Know why we sign "X's" on a letter to signify kisses?
In cases where many people were unable to read or write, they "signed" documents with an "X." Kissing the "X" represented taking an oath to fulfill obligations in the document. Eventually, the "X" and kiss became the same game.
In card games, it was once customary to pass an item -- called a "buck" -- from player to player to indicate who would be the dealer. If someone did not wish to assume the responsibility of dealing, he would "pass the buck" to the next player.
Why do people clink their glasses before drinking a toast?
It used to be common for someone to try to kill an enemy by offering him a poisoned drink. To prove to a guest that the drink was safe, it became customary for the guest to pour some of his drink into the glass of his host.Both men would drink simultaneously. When a guest trusted his host, he would only touch or clink the host's glass with his own.
Why are people inthe public eye said to be "in the limelight?"
Invented in 1825, limelight was used in lighthouses and theatres by burning a cylinder of lime which produced a brilliant light. In the theatre, a performer "in the limelight" merits owning the center of attention.
Why is someone who is feeling great "on cloud nine?"
Types of clouds are numbered according to the altitudes they attain, with nine being the highest cloud. If someone is said to be on cloud nine, that person is floating well above worldly cares..
In golf, where did the term "Caddy" come from?
When Mary Queen of Scots went to France as a young girl, Louis, the King of France, learned that she loved the Scottish game of golf.So he had the first course outside of Scotland built for her enjoyment.To make sure she was properly chaperoned (and guarded) while she played, King Louis hired cadets from a military school to accompany her. Mary liked this idea so much, when she returned to Scotland, she took the practice with her. In French, the word "cadet' is pronounced 'ca-day' and the Scots changed it into 'caddie.'
Why are many coin banks shaped like pigs?
Long ago, dishes and cookware in Europe were made of a dense orange clay called 'pygg'. When people saved coins in jars made of this clay, the jars became known as 'pygg banks.' When an English potter misunderstood the word, he made a container that resembled a pig. And it caught on.
Why are U.S. dimes, quarters and half dollars notched, while pennies and nickels are not?
The U.S. Mint began putting notches on the edges of coins containing gold and silver to discourage holders from shaving off small quantities of the precious metals. Dimes, quarters and half dollars are notched because they used to contain silver. Pennies and nickels aren't notched because the metals they contain are not valuable enough to shave.