Saturday, 23 October 2010 7 word origins

  1. Skinflint - Flint stones were used in olden days to start a fire. The term skinflint derives from the idea that a miserly person would go to the extreme of skinning a flint, or using a flint until it was as thin as a skin, in order to save money.
  2. Dashboard - Originally a wooden board or leather screen at the front of a horse-drawn vehicle to protect the driver and those sitting alongside from the mud splashed up or dashed by the horse's hooves. The name was retained for the partition between the front seat and the engine that replaced the horse when cars were invented.
  3. Earmark - For centuries, farmers have marked their livestock as their property by cutting distinctive notches in the animal's ears. Earmark in this literal sense first appeared in English around 1591, but the use of earmark in the figurative sense 'to designate' arose only in the late 19th century.
  4. Junk - Junk is the old sailor's name for rope-ends. It is derived from the Latin juncus, a bulrush, from the fibre of which in ancient days ropes were made.
  5. Quiz - The manager of a Dublin theatre, a Mr Daly, laid a wager in 1780 that he would introduce a new word into the language within twenty-four hours. The bet was taken; and a mystery word appeared chalked on every wall and bare space in the city. Within a few hours all Dublin was speculating on what the mysterious letters meant. The word was quiz. The bet was won, and the word was absorbed into the English language.
  6. Trivia - Derived from the Latin for 'crossroads': tri + via, which means three streets. This is because in ancient times, at an intersection of three streets in Italian cities, they would have a type of kiosk where ancillary information was listed.
  7. Zany - The word comes from the Italian zanni, originally a traditional masked clown in the Italian commedia dell'arte. The buffoon was known as Zanni - an alteration of the name Giovanni (John), one of the traditional names for a clown. Zanni's role was to mimic the clown's tricks and generally to play the fool.

Friday, 22 October 2010 7 of the 23 take-away menus we picked up today

  1. Royal Siam - Aston Clinton
  2. Mia Capri - Thame
  3. Little Chef to Go - Just outside Thame
  4. Golden House - Princes Risborough
  5. Poppyseed - Princes Risborough
  6. Bella Vita - Princes Risborough
  7. Mr Kebab - Monks Risborough

Thursday, 21 October 2010 7 cocktails containing Baileys

  1. Irish Car Bomb - Baileys, Guinness and Jameson Irish Whiskey
  2. B52 - Kahlúa, Baileys and Grand Manier
  3. Brain Hemorrhage - Baileys, Grenadine and Peach Schnapps
  4. White Russian - Vodka, Kahlúa and Baileys
  5. China White - Vodka, Baileys and Cream de Cacao
  6. Smashing Pumpkin Shot - Baileys, Kahlúa and Goldschlager
  7. Baileys Comet - Baileys, Goldschlager, Rum and Cinnamon

Wednesday, 20 October 2010 7 seafoods in Danish

  1. Jomfruhummer - Lobster
  2. Ål - Eel
  3. Sild - Herring
  4. Rødspætte - Plaice
  5. Laks - Salmon
  6. Rejer - Shrimp
  7. Torsk - Cod

Tuesday, 19 October 2010 7 facts about Marseille

  1. It was formally known as Massalia
  2. It is the second most populous city in France
  3. It is the oldest city in France, founded in 600BC
  4. 100 million tons of freight pass annually through the port of Marseille
  5. Marseille has been designated as European Capital of Culture for 2013
  6. Eric Cantona and Sébastien Grosjean were both born in Marseille
  7. Marseille is twinned with Glasgow, Copenhagen and Shanghai

Monday, 18 October 2010 7 answers we got right in this week's University Challenge

  1. Prince Philip
  2. Carbon Dating
  3. Hard Times
  4. Dust Jacket
  5. Joan of Arc
  6. Tate Modern
  7. A

Sunday, 17 October 2010 7 air speed records

  1. Fastest helicopter - Westland Lynx 800 G-Lynx (249.1mph)
  2. Fastest rocket plane - NA x-15 (4,510mph)
  3. Fastest propeller-driven aircraft - Tupolev Tu-114 (541.45mph)
  4. Fastest landing speed - Tupolev Tu-134A (258.8mph)
  5. Fastest air-launched hypersonic scramjet - NASA X-43a (7,546mph)
  6. Fastest gliding aircraft - Schempp-Hirth Nimbus-4DM (190.6mph)
  7. Fastest compound helicopter - Sikorsky X2 (299mph)