May 20, 2009
April 28, 2009
Donnybrook is a district of Dublin, Ireland. It used to be the site of Donnybrook Fair. It began in 1204 when King John bestowed the eight-day event on the citizens to thank them for fortifying the city of Dublin. The fair became notorious for drunkenness and rowdiness giving rise to the word donnybrook. The fair was eventually banned in 1855, but the word stuck.
Usage example: .....the donnybrook on Capitol Hill over immigration.....
Sources: answers.com, http://www.donnybrooktennisclub.ie/content/info/history.jsp
April 01, 2009
Meaning – bravery boosted by alcohol
During 17th century, the enmity between England and Holland increased because of control over sea and new world searched. So during one such a war sailors aboard the Hollander British warship were given brandy before beginning of the war. Due to this enmity, wherever Britishers settled, they started their anti-Dutch tradition.
Image Source: wikipedia.org
P.S. :- Intention of second post was just to make sure 100th post is on my name. :D :D
There are different stories behind this phrase. But one interesting story goes with John Wilkes Booth who assassinated Abraham Lincoln on 14th April, 1865. After assassination, Booth tried to escape and broke his leg, but it was his luck that he escaped because of his broken leg. Still his luck ran out and got killed twelve days after the incident. Basically the assassination incident happened in a theatre and when Booth assassinated Lincoln, he tried to jump on stage and that’s how he broke his leg. So now the phrase is used to wish actors good luck even though it’s literal meaning sounds bad omen.
Image Source: Wikipedia.org
February 27, 2009
Ever wondered why the "toast-master" proposes a "toast" for the "toastee"?
It is believed that in ancient Rome, it was usual to put a piece of burnt toast in a wine glass. The reasons given for the practice range from adding flavor to the wine, to providing a "treat" at the bottom of the glass. The most plausible of them seems to be that it was a way to remove undesirable flavors from the wines, specially form the cheaper wines. As the practice made its way to England, the never-to-be-underestimated Englishmen added their own spin to it. Around 1700, it is believed that the British upper class began referring to the most popular lady at a party or a social gathering by putting a buttered toast, often with sugar and nutmeg in the butter, in a glass of wine to make it special. Once popular young ladies became the toast of the party, or of the town, raising your glasses to them became "toasting."
Sources: /www.yourdictionary.com , http://itotd.com/