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Amazing fact 30

"Hagiology" is the branch of literature dealing with the lives and legends of saints.

"E" is the most frequently used letter in the English alphabet, "Q" is the least.

"Almost" is the longest word in the English language with all the letters in alphabetical order.

Hairy people are called "hirsute."

A horologist measures time.

German is considered the sister language of English.

The food of the Greek gods was called Ambrosia.

A phonophobe fears noise.

A community of ants is called a colony.

A gynephobic man fears women.

A nihilist believes in nothing.

The boundary between two air masses is called a "front."

Narcissism is the psychiatric term for self-love.

A chiropodist treats hands and feet.

Hydroxydesoxycorticosterone and hydroxydeoxycorticosterones are the largest anagrams.

Kyoto, which was the Japanese capital before Tokyo, means "old capital".

A "quidnunc" is a person who is eager to know the latest news and gossip, otherwise, a busybody.

Mountains are formed by a process called orogeny.

Dr. Seuss coined the word "nerd" in his 1950 book "If I Ran The Zoo"

The phrase "jet lag" was once called "boat lag", back before airplanes existed.

 

The English-language alphabet originally had only 24 letters. One missing letter was J, which was the last letter to be added to the alphabet. The other latecomer to the alphabet was U.

The first college to use the word "campus" to describe its grounds was Princeton. "Campus" is Latin for "field."

The alteration of the architectural appearance of a city by the construction of skyscrapers and high-rise buildings is known as "Manhattanization". The term refers to the New York borough Manhattan.

The word "alcatraz" is Spanish for "pelican".

Pregnant goldfish are "twits."

In India and Iran, the part of the house reserved for women is called a "zenana."

The word "yo-yo" itself was a registered trademark of Duncan until 1965.

Mothers were originally named mama or mommy (in many languages) because they have mammary glands.

The phrase "guinea pig" originated when a tax was imposed on powder for wigs in England to help pay for the war with Napoleon. The list of those who had paid the guinea (one pound, one shilling) was posted on their parish church door. As they were the wealthy of the day, they became known as the guinea pigs.

The phrase "a red letter day" dates back to 1704, when holy days were marked in red letters in church calendars.

Beets reminded early cooks of a bleeding animal when they cut them open, so they started calling them "beets." This was derived from the French word bête, meaning "beast."

The equivalent of calling someone a jerk in English is calling them a pickle in French.

In ancient Egypt, the apricot was called the "egg of the sun."

The French equivalent of "Pumpkin" (our pet name) is calling them "Chou-Chou" which is little cabbage.

"Quisling" is the only word in the English language to start with "quis."

The word "mullet" describes a hairstyle worn, particularly in the southern USA, which is characterized by short hair on the top and sides, with very long hair in the back.

Las Vegas means "the meadows" in Spanish. Ironically, the city in the desert was once abundant in water and vegetation.

The loop on a belt that holds the loose end is called a "keeper".

The little bits of paper left over when holes are punched in data cards or tape are called Chad.

A "pogonip" is a heavy winter fog containing ice crystals.

The initials for morning and evening are based on latin words—ante meridiem and post meridiem. "Ante," of course means "before" and "post" means "after." "Meridiem" means "noon."

The side of a hammer is a cheek.

The word for "dog" in the Australian aboriginal language Mbabaran happens to be "dog."

The stress in Hungarian words always falls on the first syllable.

The difference between a "millennium" and a "chiliad"? None. Both words mean "a period of one thousand years", the former from Latin, the later from Greek.

The ball on top of a flagpole is called the truck.

Sheriff came from Shire Reeve. During early years of feudal rule in England, each shire had a reeve who was the law for that shire. When the term was brought to the United States it was shortened to Sheriff.

Facetious and abstemious contain all the vowels in the correct order, as does arsenious, meaning "containing arsenic."

"Polish" is the only word in the English language that when capitalized is changed from a noun or a verb to a nationality.

The word for "name" in Japanese is "na-ma-e," in Mongolian "nameg."

Telephone is derived from two Greek words, tele + phone, meaning far off voice or sound.(Tele, far off + phone, voice or sound).

There are six words in the English language with the letter combination "uu." Muumuu, vacuum, continuum, duumvirate, duumvir and residuum.

If you come from Manchester, you are a Mancunian.

"Corduroy" comes from the French, "cord du roi" or "cloth of the king."

The slash character is called a virgule, or solidus. A URL uses slash characters, not back slash characters.

When two words are combined to form a single word (e.g., motor + hotel = motel, breakfast + lunch = brunch) the new word is called a "portmanteau."

