“Blue moon” phrase originally meant “never,” now it means rarely
You’ve heard the saying “once in a blue moon.”
And you probably heard the song “Blue Moon.”
According to the Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins, the term “blue moon” first appeared in England in 1528.
The source: A book (or booklet) entitled Read Me and Be Not Wroth, which said, “If they say the moon is blue/ we must believe that it is true.”
The term once in a blue moon was apparently derived from this sarcastic little rhyme about the upper class.
It originally meant “never.”
But by the early 1800s it was used to describe “a very rare occurrence.”
This meaning is actually more correct, because two kinds of blue moons really do exist.
Looking at the facts, the moon does occasionally appear blue. In The Moon Book, Kim Long writes:
“This phenomenon (is) associated with unusual atmospheric conditions. A blue-colored moon, or one with a green color, is most likely to be seen just before sunrise or just after sunset if there is a large quantity of dust or smoke in the atmosphere.
These particles can filter our colors with longer wavelengths, such as red and yellow, and leave green and blue wavelengths, such as red and yellow, and leave green and blue wavelengths to temporarily discolor the moon.”
The term “blue moon” was once commonly used to describe a full moon that appears twice in one month.
“This occurs approximately every 32 months,” says Christine Ammer in Seeing Red or Tickled Pink.”
A full moon comes every 29-and-a-half days, when the earth’s natural satellite is opposite the sun in the sky. Thus, any month except February could see two full moons.
However, in 1999 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine admitted this was a mistake.
Do court transcripts make good bathroom reading?
Check out these quotes, from a little book called Disorder in the Court. They’re things that people actually said in court, recorded word for word.
Q: “What is your date of birth?”
A: “July fifteenth.”
Q: “What year?”
A: “Every year.”
Q: What gear were you in at the moment of impact?”
A: “Gucci sweats and Reeboks.”
Q: “Are you sexually active?”
A: “No, I just lie there.”
Q: “This myasthenia gravis—does it affect your memory at all?”
Q: “And in what ways does it affect your memory?”
A: “I forget.”
Q: “You forget. Can you give us an example of something that you have forgotten.”
Q: “How old is your son—the one living with you?”
A: “Thirty-eight or thirty-five. I can’t remember which.”
Q: “How long has he lived with you?”
A: “Forty-five years.”
Q: “What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke up that morning?”
A: “He said, Where am I, Cathy?”
Q: “And why did that upset you?”
A: “My name is Susan.”
Q: “What was the location of the accident?”
A: “Approximately milepost 499?”
Q: “And where is milepost 499?”
A: “Probably between milepost 498 and 500.”
Q: “Sir, what is your IQ.”
A: “Well, I can see pretty well, I think.”
Q: “Did you blow your horn or anything?”
A: “After the accident?”
Q: “Before the accident?”
A: “Sure, I played for ten years. I even went to school for it.”
Q: “Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in the voodoo or occult?”
A: “We both do.”
A: “We do?”
Q: “You do?”
A: “Yes, voodoo.”
Q: “Trooper, when you stopped the defendant, were your red and blue lights flashing?”
Q: “Did the defendant say anything when she got out of her car.”
A: “Yes sir.”
Q: “What did she say?”
A: “What disco am I at?”
What’s in a name?
The word fart comes from the Old English term “foertan,” to explode. Foertan is also the origin of the word “petard,” an early kind of bomb.
Petard, in turn, is the origin of a more obscure term for fart—ped, or pet, which was once used by military men.
(In Shakespeare’s Henry IV, there’s a character whose name means fart—Peto.)
Why do you fart?
Flatulence has many causes—for example, swallowing air as you eat and lactose intolerance. (Lactose is a sugar molecule in milk, and many people lack the enzyme needed to digest it.)
Fruit of the Vine
So why not just quit eating complex carbohydrates?
Top o’ the morning!