On October 3rd, 2010, World War One officially ended when Germany made it final reparations payment. This settled outstanding debt from the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. The sum was initially set at 269 billion gold marks, around 96,000 tons of gold, before being reduced to 112 billion gold marks by 1929, payable over a period of 59 years. In 1931, payments were suspended and then quietly resumed in 1953. Read more about the repayment here.
Tobacco Smoke Enema (1750s-1810s)
The tobacco enema was used to infuse tobacco smoke into a patient's rectum for various medical purposes, primarily the resuscitation of drowning victims. A rectal tube inserted into the anus was connected to a fumigator and bellows that forced the smoke towards the rectum. The warmth of the smoke was thought to promote respiration, but doubts about the credibility of tobacco enemas led to the popular phrase "Blow smoke up one's ass." Other surgical instruments, here.
While we're on the subject...
How would you like a red-hot poker shoved up your ass?
Which is exactly how English King Edward the second was dispatched on October 13, 1327 while imprisoned in Berkley Castle, on orders of his wife Queen Isabella.
Son of a Gun
Meaning - Orphan.
This is not the polite version of "Son of a Bitch". The Royal Navy of the 19th century was far from prudish. Married women often sailed with their men. In port many "wives" were found by the crew. A woman could only have to declare her marriage to a sailor and her word was not questioned. Many children were born on board ship. The most private place being the gun deck. Literally between the cannon. Children were part of the crew. On the lower deck they were powder monkeys. If they were given a berth in the ward room they were officers in training and call "Squeakers". Baby boys born at sea with no one claiming fatherhood were referred to as "Sons of the Gun". The Royal Navy actually maintained an orphanage ashore for these unfortunates. At a tender age, these orphans were put to sea as Squeakers. At one time the officer corps of the Royal Navy was almost self perpetuating.
Bite the Bullet
Meaning - Pay a painful price and move on.
Example - If you want to clear those 8 tickets off your driving record, you will need to bite the bullet and pay the fines.
Origin - Before the advent of ether, the first anesthetic, surgery was a pretty desperate and painful affair. With the patient (although victim might be more descriptive) fully conscious and feeling the pain. These early surgeries were typically limb amputations or the removal of some object lodged into the body such as a bullet or arrowhead. A typical amputation consisted of the "surgeon" using a saw to hack off the unwanted limb. The skin was then pulled down over the stub and sutured shut. Amazingly, some of these patients survived, but certainly the success ratio was low. Note that poorly skilled physicians today are called "hacks". Even after the advent of anesthetics such emergency surgery has had to be performed at times. Particularly in times of war when anesthetics may be in limited supply or unavailable. To ease the pain the patient was given a couple of stiff belts of whiskey to numb the senses, then given a stick or lead bullet to bite down on as the surgeon went to work with knife and saw. The bullet or stick was given to let the patient focus their energy and attention on the biting instead of the cutting and pain
Letting the Cat out of the bag - So here we are then, with a sailor having been caught "on the fiddle" or "fiddling" extra food. His mess mates would now be saying of him that he has really "let the Cat out of the bag" this time! The 'cat' being the 'cat of nine tails' and not a domestic cat! Therefore, the saying "to let the cat out of the bag" is derived from when sailors were found guilty of an offense punishable by flogging.
To be caught Red Handed
Meaning - To be caught in the act.
Origin: One of the four kinds of offenses in the king's forest, by which the offender is supposed to have killed a deer. In Scotland, in such like crimes they say, "Taken in the fact, or with red hand". The red of course being the blood from the slaughtered animal
Balls to the Wall
Meaning - To move real fast.
Origin: World War Two fighter pilot slang. The engine throttles were topped by little balls. The throttle was advanced by being pushed forward. If the throttles were at maximum power, the balls were to the wall (the instrument panel).
Oleg Makarov and Vasily Lazerev are the only people to have survived a failed launch into space. In 1975, their booster rocket exploded shortly after lift off from the Baikonur comsmodrome. The Soyuz capsule automatically jettisoned from the rocket just seconds before the explosion.
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The devil is in the details:To understand this phrase, you have to know what the devil is. To confuse it more there are two devils. Both pertaining to wooden sailing ships; the devil is the longest horizontal seam of the hull. It had to be caulked with oakum and was very tedious. From the inside you could miss spots as it passed the inner spars of the ship. Hence "The devil is in the details". To caulk the outside a sailor was hung by a bosun's chair, thus he was "Between the devil and the deep blue sea". A precarious position.
On vessels of the 18th and 19th century the devil was also the space between the deck planks and the cross pieces holding the hull together. To caulk this space was extremely difficult and expensive to do hence the phrase, "There will be the devil to pay".
Get there early to beat the Rush: Is not about shopping. Before Alaska was a state, ships from all over the world went there to hunt the seals for their fur. In what is first example of environmentalism the United States would dispatch a U.S. Coast Guard cutter to chase away the hunters. For years that duty fell on the USCGC Rush, based in Washington. So in order for you to get a load of seal furs you had to Get there early to beat the Rush".
In the 1850's, early miners in Nevada were looking for gold and kept encountering "The Blue Mud". It got into everything and was washed away and discarded as fast as possible. On a hunch, one miner had the mud assayed in San Francisco and it revealed that "The Blue Mud" contained $3000 of silver per ton of mud. Sworn to secrecy, miners returned to Nevada to stake claims. However, rumors spread through California of a Bonanza in Nevada. This Bonanza evolved into the Comstock Lode. The richest silver deposit in the history the United States. The television western, Bonanza, was named for this famous but little known rumor.
There are tunnels under the United States Air Force Academy. They contain a replica Liberty Bell, Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. There is also a USED Mercury Space Capsule, a Spitfire fighter and a flight of sailplanes once used at the academy. >Click Here to see proof
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The serial number of Lee Harvey Oswald's rifle is C2766. Click Here to see proof
The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.
Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children-last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water."
Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."
There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.
The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying "dirt poor."
The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery! In the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance way. Hence the saying a "thresh hold."
In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, "Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."
Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man "could bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."
Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning and death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.
Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or "upper crust."
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a "wake."
England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a "bone-house" and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the "graveyard shift") to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be "saved by the bell" or was considered a "dead ringer."
And that's the truth... Now , whoever said that History was boring ! ! ! ! ! Educate someone...Share these facts with a friend
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