"Big cheese" and "big wheel" are Medieval terms of envious respect for those who could afford to buy whole wheels of cheese at a time, an expense few could enjoy. Both these terms are often used sarcastically today.

A bird watching term: peebeegeebee = a pied-billed grebe.

"Hara kiri" is an impolite way of saying the Japanese word "seppuku" which means, literally, "belly splitting."

When a film is in production, the last shot of the day is the "martini shot," the next to last one is the "Abby Singer".

The Sanskrit word for "war" means "desire for more cows."

A coward was originally a boy who took care of cows.

The name Ethiopia mean "land of sunburned faces" in Greek.

Pokemon stands for "pocket monster."

Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of their unwanted people without killing them used to burn their houses down - hence the expression "to get fired."

When Coca-Cola began to be sold in China, they used characters that would sound like "Coca-Cola" when spoken. Unfortunately, what they turned out to mean was "Bite the wax tadpole".

OK is the most successful of all Americanisms. It has invaded hundreds of other languages and been adopted by them as a word. Mencken claims that US troops deployed overseas during WWII found it already in use by Bedouins in the Sahara to the Japanese in the Pacific. It was also the fourth word spoken on the surface of the moon. It stands for oll korrect, a misspelling of all correct.

Montgomery Ward was the first to advertise "Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back" in 1874 — two years after Aaron Montgomery Ward, launched his first mail-order catalog.

Ever wonder where the phrase "two bits" came from? Some coins used in the American colonies before the Revolutionary War were Spanish dollars, which could be cut into pieces, or bits. Since two pieces equaled one-fourth dollar, the expression "two bits" came into being as a name for 25 cents.

Colgate faced a big obstacle marketing toothpaste in Spanish speaking countries. Colgate translates into the command "go hang yourself."

The "glair" is the white or clear part of an egg. The word glair comes from the Latin clarus, meaning "clear."

Author Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, who sometimes wrote under the name "The Duchess," observed in her novel "Molly Bawn" that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." The phrase has passed into the English language.

"Evian" spelled backwards is naive.

The custom of saying "Bless you" when someone sneezes was first used by ancients when they believed that breath was the essence of life, and when you sneeze a part of you life is escaping. Evil spirits rush into your body and occupy the empty space. By saying "God bless you" the speaker is protecting the sneezer from that spirits.

Yucatan, as in the peninsula, is from Maya "u" + "u" + "uthaan" meaning "listen how they speak," and is what the Maya said when they first heard the Spaniards.

The ZIP in zip code stands for "Zone Improvement Plan."

EEG stands for Electroencephalogram.

A "necropsy" is an autopsy on animals.

The most common letters in the English language are R S T L N E. Sound familiar? Watch an episode of "Wheel of Fortune"...

A "sysygy" occurs when all the planets of the our Solar System line up.

The terms "prime minister," "premier" and "chancellor" all refer to the leading minister of a government, and any differences from nation to nation stem from different systems of government, not from title definitions.

Clinophobia is the fear of beds.

Taphephobia is the fear of being buried alive.

Papaphobia is the fear of Popes.

Mageiricophobia is the intense fear of having to cook.

Phobophobia is a fear of fearing.

Scopophobia is a fear of being looked at.

Pentheraphobia is a fear of a mother-in-law.

Caligynephobia is a fear of beautiful women.

Androphobia is a fear of men.

Augustus Caesar had achluophobia—the fear of sitting in the dark.

Malcolm Lowry had pnigophobia—the fear of choking on fish bones.

"Jerkwater" is a railroad term. Until about fifty years ago, most trains were pulled by thirsty steam engines that needed to refill their boilers from water towers next to the tracks. But some towns were so small and inconsequential that they lacked a water tower. When trains stopped in those places, the crew had to find a nearby stream or well and, bucket-brigade style, "jerk" the water to the train. Those little dots on the map became known as jerkwater towns.

"The verb "cleave" is the only English word with two synonyms which are antonyms of each other: adhere and separate.

The combination "ough" can be pronounced in nine different ways. The following sentence contains them all: "A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful plough man strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."

The name "fez" is Turkish for "Hat".

The word "snorkel" comes from the German word "schnoerkel", which was a tube used by German submarine crews in WW2. The subs used an electric battery when traveling underwater, which had to be recharged using diesel engines, which needed air to run. To avoid the hazard of surfacing to run the engines, the Germans used the schnoerkel to feed air from the surface into the engines.

The proper name of our sole natural satellite is "the Moon" and therefore...it should be capitalized. The 60-odd natural satellites of other planets, however are called "moons" (in lower case) because each has been given a proper name, such as Deimos, Amalthea, Hyperion, Miranda, Larissa, or Charon.

