My SCRAPBOOK (సేకరణలు): A COLLECTION of articles in English and Telugu(తెలుగు), from various sources, on varied subjects. I do not claim credit for any of the contents of these postings as my own.A student's declaration made at the end of his answer paper, holds good to the articles here too:"I hereby declare that the answers written above are true to the best of my friend's knowledge and I claim no responsibility whatsoever of the correctness of the answers."

Friday, August 01, 2008

Funny English words/ acronyms

§ The word NYLON was formed from conflating 'New York' and 'London'.

§ The gang known as the CRIPS took their name from an acronym for "continuous revolution in progress."

§ The word NEWS is an acronym formed from the words north, east, west, and south.

§ "POMMY," a slang term for a British person, comes from the acronym POHM, which was used to designate a "Prisoner of His Majesty."

§ The word CABAL is an acronym formed from the names of five ministers to Charles II.

§ The word golf is an acronym formed from "Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden."

§ Federal statutes intended to help fight organized crime were designated 'Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations' (RICO) laws because the acronym spelled out the name of a film gangster.

§ The word SHIT is an acronym formed from "Ship High in Transit."

  • TIP is an acronym for "To Insure Promptness" or "To Insure Prompt Service."
  • The word FUCK is an acronym derived from the phrase 'For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.'

§ 'Picnic' comes from a shortening of 'pick a nigger.'

§ 'Handicap' came from 'cap in hand,' referring to a disabled person's need to subsist through begging.

§ The use of the word 'Buck' as a slang term for "dollar" derives from a reference to black male slaves.

§ Crowbars are so named because they were devices used to perform menial labor assigned to blacks.

  • The author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland sent an admiring Queen Victoria a copy of one his mathematics texts.

§ Dr. Seuss wrote Green Eggs and Ham after being challenged by his editor to produce a book using fewer than fifty different words.

§ The nursery rhyme "Ring Around the Rosie" is a coded reference to the Black Plague.

§ The name of the make-believe land featured in L. Frank Baum's series of Oz books was taken from a file cabinet drawer labelled O - Z.

§ Go ask Alice was the real-life diary of a teenage girl.

  • Dr. Seuss once wrote a children's book since banned due to its references to suicide and violence

§ Hat makers became crazy from the fumes produced by mercury-soaked felt, hence the phrase 'mad as a hatter.'

§ Death benefits paid to beneficiaries of soldiers who died in battle were often enough to pay off the mortgages on family farms, hence the deceased was said to have 'bought the farm.'

§ The origin of our saying "Bless you" when someone sneezes stems from an ancient desire to safeguard the sneezer's soul or to commend the dying to the mercy of God.

§ Disputed parentage of a child born aboard a ship was resolved by listing the newborn as a "son of a gun."

  • The exclamation "Holy smoke" derived from the burning of the ballots used to elect a Pope.
  • The term hotdog was coined in the early 1900s by a cartoonist who couldn't spell "dachshund."

§ A choice cut of beef taken from the upper hindquarter (i.e., the loin) of a cow is called sirloin because an English king was once so delighted with his meal that he knighted the meat, dubbing it "Sir Loin."

§ Pamper nickel bread is so named because a Frenchman derisively declared it was fit only for his horse, Nicol. ("C'est du pain pour Nicol.")

§ Brass monkeys were small brass plates used to hold cannonballs on the decks of sailing ships.

§ The word gringo comes from Mexicans' overhearing American soldiers sing the song "Green Grow the Lilacs" during the Mexican-American War.

  • 420 entered drug parlance as a term signifying the time to light up a joint
(from an e-mail forward)



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