Now You Know

Why do we say,“I heard it through the grapevine”?

During the American Civil War, a Colonel Bee set up a crude telegraph
line between Placerville and Virginia City by stringing wires from trees.
The wires hung in loops like wild grapevines, and so the system was
called the “Grapevine Telegraph,” or simply “the grapevine.” By the time
war news came through the wires it was often outdated, misleading, or
false, and the expression “I heard it through the grapevine” soon came to
describe any information obtained through gossip or rumour that was
likely unreliable.

Where did croissants, or crescent rolls, originate?

In 1683, during a time when all the nations of Europe were at
war with each other, the Turkish army laid siege to the city of
Vienna. The following year Poland joined Vienna against the
Turks, who were ultimately forced to lift the siege in 1689. As a
celebration of victory, a Viennese baker introduced crescent-shaped
rolls, or “croissants,” copying the shape of the crescent Islamic
symbol on the Turkish flag.

During the American War of Independence, which country contributed the most soldiers to fight alongside the British?

The country that contributed the most soldiers to fight with the British
against Washington was America itself. By 1779, there were more
Americans fighting alongside the British than with the colonists.
Washington had about thirty-five hundred troops, but because onethird
of the American population opposed the revolution, up to eight
thousand loyalists either moved to Canada or joined the British Army

What exactly is a last-ditch stand?

In the sixteenth century, when an army attacked a walled city or
fortress, they would advance by digging a series of trenches for protection
until they were close enough to storm the walls. If there was a successful
counter-attack, the invaders would retreat by attempting to
hold each trench in the reverse order from which they had advanced
until they might find themselves fighting from the “last ditch.” If they
failed to hold that one, the battle was lost.

Where did the expression “the whole nine yards” come from?

During the South Pacific action of the Second World War, American
fighter planes’ machine guns were armed on the ground with .50 calibre
ammunition belts that measured exactly twenty-seven feet, or nine
yards, in length before being loaded into the fuselage. If, during mortal
combat, a pilot gave everything he had by firing all his ammunition
at a single target, it was said he’d given it “the whole nine yards.”

From The Book Titled "Now You Know" by Doug Lennox