Now You Know

Why do we say “Hello” when we answer the telephone?

The first word used to answer the phone was the nautical greeting
“ahoy” because the first regular phone system was in the maritime state
of Connecticut. Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor, answered with
the Gaelic “hoy,” but it was Thomas Edison’s greeting of “hello,” an
exclamation of surprise dating back to the Middle Ages, that caught
on, and so we answer today with, “Hello?”

Why do we say “goodbye” or “so long” when leaving someone?

The word goodbye is a derivative of the early English greeting “God be
with you,” or as it was said then, “God be with ye.” Over the years its
abbreviated written form and pronunciation became “goodbye.” As
for “so long,” it came to Britain with soldiers who had spent time in
Arabic-speaking countries, where the perfect expression of goodwill is
“salaam.” The unfamiliar word to the English men sounded like, and
then became, “so long.”

When did men start shaving every morning?

In many cultures shaving is forbidden. The reason we in the West lather
up every morning can be traced directly back to Alexander the
Great. Before he seized power, all European men grew beards. But
because young Alexander wasn’t able to muster much facial hair, he
scraped off his peach fuzz every day with a dagger. Not wanting to
offend the great warrior, those close to him did likewise, and soon shaving
became the custom.

Why do men wear neckties?

Roman soldiers wore a strip of cloth around their necks to keep them
warm in winter and to absorb sweat in the summer. Other armies followed suit,
and during the French Revolution the Royalists and the
Rebels used ties to display the colours of their allegiance. They borrowed
the design and the name, cravat, from the Croatian Army. Later,
ties became a French fashion statement, offering a splash of colour to
an otherwise drab wardrobe.

Why are men’s buttons on the right and women’s on the left?

Decorative buttons first appeared around 2000 BC, but they weren’t
commonly used as fasteners until the sixteenth century. Because most
men are right-handed and generally dressed themselves, they found it
easier to fasten their buttons from right to left. However, wealthy
women were dressed by servants, who found it easier to fasten their
mistresses’ clothes if the buttons were on her left. It became convention
and has never changed.

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