10 Random Facts


10 Random Facts

 

William Carstares (1649-1715) was the last man in Britain to be given the thumbscrew. As torture was illegal in England, he had to be taken to Edinburgh.

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The whole of Shakespeare contains only about 20,000 different words – less than half the vocabulary of the average English speaker today.

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“Trombone” is French for paperclip.

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The word “gasoline” doesn’t come from “gas”. It comes from Cazeline – after John Cassell, founder of the publisher Cassell & Co who was the first to sell it commercially.

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A snowflake that falls on a glacier in central Greenland can take 200,000 years to reach the sea.

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For 48 years after tinned food was invented, people who wanted to eat it had to use a hammer and chisel. The can opener wasn’t invented until 1858.

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At the outbreak of the Second World War, zookeepers killed all the poisonous insects and snakes in London Zoo, in case it was bombed and they escaped.

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The boa constrictor is the only living animal whose common name is exactly the same as its scientific name.

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Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, it is explicitly illegal in Britain to use a machine gun to kill a hedgehog.

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In ancient Greek the word “idiot” meant anyone who wasn’t a politician.

 

 

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About Pam Smith

I am a Christian and currently exploring vocation. I am a writer, I conduct a brass band, I am an avid reader and when I'm not doing any of those things I crochet with a fierce passion. I am mum to two fantastic young adults, celebrating my Silver wedding anniversary in 2016 with my husband. I recently gained my Bachelor of Arts with honours.
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5 Responses to 10 Random Facts

  1. auntyuta says:

    Where on earth did you find out all these things, Pam?
    Everything that you mention is great news to me. It shows how little we really know!

    Like

    • sterlingsop says:

      I have to confess that I have a little book that I looked these up in! I am fascinated by facts like these, and I just wanted to share some with you. I love the fact about the trombone – my son plays it, and my brother is a professional trombone player for the Welsh National Opera so you can imagine the teasing he will be getting about THAT!!

      Like

  2. auntyuta says:

    These are fascinating facts, indeed, Pam. Thanks for publishing them!

    Like

  3. viviellevirgule says:

    “it is explicitly illegal in Britain to use a machine gun to kill a hedgehog.” Makes you wonder exactly what prompted this to get worked into the law!

    These were fascinating! If you have any more factoids like these I’d love to read them. 🙂

    Like

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