblem of Ireland as the result of a traditional incident in the life of St. Patrick. The patron saint of Ireland, it is said, appeared in 433 A.D. before a large group of Irish pagan chieftains and druids assembled on Slane Hill near Tarn. During one …

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