Did you know….
Ten random fun facts that may help at your next trivia contest.
1. The letter A was inspired by the ox. The letter A is derived from the Phoenician letter Aleph. Aleph can be traced back to the Middle Bronze Age found in parts of Egypt and Canaan from around 1850 BC. The character comes from an ancient Egyptian hieroglyph or pictogram depicting an ox’s head.
2. Humpty Dumpty was not an egg. During the English Civil War Humpty Dumpty referred to a cannon used by the army of Charles I in 1648. There are two preceding verses, now mostly forgotten, that name the expert gunner, One-Eyed Thompson, and the cannon, Humpty Dumpty. It was mounted on a church tower the church tower was knocked down and the cannon tumbled into the marsh below, never to be found.
In Sixteen Hundred and Forty-Eight
When England suffered the pains of state
The Roundheads lay siege to Colchester town
Where the King’s men still fought for the crown
There One-Eyed Thompson stood on the wall
A gunner of deadliest aim of all
From St. Mary’s Tower his cannon he fired
Humpty-Dumpty was its name…
3. The ampersand was once part of the alphabet. Johnson & Johnson, Barnes & Noble, Dolce & Gabbana: the ampersand today is used primarily in business names, but that small character was once the 27th part of the alphabet. The origin of its name is almost as strange as the name itself.
In the first century, Roman scribes wrote in cursive, so when they wrote the Latin word et which means “and” they linked the e and t. Over time the combined letters came to signify the word “and” in English as well. Certain versions of the ampersand, like that in the font Caslon, clearly reveal the origin of the shape.
The word “ampersand” came many years later when “&” was actually part of the English alphabet. In the early 1800s, school children reciting their ABCs concluded the alphabet with the &. It would have been confusing to say “X, Y, Z, and.” Rather, the students said, “and per se and.” “Per se” means “by itself,” so the students were essentially saying, “X, Y, Z, and by itself and.” Over time, “and per se and” was slurred together into the word we use today: ampersand.
4. The most frequently used letters in the English alphabet are E, T, A, O and N.
5. Betsy Ross was married three times. “Betsy Ross” (January 1, 1752 – January 30, 1836), born “Elizabeth Phoebe Griscom” and was also later known by her second and third married names: “Elizabeth Ashburn” and “Elizabeth Claypoole”.
6. The original color of Oscar the Grouch was orange.
7. Dr. Pepper was the first brand name pop/soda invented.
• 1885 Charles Aderton invented “Dr Pepper” in Waco, Texas.
• 1886 Dr. John S. Pemberton invented “Coca-Cola” in Atlanta, Georgia.
8. Elizabeth Blackwell (The first woman in America to receive a medical degree) had a glass eye. Her eye was infected from a boy that she was treating for his eye infection. She was also against abortion.
9. McDonald’s original fountain drink was 7 oz.
10. Isaiah is the longest book of the Bible written by a single person. There are 66 chapters. Isaiah was a prophet (Someone who brings a message from God to people.) and he referred to his wife as “Prophetess”. His ministry lasted about 40 years from 740 B.C. to 701 B.C.