The Origins of Father’s Day


We would like to take this opportunity to wish our father, and all fathers out there, a very happy and special Father’s Day.  Of course, we cannot let this day pass without looking back and wondering how the celebration started and who the brilliant individual was that kickstarted the idea.  In just another shining example of why Washington is such a great state, credit for Father’s Day is officially given to Miss Sonora Dodd of Spokane, WA.  Dodd was one of six children raised by her single father and Civil War Veteran, Sgt. William Jackson Smart.

While listening to a sermon at church on Mother’s Day, she thought about all her father had done for her and her siblings and decided fathers should have a day, too. Because Dodd’s father was born in June, she encouraged churches in her area, Spokane, Wash., to honor fathers that month.

– Library of Congress

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Our *Begrudging* Homage to the NCAA Champion Alabama Crimson Tide


“Roll Tide!!” That is an expression anyone who watches college football outside the state of Alabama is sick to death of at this point in time.  The Alabama Crimson Tide rolled to their third College Football National Championship in four years last night, crushing an over-matched Notre Dame squad 42-14 and extending a dominating streak by the SEC, which has produced the last seven national champions.

Many of you may have noticed though that the Crimson Tide is kind of an odd nickname, and fairly unbecoming when your imagination gets a chance to run with it.  You also may have noticed that the Alabama mascot is an Elephant.  Political affiliations aside, Alabama is about the last place most of us would associate with an Elephant.  So how did the University of Alabama get these nicknames?  How much moonshine was involved?  How many people in Alabama can spell “Elephant” without an “f”?  Pressing questions that demand answers… Continue reading

The Bar (And Not the Good Kind)


The primary goal of our blog is to spread knowledge – not only deep historical knowledge or facts surrounding current events that have become somewhat muddled, but also random, everyday knowledge; knowledge about the kind of things that make you wonder “Huh, I  wonder where that came from.”  During Abe’s Etymology Hour, that is the sort of question we will attempt to answer. Etymology is the study of the origin of words and their development throughout history. We are particularly fascinated with words, and constantly find ourselves wondering where a word or phrase came from.  However, this  piece will not be limited to words – it will look into the origins of a plethora of everyday practices, items, habits, you name it!  If you have any ideas for us, leave us a comment and we will write a piece about it.


Today, we will actually focus on a word, as opposed to our first etymology hour.  We wanted to know how “Bar” came to be associated with the legal profession.  Knowing lawyers and their tendencies, we assumed that it had something to do with the consumption of barrels of Scotch.  Sadly, at least for entertainment’s sake, we were wrong. Continue reading

Driving on the Left Side of the Road


The primary goal of our blog is to spread knowledge – not only deep historical knowledge or facts surrounding current events that have become somewhat muddled, but also random, everyday knowledge; knowledge about the kind of things that make you wonder “Huh, I  wonder where that came from.”  During Abe’s Etymology Hour, that is the sort of question we will attempt to answer. Etymology is the study of the origin of words and their development throughout history. We are particularly fascinated with words, and constantly find ourselves wondering where a word or phrase came from.  However, this  piece will not be limited to words – it will look into the origins of a plethora of everyday practices, items, habits, you name it!  If you have any ideas for us, leave us a comment and we will write a piece about it.

Today, we will look at an age-old question that has vexed us colonists for years – Why do the British drive on the left side of the road while most of the rest of the world drives on the right?  This can be eternally infuriating for Americans traveling to the UK, especially for those who have spent decades driving on the right side and know no other way.  While there were many economic and community planning factors behind these developments, one of the primary reasons has an unexpected but simple explanation: Right-Handedness and the age old tradition of dueling.   Continue reading