In ancient Rome, the architectural feature called a “vomitorium” was the entrance way through which crowds entered and exited a stadium. The Latin word vomitorium derives from the verb vomitum which means “to spew forth”.
In 1993 a Scotsman was asked to confirm to the court that he was the person summoned. He replied “aye”, but was then told he had to answer yes or no. He replied “aye” again and was imprisoned for 90 minutes for contempt of court. On his release he said “I genuinely thought I was answering him”.
In English, “thou” is actually the singular informal second-person pronoun, like “tú” is Spanish and “tu” in French. “You” is technically a plural formal pronoun, closer to the Spanish “ustedes” or the French “vous.”
The Germans have a word for a device that does everything: “Eierlegende Wollmilchsau” – It literally means “Egg laying wool milk pig”. Its usually used in a “too good to be true” context.
“The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick” is listed by the Guinness Book of Records as the hardest tongue twister in the world.
The plural, gender-neutral term for “nieces and nephews” is “niblings”.
The word “breakfast” is actually a contraction of the phrase “breaking our nightly fast,” a reference to the fact that it is the first meal of the day.
The Romanian language has no word for “shallow.” To describe something as shallow, people speaking Romanian usually use the word “small” (“small water” means “shallow water,” for example) or simply “not deep.”
Before the English speaking world was exposed to the fruit, the color orange was referred to as “geoluhread” which is Old English for yellow-red.
After Merriam-Webster added “McJob”–defined: a low-paying job that requires little skill and provides little opportunity for advancement–to their dictionary, McDonald’s asked for it to be removed. They responded with “we stand by the accuracy and appropriateness of our definition.“