History of Common Words and Phrases Part 2

Continuing the interesting origins of common words and phrases, you will find out the origins of the “honeymoon,” as well as the background on the Boogeyman within this article.

Coughing, sneezing, and fever are symptoms of influenza, which was named after what people in the past believed was an evil “influence” that was caused by the stars.

Did you know that when you call your mother “Mama” or Mommy,” you are simply using the same nicknames that those in the past did to identify the mother as having mammary glands?

When taking a look at an old German legend, it is said that the flower called the “forget me not” received its name because it was the last words uttered by a knight who lost his life as he drowned trying to pick some by the riverside for his love.

Some of the coins used in the American colonies (before the Revolutionary War) were Spanish dollars, which were cut into pieces (also known as bits). Since two pieces were equal to a one-quarter dollar, the expression “two bits” eventually turned into the reference for twenty-five cents.

The ancient Babylonians are responsible for coining the term, “honeymoon.” In the past, mead (which was a honey-flavored wine) was considered the official drink of weddings. It was customary for the parents of the bride to keep the groom supplied with enough mead to last for the month following the wedding.

Indonesia is the location where the phrase, “the boogeyman will get you,” as they actually have inhabitants named Boogey people, who still call a region in the country their home. Today, the people still attack ships that pass by and are considered pirates.

Many years ago, clans who wished to get rid of unwanted people didn’t resort to murder, but instead , burning down their residence , which created the true meaning of “getting fired.”

Today, if you mention anything about a “black book,” you are sure to see a cringe from a spouse or significant other. The term comes from the English army, where it was customary for the sergeant in charge of a company to keep on hand a black-bound book that listed all of the transgressions and punishments of the members in his company. At this time, the “black book” stood for a collection of errors and mistakes.

In 1085, Toledo, Spain was known as a center of culture for Christians, which gave way to the expression , “Holy Toledo.”

If you ever hear someone say “What in tarnation,” it is actually a variation of the “What in eternal damnation?” exclamation of the past.

The modern use of “having a chip on the shoulder” means you are in just the right mood to pick a fight. During the late 1800s and into the 20th century, it was not unusual for a young lad to challenge another to a fight by picking up a piece of wood and placing it upon his shoulder. When the block (or chip) was knocked away, the fight would start.