Edited by: Rich Norris
Quicklink to comments
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…Prepares to strike, in a way..COILS
That would be like a snake coiled, ready to strike.
6…Where many leading males may be seen?..BALLROOMS
Our use of the word “ball” to mean a round object comes from the OLd Norse “bollr” meaning the same thing. However, the usage of “ball” to mean “dancing party” comes from the Late Latin “ballare” meaning “to dance”, which in turn derives from the Greek “ballizein” meaning the same thing.
15…Nocturnal problem, usually..APNEA
Sleep apnea (“apnoea” in British English) can be caused by an obstruction in the airways, possibly due to obesity or enlarged tonsils.
“Très chic” is a French term meaning “very stylish”.
20…Advertisers say it sells..SEX
Back in 1871, Pearl Tobacco featured an image of a naked maiden on the outer packaging and in print advertisements. Apparently, this is the earliest known use of sex appeal in advertising.
21…Mother of Huey, Dewey and Louie..DELLA
Della Duck is the twin sister of Donald Duck, and mother of Huey, Dewey and Louie.
Donald Duck’s nephews are identical triplets called Huey, Dewey and Louie, and they first appeared on the screen in 1938. Once in awhile due to errors in production, a fourth duck can be seen in the background. This little “mistake” is affectionately called “Phooey Duck” by folks in the industry.
24…Hall of Fame NHL coach Roger..NEILSON
Roger Neilson was former NHL coach from Canada, who coached several teams both north and south of the US-Canada border. One of Neilson legacies was the introduction of videotape to analyze strategies and tactics used by other teams. As a result, he was sometimes known as “Captain Video”.
A paragon is an model of excellence, a peerless example. Ultimately the term derives from the Greek “para-” meaning “on the side” and “akone” meaning “whetstone”. This derivation comes from the ancient practice of using a touchstone to test gold for its level of purity by drawing a line on the stone with the gold and comparing the resulting mark with samples of known purity.
“Boondocks” is a term used in North America for a remote, usually rural area. Often the term is used derogatively, implying that a remote location is unsophisticated. “Boondocks” was first used by American soldiers stationed in the Philippines in the early 1900s. The word evolved from the Tagalog “bundok” meaning “mountain”.
The search engine “Google” was originally called “BackRub” would you believe? The name was eventually changed to Google, an intentional misspelling of the word “googol”. A googol is a pretty big number, 10 to the power of 100. That would be the digit 1 followed by 100 zeros.
34…”Semper Fidelis” composer..SOUSA
John Philip Sousa was a composer and conductor from Washington, D.C. Sousa was well known for his patriotic marches and earned himself the nickname “The American March King”. He served as a member of the US Marine Band from 1868 to 1875, and after leaving the Marines learned to conduct and compose. One of the Sousa compositions that is well-known around the world is called “The Liberty Bell”, a tune used as the musical theme for BBC Television’s “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”. Sousa also wrote “Semper Fidelis”, which is the official march of the US Marine Corps.
36…Encouragement before a shot..SAY CHEESE
Photographers often instruct us to say “cheese”, to elicit a smile-like expression. Even Japanese photographers use the word “cheese” for the same effect. Bulgarians use the word “zele” meaning “cabbage”. The Chinese say “eggplant”, the Danish “orange”, the Iranians “apple” and the most Latin Americans say “whiskey”.
39…Millions can play it at once..LOTTO
Originally “Lotto” was a type of card game, with “lotto” being the Italian for “a lot”. We’ve used “lotto” to mean a gambling game since the late 1700s.
41…Frequent Greenstreet co-star..LORRE
The marvelous actor Peter Lorre was born in what is now modern-day Slovakia. Lorre’s real name was Laszlo Lowenstein. He started acting in Vienna when he was quite young, only 17 years old. When Hitler came to power, the Jewish Lowenstein headed to Paris and then London, eventually ending up in Hollywood. Lorre found himself typecast as the wicked foreigner in American movies, but I think he sneered and snarled his way to the bank.
Sydney Greenstreet was an English actor, most noted for his appearances in the movies “The Maltese Falcon” and “Casablanca” alongside Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre. Greenstreet was a portly gentleman and has been cited as partial inspiration for the Jabba the Hutt character in the “Star Wars” movie “Return of the Jedi”.
42…Olympics competitor since 1896..FENCER
Fencing was introduced as an Olympic sport in 1896, at the first Games held in the modern era. There are three fencing events in the modern Olympics, distinguished by the weapon used:
49…Pic Sans Nom, par exemple..ALPE
Pic Sans Nom is a peak in the French Alps. The name “Pic Sans Nom” translates from French as “Peak Without Name”, which is odd, as I think it’s named “Pic Sans Nom” …!
54…Russian Orthodox church feature..ONION DOME
The Eastern Orthodox Church is the second-largest of Christian religious tradition in the world, after Roman Catholicism. Many Orthodox churches identify themselves along national lines, such as Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox and Serbian Orthodox, etc.