"Fan" is an abbreviation for the word "fanatic." Toward the turn of the 19th century, various media referred to football enthusiasts first as "football fanatics," and later as a "football fan."

The English-language alphabet originally had only 24 letters. One missing letter was J, which was the last letter to be added to the alphabet. The other latecomer to the alphabet was U.

The 1997 Jack Nicholson film - "As Good As It Gets", is known in China as "Mr. Cat Poop".

The characters in "The Addams Family" did not have names in the "New Yorker" cartoons; Charles Addams created their names when the television series in the 1960s was developed.

According to the folks at Disney - there are 6,469,952 spots painted on dogs in the original 101 Dalmatians.

The movie Cleopatra cost $28 million to make in 1963.

MASH stood for "Mobile Army Surgical Hospital."

The first James Bond movie was "Dr. No."

Sherlock Holmes is the most portrayed character on film, having been played by 72 actors in 204 films. The historical character most represented in films is Napoleon Bonaparte, with 194 film portrayals. Abraham Lincoln is the U.S. President to be portrayed most on film, with 136 films featuring actors playing the role.

Screenwriter Joe Ezterhas was paid $3 million for his script, Basic Instinct, the highest amount ever paid to a screenwriter.

Mr. Spock was second in command of the Starship Enterprise.

Bill Cosby created Fat Albert and Weird Harold.

Batman and Robin live in Gotham City.

The most common telephone exchange number on television is 555.

The identification number of the Starship Enterprise is NCC-1701.

The largest indoor film set ever built was the landing site for the UFO in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). Constructed inside a 10 million cubic foot hangar in Mobile, Alabama. it was 450 feet long by 250 feet wide and was 90 feet tall.

The largest outdoor film set ever built was the Roman Forum used in The Fall of The Roman Empire (1964). It was 1,312 feet long by 754 feet wide, took 1,100 workers seven months to construct, and rose some 260 feet in the air.

Skull island is the jungle home of King Kong.

When Walt Disney Productions released Return to Oz in (1985), it represented the longest time span that had ever occurred between the original and the remake of a film.

If you pause Saturday Night Fever at the "How Deep Is Your Love" rehearsal scene, you will see the camera crew reflected in the dance hall mirror.

The Peanuts were first animated in 1957 for a Ford Fairlane automobile commercial.

Casey Kasem is the voice of Shaggy on Scooby-Doo.

Before Mickey Mouse, Felix the Cat was the most popular cartoon character.

Breath, by Samuel Beckett, was first performed in April, 1970. The play lasts thirty seconds, has no actors, and no dialogue.

Jean-Claude Van Damme was the alien in the original PREDATOR in almost all the jumping and climbing scenes.

Bambi was originally published in 1929 in German.

The concept of a countdown before a rocket launch originated as a tension-building device in the 1929 movie "The Woman on the Moon".

"Cats" closed at the Winter Garden Theatre on 25 June, 2000.

On Thursday, June 19, 1997, "Cats" became the longest running show in the history of Broadway. With the 6138th performance "Cats" passed "A Chorus Line" which staged the last production in April 1990.

The original production of "Cats" opened at the New London Theatre, in the West End on May 11, 1981. Eight years later it celebrated both its birthday and another important milestone: it had become, after 3358 performances, the longest running musical in the history of the British theatre.

Kathleen Turner was the voice of Jessica Rabbit, and Amy Irving was her singing voice.

The 1987 film "Hot Rod Harlots" was promoted with this tag line: "Unwed! Untamed! Unleaded! Backseat Bimbos meet their Roadside Romeos."

The last female to occupy the Number 1 spot on the Top Ten Box Office list was Julie Andrews in 1967; the top position has been filled by a female film performer only 12 times (by six actresses) since 1932, when the list was established. The other five females to hold the Number 1 box office position are Shirley Temple (four times), Doris Day (twice), Marie Dressler (twice), Betty Grable (once), and Elizabeth Taylor (once). Andrews was ranked Number 1 twice.

In 1952, CBS made computer history by being the first to use a computer, the UNIVAC I, to forecast the U.S. presidential election.

The TV signals seen by New Jersey residents come almost exclusively from New York and Philadelphia, cities oriented to other states. New Jersey has less in the way of state media than any other state of its population.

The Pentagon was allowed to choose some of the clothes that John Travolta wore in the movie "Broken Arrow" so that the military would be portrayed positively.

