Odd But True Facts About Words

Odd But True Facts About Words

Ambulance comes from the original French which translates into “Flying Hospital”.

Gemini was name of NASA second space program. Since NASA was based in the South, it was pronounced the “Redneck” way. GE-MIN-EE. This pronunciation was dubbed official by NASA.

Vaticanus was the Roman God of child birth.  In ancient Rome, Vagitanus or Vaticanus was invoked as the god who opened the newborn’s mouth to wail.  The hill in Rome where the temple of Vaticus was located was known as “Vatican Hill”.  From this the site of the Holy See of the Catholic Church is known today as “The Vatican”.  Vagina stems from Vagitanus.  The vaginal canal is literally the Way of Vagitanus, the path a child takes to Life.

The Zarf

is the cardboard sleeves that protect your hands from piping hot coffee.


is the scent of rain on dry earth.

The Aglet

is the small plastic or metal sheathing at the end of a shoelace.


is the state of not wanting to get out of bed in the morning. In other words every morning.

A group of Jack o Lanterns is called a Patch.

“She’s a dumb Blond.”– No, she’s not. A woman with light yellow hair is called a blonde. A man with light yellow hair is a blond. Blonde and blond are gender specific and are not interchangeable.

Scot-free– One word, not two. The origin has nothing to do with Scotland nor Dred Scott. Scot refers to the old English word for taxes. If a Lord forgave his taxes due or if a free man owned his land both were considered to be scot-free, free of taxation. Common usage derived it to have escaped punishment or payment.

The word Sasquatch was invented by J. W. Burns, a Canadian school teacher in the 1920’s.Click Here to see proof

The top loop on an ampersand (&) is called the hapocap.

The term “robot” was coined by Czechoslovakian playwright Karel Capek in 1920 “robota” being a Czech word for tedious labor.
“Cemetery” comes from a Greek word meaning, “Sleeping Place”
The most often misspelled American city is Pittsburgh.


Dendrophobia is the fear of Trees.

Dishabiliophobia is the fear of undressing in front of someone.

Euphobia is the fear of Good news, hearing good news.

Lachanophobia is the fear of vegetables.

Medomalacuphobia is the fear of losing an erection.

Myrmecophobia is the fear of Ants.

Oneirogmophobia is the fear of wet dreams.

Parthenophobia is the fear of virgins.

Pogonophobia is the fear of beards.

Click here for other Fears

*The longest one-syllable word in the English language is “screeched.”

Reader’s Contribution!
Longest one-syllable English word: “Strengths” matches “Screeched”.

Shortest complete English sentence: “I’m” beats “I am” – and is a legitimate (if colloquial) response to a question such as “Who is going?”

For that matter, a sentence with an implied subject is also “complete”. Thus, “Go!” is a complete sentence (the implied subject is “you”) with only two letters.

The word gymnastics is derived from the Greek word “gumnazein”, which means; To train naked.

The word “Coach“, as in a football coach is named for the village of “Kocs” in Hungary. Kocs is the birthplace of the horse drawn carriage (circa 1400 AD). This is the origin of “coach” as in Stage Coach. However in the 18th century the word became college slang for “teacher”, perhaps because teachers “carry” students like a coach. By 1880 athletic teachers were “coaches” as well.

Hat Trick comes from the sport cricket not hockey. A cricket bowler who took three wickets on three consecutive bowls was allegedly entitled to receive a hat from his coach to commemorate the event.

Skepticisms is the longest typed word that alternates hands!

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

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

The word philatelist (stamp collector) stems for the Latin phase “Happy to avoid paying taxes”.

The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.

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

There are only four words in the English language which end in “dous”: tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

The word “Checkmate” in chess comes from the Persian phrase “Shah Mat,” which means, “the king is dead”.

Pinocchio is Italian for “pine head.”

The longest word in the English language, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. The only other word with the same amount of letters is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconioses, its plural.

Hydroxydesoxycorticosterone and hydroxydeoxycorticosterones are the largest anagrams.

The Sanskrit word for “war” means “desire for more cows.”

Canada is an Indian word meaning “Big Village.”

Los Angeles’ full name is “El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reinad e los Angeles de Porciuncula.” That makes it the world’s longest place name and the Biggest abbreviation by ration when reduced to “LA”.

*No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver or purple.

*”Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt”.

The name of Wyoming’s Grand Teton peak literally means “big tit.”

Mississippi is named for the Mississippi river which forms its western boundary and empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The name roughly translated from Native American folklore means “Father of Waters.” The translation comes from the Chippewa words “mici zibi” meaning “great river” or “gathering in of all the waters” and the Algonquin word “Messipi”.

Go Sooners! During the Oklahoma Land Rush, tempers flared when people accused each other of being a “Sooner”. Someone who jumped the noon start time and got into Oklahoma “sooner” than everyone else.



You may also want to know about one googol, which is 1 followed by 100 zeros, or ten dotrigintillion.

A googolplex is 1 followed by a googol zeros. There are not enough elementary particles in the known universe to write down a googolplex. (There are fewer than a trigintillion such particles, but we need to make ten dotrigintillion one digits.)

But it also depends on whether you are using the U.S. or the British system. In the U.S., octillion, nonillion, decillion, undecillion, dodecillion, tredecillion, quattuordecillion, quindecillion, sexdecillion, septendecillion, octodecillion, novemdecillion, take you into the 21st period (10^60). I found vigintillion as the next one (10^63) and the largest I could find was centillion (10^303). I imagine there is something like milletillion (10^3003) as well (1000 tillion). I looked it up – centillion in the British system is 10^600 (but they have thousand million instead of billion, etc).

By the way, the power of ten is also the number of places (or zeros) following the lead digit.

After vigintillion come unvigintillion, dovigintillion, and so on. After novemvigintillion comes trigintillion, which is followed by untrigintillion through novemtrigintillion.

One googol = 10^100; this is ten dotrigintillion in America or ten thousand sexdecillion in Britain.

-Doctor Toby, The Math Forum Check out our web site! http://mathforum.org/dr.math/

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