55…”Christie Johnstone” novelist..READE
Charles Reade was an English author who came to public attention with a two-act comedy play called “Masks and Faces”. Reade turned the play into a prose story in 1852 that he called “Peg Woffington”. Reade also wrote a historical novel called “The Cloister and the Hearth” about a married man who becomes a Dominican friar on hearing that his wife has died. Years later he discovers that his wife is in fact still living and a struggle develops between the man’s obligation to family and his obligation to the Roman Catholic Church.
1…Courses around courses..CART PATHS
Those would be cart paths on a golf course.
2…Bellini’s “Casta diva,” for one..OPERA ARIA
“Norma” is an opera written by Vincenzo Bellini, first performed in 1831. One aria from the work is “Casta diva”, which is one of the most popular arias of the 1800s.
SAS was formerly known as Scandinavian Airlines System and is the flag carrier of three countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden. SAS is based at Stockholm Arlanda Airport located just north of the Swedish capital.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
9…George Washington received an honorary one from Harvard U…LLD
The honorary degree of Legum Doctor (LL.D.) translates from the Latin as Doctor of Laws, a plural. This practice of using the plural originated in Cambridge University in England, as one was awarded an LL.D. after having been taught both Canon Law and Civil Law.
Harvard College gave the school’s first LL.D (an honorary law degree) to General George Washington, doing so in April 1776, less than a month after the Continental Army had driven the British from Boston.
11…Play that inspired an opera..OTHELLO
Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Otello” was first performed in 1887 at La Scala Theater in Milan. The opera is based on Shakespeare’s play “Othello” and is considered by many to be Verdi’s greatest work.
13…__ Park, Calif…MENLO
Menlo Park is a town in the San Francisco Bay Area. The town was built around land previously owned by two Irish immigrants. The pair called their property “Menlo Park”, naming it for Menlo in County Galway, which is where the Irishmen came from.
The Chevrolet Impala was first introduced in 1957, and you can still buy one today. “Impala” is the Zulu word for “gazelle”.
20…Subj. of some “Bossypants” chapters..SNL
“Saturday Night Live” (SNL)
Tina Fey’s 2011 humorous autobiography “Bossypants” topped the New York Times Best Seller list for five weeks.
24…Ominous oater symbol..NOOSE
The term “oater” that is used for a western movie comes from the number of horses seen, as horses love oats!
In the musical “Hairspray”, Edna Turnblad is one of the main characters. “Hairspray” was originally a John Waters movie, from 1988. In that film Edna was played by Divine, a famous drag queen who featured in many Waters films. In the stage musical that opened in 2002, the original Broadway cast featured Harvey Fierstein as Edna. The 2007 movie adaptation of the musical had John Travolta in the role.
Most of Logitech’s products are computer peripherals, such keyboards, mice, microphones and webcams. Logitech is a Swiss company, founded in 1981 by two Stanford graduates and a former Olivetti engineer.
“Boer” is the Dutch and Afrikaans word for “farmer”, a word that was used to describe the Dutch-speaking people who settled parts of South Africa during the 1700s.
In geographic terms, the Transvaal is an area in modern-day South Africa that lies north of the Vaal River. “Transvaal” translates as “across the Vaal”.
31…Bag lady?..KATE SPADE
Kate Spade fashion design house was founded as a supplier of handbags in 1993. The brand is named for founder Kate Brosnahan Spade. The equivalent male brand is called Jack Spade.
Blood serum is the clear, yellowish part of blood i.e. that part which is neither a blood cell or a clotting factor. Included in blood serum are antibodies, the proteins that are central to our immune system. Blood serum from animals that have immunity to some disease can be transferred to another individual, hence providing that second individual with some level of immunity. Blood serum used to pass on immunity can be called “antiserum”.
37…Maker of AgeDefy products..CLAIROL
Clairol had been around since 1931 selling hair coloring products to salons, and then hit the big time with the introduction of a one-step hair coloring product for use at home. As famous as the product was the “does she … doesn’t she” advertising campaign. Six years after the launch of the campaign, 70% of women in the US were coloring their hair.
38…Insulin, for one..HORMONE
The hormone insulin is secreted by structures in the pancreas called the islets of Langerhans, named for their island-like appearance under a microscope and for their discoverer Paul Langerhans. The hormone is named for the “islets”, as the Latin for island is “insula”.
44…It flows through Troyes and Melun..SEINE
The Seine is the river that flows through Paris. The Seine empties into the English Channel to the north, at the port city of Le Havre.
The city of Troyes is located on the River Seine just under 100 miles southeast of Paris. The popular board game called “Troyes” was released in 2010 and is named for the historic city.
Melun is suburb of Paris, located about 25 miles from the center of the city.
45…Prima __: self-evident..FACIE
“Prima facie” is Latin for “first encounter” or “at first sight”. In the world of the law, a prima facie case is one in which the evidence is deemed to be sufficient for a judgment to be made unless the evidence is contested.
46…Ostrich, for example..BIPED
The ostrich is a flightless bird that is native to Africa. It is extensively farmed, mainly for its feathers but also for its skin/leather and meat. Famously, the ostrich is the fastest moving of any flightless bird, capable of achieving speeds of over 40 mph. It is also the largest living species of bird, and lays the largest eggs.
51…Agcy. concerned with drug-resistant bacteria..CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The CDC started out life during WWII as the Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities. The CDC worries about much more than malaria these days …