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To prepare for a possible battle, the groom would ask a friend with fighting skills to stand with him during his marriage and act as his Best Man, helping to defend his bride from possible kidnapping.

10 Origins Of INVENTIONS We Take For GRANTED

Today, this word implies a way to get out of a contract. The origin goes all the way back to the Middle Ages and, believe it or not, a defensive architectural feature of castles. Up at the top of the fortifications, designers put in small, usually oval windows that were tapered to be wider inside and narrower from the outside also called a "murder-hole". This made the window difficult to hit from the outside by attacking enemies, but a good spot from which to fire arrows.

From ancient castle features to the dangers of having your bride stolen on your wedding day, these common phrases have their origins from some interesting sources. Below you will find out such interesting things as the jibber jabber origin, stool pigeon origin, and the etymology of common phrases and sayings. Even Grand Duchess Anastasia, the ill-fated daughter of the Romanovs, got in on the craze in Forks were initially used for cooking only, and eating was simply done with fingers and knives. After a Byzantine princess married the son of the Doge of Venice, his subjects were shocked when she brandished the utensils during the feast.

The practice slowly caught on in parts of Europe centuries later. The British remained unresponsive to the use of the fork even after it gained popularity in France after the Sun King, Louis XIV, declared pointed knives illegal. On the other side of the globe, chopsticks were used in China as many as 5, years ago , when twigs were used to retrieve large pieces of food from cooking pots. The use of chopsticks spread far and wide across East Asia.

5 Things People Take for Granted

The early Japanese used it for ceremonial purposes, which is why leaving chopsticks sticking up in a rice bowl, resembling incense sticks during a funeral, is considered a great offense. While villagers used wooden chopsticks, royalty used silver, believing that the metal would turn black if the food was poisoned.


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The deck of 52 cards is mostly believed to have Arabic origins , either from trade with the Mamluks of Egypt or the Muslims in Spain. This system of playing cards was already quite similar to what we enjoy playing today: However, the royal courts at the time were dominated by men , so as strange as it might seem now, these cards included no queens. The original suits were the cups, swords, coins, and polo sticks. The latter eventually became batons, since Europeans had no idea what they were supposed to be.

Later on, they evolved into the familiar clubs, spades, hearts, and diamonds.


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  • The practice of using suits could have come from China, which already had its own form of playing cards centuries earlier, around A. These Chinese cards used increasing denominations of coins. As the cards grew in popularity, so did their regulation and practical use. The cards even reflected the political climate: During the Renaissance Period, playing cards were decorated with the vivid imagery of Christian or philosophical content. The history of toilet paper rolled along for a few hundred years until , when the Chinese emperor ordered its mass manufacture. The Bureau of Imperial Supplies was tasked with producing , sheets every year, each sheet measuring 0.

    Joseph had his name printed on each package to remind people that he was the source of their relief. In ancient Egypt, menstruation may have been viewed in a positive light. It was likened to the Nile River, which was the symbol of renewal and fertility, and might have even been used for medicinal purposes.

    Explore Everyday Health

    In a particularly gross instance, smearing menstrual blood on the breasts was believed to make them perkier. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used a variety of materials to make tampons, such as papyrus, wool, animal skins, and even grass. After his wife replied that such things were outrageously expensive, Muruganantham decided to invent cheaper pads , but he had one problem: He had no clue how the menstrual cycle worked. Whenever he washed his clothing, villagers thought he had become a pervert, gone insane, or even been possessed by demons, but his sanitary pads eventually won him an award for innovation from the Indian president.

    The origins of the modern bra go back to , when year-old Mary Phelps Jacob was planning her outfit for an upcoming ball. She had chosen a gown that showcased her ample figure, but she found the corsets of the time too restricting. Instead, she asked her maid to bring her two handkerchiefs and a ribbon, creating the ancestor of the modern bra. Jacob has historically received credit for inventing the bra, recent archaeological evidence showed that women have been wearing linen bras since the s.

    Notable among these is the creation of the Wonderbra, designed in by Louise Poirier for lingerie brand Canadelle.

    Phrase Origins | Surprising Origins of Common Sayings

    Contrary to popular belief, however, the idea of the push-up bra goes back much further. The divorce rate in modern society is at an all-time high , and old-fashioned types decry incidents like couples splitting up after mere hours of marriage or over mundane reasons such as snoring as a mockery of the institution.

    However, divorce has actually been quite a simple practice in past civilizations. In ancient Egypt, marriage had no judicial consequence, consisting simply of a man and woman living under one roof. As such, divorce and remarriage was quite common. In Greece, the matter was brought up to magistrates and viewed objectively. In Japan, if a husband refused to grant a divorce, the wife could elect to live in a temple for three years, after which the marriage was automatically dissolved.

    Viking women were more than welcome to leave their men if they were unable to provide for the family. In Medieval Britain, divorce was a strictly ecclesiastical matter. The Anglican Church, which was ironically established so that Henry VIII could divorce his first wife, was even more constricting than the Catholic Church that it sought to overpower.


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