The word Hello became popular after Thomas Edison suggested its use when answering the phone. Alexander Graham Bell, his competitor, preferred Ahoy.
Two Oxford students heard that the author Rudyard Kipling earned 10 shillings per word so they sent him 10 shillings and asked for one of his very best words. Kipling replied: “Thanks”.
33% of Americans consider “whatever” to be the most annoying word or phrase. The recent addition of “fake news” takes second place with 23% followed closely by “no offense, but” with 20%. 11% think “literally” is the most grating word used in conversation while 10% assert “you know what I mean” is the most agitating.
The word “dashboard” originated as a barrier of wood or leather fixed at the front of a horse-drawn carriage or sleigh to protect the driver from mud or other debris “dashed up” (thrown up) by the horses’ hooves.
The word gasoline has nothing to do with gas, it was a brand knock off of the original Cazeline when a shop owner drew a line on the C to make it a G.
The words “apron” and “napkin” were originally “napron” and “apkin” but the preceding indefinite articles (“an” and “a”) were so confusing to the ear that the words eventually just changed.
The word “ok” as we know it today, as a synonym for “alright”, is only about 175 years old. It was originally written as a joke that went viral in 1839 by a Boston editorial writer satirizing people’s bad grammar and use of abbreviations, and was an abbreviation for “oll korrect”.
The Chinese word for “contradiction”, 矛盾, consisting of the characters for “spear” and “shield” respectively, is said to derive from an old tale in which a Chinese merchant proclaimed to sell “spears that could pierce any shield” and “shields that could defend from all spear attacks”.