Isn’t it funny?
The origins and meanings of words can often expose an unexpected history!
Take for example, the Dutch! “Dutch” means “German”. “Netherlands”, which is at the top of Europe means “lower lands” and “Holland” means “woodland”. So, is it a nation of Germans living in low woodlands?
Iceland is mostly covered in grass, while Greenland is mostly covered in ice.
The place with the longest name on earth is the city of Bangkok. Its full name is “Krungthepmahanakhonamonrattanakosinmahintharaayuthayamahadilok phopnoppharatratchathaniburiromudomratchaniwetmahasathanamonpimanawatan sathitsakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit”(169 letters), meaning “The city of angels, the great city, the residence of the Emerald Buddha, the impregnable city of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarn”.
The ∞ sign is called the “lemniscate”, which means “decorated with ribbons” in Latin.
“Robot” is what South Africans call a “red light”
“Canada” comes from “Kanata”, which is the Iroquois word for “village”.
Germany is called “béésh biich´ahii bikéyah” in the Navajo language, which means “the land of metal cap-wearers”.
A “vomitorium” is the entrance of an arena or an amphitheater, not a place where Romans would go vomit in order to keep eating.
The full name for the “G-spot” is the “Gräfenberg”, after the German gynecologist who first described it in 1944, and men have been searching for it ever since.
The word “customer” originally meant “prostitute”. For those brands going back to their roots, we don’t recommend reviving this original use!
The “Pont Neuf” (literally the “New Bridge”) is actually the oldest bridge in Paris.
A “beard-second” is a distance of five nanometers, the length a beard grows in one second.
The Oxford English Dictionary´s entry for the word “set” is sixty thousand words long, or twice as long as The Little Prince.
A “moment” is precisely 1/40th of an hour, in other words ninety seconds.
The Romans originally used “Africa” to refer to what is now Tunisia, and “Asia” to what is now the western coast of Turkey.
Dictionaries and Encyclopedias will sometimes contain one or two purposefully false entries to prevent plagiarism. They are called a “nihilartikel” or a “mountweazel”.
“Smog” is the combination of “smoke” and “fog”.
A “sea lawyer” is a tiger shark, a “bush lawyer” is a climbing berry and a “Penang lawyer” is a walking stick.