Origin of Everyday will be staying at home for a while. Back with more fun facts soon. Stay safe!
Careful, These Are Gateway Factoids
Since horseraces start when a gate is opened for all the horses simultaneously, the term “right out of the gate” is used for something that happens right at a commencement.
The popular notion of the “pearly gates” to heaven actually comes from the Book of Revelation, which describes 12 gates made of pearl (one pearl per gate) leading to New Jerusalem.
Since floodgates are typically solid barriers which hold back would-be floodwaters, to “open the floodgates” means to allow many previously-impossible things to happen.
The Eyes Have It
The term “apple of my eye” has roots back to the King James Bible, but the modern sense of a highly favored person or object, goes back to the 9th century…still not too shabby in terms of long lineages. It was previously believed that the pupil of the eye was a solid object, and the term apple – another familiar sphere – came to describe it. Mind you, in these days effective eye care was in a primitive-to-nonexistent state, so eyesight was highly valued. Hence, the term lent itself to other things which were similarly precious.
The term “private eye” to describe private investigators has two plausible origins. The famous Pinkerton Detective Agency, which began in Chicago in the 1850s and was the original in the business in the US, used in their logo the image of a staring eye and the words “We Never Sleep.” However, the equally likely origin is simply the letter “I” in “private investigator.”
The adult eye color of a human baby is not always knowable at birth, as there are many genes and pigments still at work. In some babies, particularly lighter-skinned ones, it may take up to 3 years for the iris color to fully establish.
Digital Acronym Monday (DAM!) #3
URL = Universal Resource Locator
RAM = Random Access Memory
CC (on email) = Carbon Copy, and its secretive cousin BCC, Blind Carbon Copy.
Don’t Box Me In
Since it is against the rules of boxing to hit an opponent below the waist, both the terms “low blow” and “below the belt,” indicating unfair conduct come from this sport.
Since a bell marks the end of a boxing round but can also stop a knockout count, the term “saved by the bell” came to mean being rescued from a bad situation.
A boxer’s trainer can throw a towel into the ring to stop the fight if it is too dangerous for the boxer to continue, so “throw in the towel” means quitting or surrendering in an endeavor.