For the movie "Mission To Mars", director Brian DePalma and crew needed to re-create the surface of the planet Mars. They chose the more than two million square feet of a 45-acre sand dune in Vancouver, Canada. To give the sand dune the color of the planet Mars, they covered it with over 15,000 gallons of red paint.

The first black and white motion picture to be digitally converted to color was "Yankee Doodle Dandy", the 1942 biography of George M. Cohen.

The first female monster to appear on the big screen was Bride of Frankenstein.

The first far eastern country to permit kissing in films was China. The first oriental screen kiss was bestowed on Miss Mamie Lee in the movie "Two Women in the House" (China, 1926).

The movie "Clue" has three different endings. Each ending was randomly chosen for different theaters. All three endings are present in the home video.

In the Return of the Jedi special edition during the new Coruscant footage at the end of the film a stormtrooper can be seen being carried over the crowds.

Because metal was scarce, the Oscars given out during World WarII were made of wood.

From Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me — In the U.S., "shag" is far less offensive than in other English-speaking countries. Singapore briefly forced a title change to "The Spy Who Shioked Me." ("Shioked" means "treated nicely.")

In every show that Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt (The Fantasticks) wrote, there is at least one song about rain.

The studios wanted Matthew McConaughey, the newest heartthrob in the industry, cast as hero Jack Dawson in the 1997 box office hit Titanic, but director James Cameron insisted on Leonardo DiCaprio.

The most popular sport as a topic for a film is boxing.

In "Cliff Hanger" when the girl is dangling off Stallone’s arm, the camera flashes to the chopper and the old man in the picture is laughing.

David Niven and George Lazenby were the only two actors who played James Bond only once.

In the original "Star Wars: A New Hope", Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker, called out the name of actress Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia, instead of actually calling out "Leia" in the scene near the end where he gets out of his X-wing after destroying the Death Star. The error was never caught.

In the movie Ghost (Patrick and Demi) when Demi is making something on the pottery wheel her hands are covered in clay. But when her husband comes up behind her to give her a kiss she turns around and they are completely clean.

In Hitchcock’s movie, "Rear Window", Jimmy Stewart plays a character wearing a leg cast from the waist down. In one scene, the cast switches legs, and in another, the signature on the cast is missing.

The TV sitcom Seinfeld was originally named "The Seinfeld Chronicles". The pilot which was broadcast in 1989 also featured a kooky neighbor named Kessler. This character later became known as Kramer.

Dooley Wilson appeared as Sam in the movie Casablanca. Dooley was a drummer - not a pianist in real life. The man who really played the piano in Casablanca was a Warner Brothers staff musician who was at a piano off camera during the filming.

"60 Minutes" is the only show on CBS that doesn’t have a theme song.

For many years, the globe on the NBC Nightly News spun in the wrong direction. On January 2, 1984, NBC finally set the world spinning back in the proper direction.

A two hour motion picture uses 10,800 feet of film. Not including the previews and commercials.

The original title of the musical "Hello Dolly!" was "Dolly: A Damned Exasperating Woman." Why did they change it? The original had such music, poetry, and pizzazz.

Bruce was the nickname of the mechanical shark used in the "Jaws" movies.

A theater manager in Seoul, Korea felt that The Sound of Music was too long, so he shortened it by cutting out all the songs.

The writers of The Simpsons have never revealed what state Springfield is in.

Of the six men who made up the Three Stooges, three of them were real brothers (Moe, Curly and Shemp.)

The 1997 Jack Nicholson film - "As Good As It Gets", is known in China as "Mr. Cat Poop".

The person who performs the Muppets - Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Animal, and Grover is Frank Oz. Oz is also the voice of Star Wars Yoda. By the way, his real name is Frank Oznowicz.

Beaver Cleaver graduated in 1953.

The first ever televised murder case appeared on TV in 1955, Dec. 5-9. The accused was Harry Washburn.

- Number of tarantulas: 50

- Number of boas, cobras and pythons used in the film: 7,500

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), the first film featuring the character Indiana Jones, was crawling with four-, eight-, and no-legged creatures:

Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, was home to Rocky and Bullwinkle.

The average raindrop reaches a top speed of 22 miles per hour.

Seven billion gallons of water are flushed down toilets in the U.S. every day.

The only country to register zero births in 1983 was the Vatican City.

The one extra room new-home shoppers want the most is the laundry room, at 95 percent. Only 66 percent of new-home buyers request an extra room to use as an office.

53% of high school grads and 27% of college grads "get most of their information from TV."

Smoking accounts for at least 7% of all health care costs in the US.

The 3 largest newspaper circulations are Russian.

Sweden has the least number of murders annually.

People in Iceland read more books per capita than any other people in the world.

