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Tell me something useless but interesting I don't know. No googling allowed. Corrections welcomed.

(546 Posts)
YourMaNoBraBackOfMyCar Tue 17-Dec-13 16:36:17

I love these threads so please tell me all manner of useless info. [Thanks]

Months that begin on a Sunday will always have a Friday the 13th.

DrNick Mon 13-Jan-14 14:24:06

in courts they really DO say " take him down"


HoratiaDrelincourt Mon 13-Jan-14 14:23:01

What Punk said about acronyms, although technically the Dutch word and English word (and German and probably various Scandinavian words too) derive from a common ancestor.

PunkHedgehog Mon 13-Jan-14 14:08:19

Almost all etymologies based on acronyms (fuck, posh from 'port out starboard home' etc) are wrong. Acronyms only started being used as words in around the mid-20th C (so things like laser).

Fuck is derived from a Dutch word.

Dawndonnaagain Wed 08-Jan-14 13:22:40

May have been noted, I shall read properly later, but apologies if this is a repeat:
We do not know for sure that Queen Charlotte was black.

Fuck stood for: For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, as those who had children out of wedlock were dealt with by the ecclesiastical courts.

Snoozybird Wed 08-Jan-14 13:05:03

Royston Vasey the fictional village in The League of Gentleman, was named after comedian Roy Chubby Brown's real name

HoratiaDrelincourt Wed 08-Jan-14 12:40:48

False chimp ears has me snorting in a very undignified manner grin

PunkHedgehog Wed 08-Jan-14 11:32:18

The orangutan who played Clint Eastwood's film companion Clyde also appeared on British television in the zoo vet series One By One. And in another film he played a chimpanzee - for this he had his fur dyed and wore false ears.

Practicalpam Mon 06-Jan-14 15:02:20

Scraps of waste or broken glass is known as cullet.

BelfastBloke Mon 06-Jan-14 12:28:14

Dingle - I just happened to be studying the FA Cup fixtures just now.
Hull City are still in the FA Cup. I don't understand what you meant about 'the colouring in thing".

TwoLeftSocks Mon 06-Jan-14 11:45:05

Armadillos are always born as quadruplets and are one of the few animals that can catch leprosy.

Also, they can hold their breath for about five minutes, which helps when they cross rivers as they simply walk along the river bed rather than swim.

And they can jump six feet into the air.

Dingleinthevillage Sun 05-Jan-14 18:22:13

Are Hull City still in the FA cup? Know nothing about football but in my mind the colouring in thing justifies a bet!

ControlGeek Sun 05-Jan-14 18:02:45

pigletjohn I wonder if that's what I was thinking of, rather than sellotape?

PigletJohn Sun 05-Jan-14 17:59:41

3M had a researcher trying to develop a new glue for paper. He was very unsuccessful, because his product kept peeling off. This was completely useless, obviously.

Until someone realised.... post-its!

Tinkertaylor1 Sun 05-Jan-14 17:56:58

PEANUTS ARE NOT ACTUALLY NUTS!!! They are from the pea family shock

Perhaps to the poster waaaaaaaaaaaaaay back regarding newborns looking like their dad, maybe it's a primal thing so their fathers don't eat them?

ControlGeek Sun 05-Jan-14 17:50:09

The inventors of sellotape spent considerable time trying to work out how to get the glue to stick fast to one side of the tape whilst peeling easily off the other - before one of them realised that the glue did this naturally anyway!

TheBunsOfPanettone Sat 04-Jan-14 23:53:37

The word describing fear of submarines is ipobrichiophobia

Yes, I have it grin

ZingChoirsOfAngels Fri 03-Jan-14 22:49:09

I'm not surprised at that Horatia !

<stays away from poppy seeds as pg>

SuburbanRhonda Fri 03-Jan-14 22:47:43

Tippex was invented by the mother of Mike Nesmith of 60s pop group The Monkees.

HoratiaDrelincourt Fri 03-Jan-14 22:25:56

If you eat too many poppy seeds (from memory it's as many as you'd find on two or three poppy seed rolls) then you'd fail a drugs test.

That's one of DH's favourite factoids.

TwoLeftSocks Fri 03-Jan-14 22:19:50

I didn't know that Zing. I think the adults (and sometimes children) used to drink it as tea, to ward off the marsh ague.

ZingChoirsOfAngels Fri 03-Jan-14 22:15:01


In Hungary people would "cook" poppy seeds in milk (steeping?) then give the milk or a chunk of bread dipped in that milk to babies to help them sleep (same thing, opium)

TwoLeftSocks Fri 03-Jan-14 21:22:24

Opium poppies still grow in the Fens, where they were once heavily used during certain times of the year by local communities. Poppy seeds grow well in freshly disturbed soil (just like they did in the trenches) so the opium poppies often bloom soon after roadworks end.

TwoLeftSocks Fri 03-Jan-14 21:20:26

Babies that didn't settle were sometimes given a lettuce stump to suck on during Victorian times as it contains laudanum, which I think is an opiate or something similar.

TwoLeftSocks Fri 03-Jan-14 21:17:58

French francs minted under the Nazi occupation during WW2 had "Liberty, Fraternity, Equality" replaced with "Work, Family and State (Travail, Familie, Patrie)". As soon as the war was over, they reverted straight back.

The lady on the back was replaced with a symbol for work or something too.

I'm doing this from memory from Dad's random old coin collection so can't quite remember it fully.

TheBunsOfPanettone Fri 03-Jan-14 21:09:52

I had to scroll back and find this thread after discovering the very interesting and possibly useless fact that "the term buccaneer derived from the French boucanier, meaning people who smoked or cured strips of meat on a frame of green sticks, or boucan, over a slow fire fed by animal bones and pieces of hide". Footnote from A Pirate of Exquisite Mind, by Diana & Michael Preston, my first book in the 50 books for 2014 challenge. Of course these C17 boucaniers also attacked and looted ships and had a fondness for talking parrots grin

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