Coffee is the second largest item on international commerce in the world.

Seven people have been struck by meteorite fragments.

There was a ratio of 35 women to one man in England mental asylums in 1971. However in England prisons, this ratio was the opposite.

About 43% of convicted criminals in the U.S. are rearrested within a year of being released from prison.

Automobiles take up about 24 percent of the total area of Los Angeles.

Statistically the safest age of life is 10 years old.

You are more likely to win the state lottery than to be attacked by a shark.

57% of British school kids think Germany is the most boring country in Europe.

67.5% of men wear briefs instead of boxers.

Women shoplift more often than men; the statistics are 4 to 1.

About 1 out of every 70 people who pick their nose actually eat their boogers.

In 1916, 55% of the cars in the world were Model T Fords.

69% of men say that they would rather break up with a girl in private rather than in public.

The tail section of an airplane gives the bumpiest ride.

Retirement planning time: Adults spend an average of 16 times as many hours selecting clothes (145.6 hours a year) as they do on planning their retirement.

Textbook shortages are so severe in some U.S. public schools that 71 percent of teachers say they have purchased reading materials with their own money.

Ten percent of men are left-handed while only 8 percent of women are left-handed.

Ten percent of frequent fliers say they never check their luggage when flying.

According to Scientfic American magazine: if you live in the northern hemisphere, odds are that every time you fill your lungs with air at least one molecule of that air once passed thru Socrates lungs.

According to a poll, only 29 percent of married couples agree on most political issues.

According to a 1995 poll, 1 out of 10 people admitted that they will buy an outfit intending to wear it once and return it.

About 60 percent of all American babies are named after close relatives.

About 25 percent of all male Americans between the ages of ten and fifteen were "gainfully employed" at the turn of the century. By 1970, so few in that age bracket were employed that the U.S. Census Bureau did not bother to make inquiries about them.

About 24 percent of alcoholics die in accidents, falls, fires, and suicides.

Nearly half of all psychiatrists have been attacked by one of their patients.

The Japanese cremate 93 percent of their dead, as compared to Great Britain at 67 percent and the United States at just over 12 percent.

Two out of three adults in the United States have hemorrhoids.

Hawaii has the highest percentage of cremations of all other U.S. states, with a 60.6 percent preference over burial.

An eyebrow typically contains 550 hairs.

The most common Spanish surname is Garcia.

The typical person goes to the bathroom 6 times a day.

The voltage of most car batteries is 12 volts.

France has the highest per capita consumption of cheese.

The most common surname in Sweden is Johansson.

The typical person swallows 295 during dinner.

Americans use over 16,000 tons of aspirin a year.

Li is the family name for over 87 million People in China.

The number of births in India each year is greater than the entire population of Australia.

The chance of contracting an infection during a hospital stay in the USA is 1 in 15.

Lost time in traffic could cost American businesses up to 100 billion dollars per year.

Ten percent of frequent fliers say they never check their luggage when flying.

The photo most often requested from the U.S. National Archives is that of the meeting between Elvis Presley and President Nixon in 1970. Presley had requested that Nixon make him an honorary drug enforcement agent and Nixon accommodated him.

In 1977, according to the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, there were 14.5 telephone calls made for every 100 people in the entire world.

Per capita, Canada has more doughnut shops than any other country.

People are marrying younger today than they did before the turn of the century. In the United States, in 1890, the average age of men at their first marriage was twenty-six years, compared with twenty-three today. For women, the corresponding figures are twenty-two then and just under twenty-one now.

Half a billion people - about one of every eight - are suffering chronic malnutrition today.

In 1993 there were an estimated 64 million cats in the United States.

On a bingo card of ninety numbers there are approximately 44 million ways to make B-I-N-G-O.

There are more television sets in the United States than there are people in Japan.

Every year, over 8800 people injure themselves with a toothpick.

In the United States, five million teeth are knocked out annually.

No one knows how many people live in the country of Bhutan. As of 1975, no census had ever been taken.

New York City has the largest black population of any city in the United States. It is followed by Chicago and Philadelphia.

More than 63 million Star Trek books, in more than 15 languages, are in print; 13 were sold every minute in the U.S. in 1995.

Burns are second only to traffic accidents as the cause of accidental loss of life in the U.S.: about 6,000 fatal burns a year.

In the famous Parker Brothers game "Monopoly," the space on which a player has the greatest statistical chance of landing is Illinois Avenue. This is followed by the B&O Railroad, Free Parking, Tennessee Avenue, New York Avenue and the Reading Railroad.

In the United States, deaf people have safer driving records than hearing people nationally. 

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