When taking their leave English people used to say God be with
you, which over the years became goodbye.
‘Number’ first appears as and English word in 1297. It derives
from the Latin numerus, and is related to the Greek nemein,
‘to pasture.’ The underlying meaning is assigning a portion
Unlucky numbers vary from country to country. Some hotels
in the UK and the USA have no 13th floor (associated with
Black 13th Friday); in Japan and Chinese-speaking countries,
they may have no 4th floor (associated with death).
Some famous brand names that have entered the English language
are: aspirin, escalator, frisbee, pullman, xerox.
Since the Sony Walkman was introduced, no one has been sure
whether two of them should be Walkmen or Walkmans. The Sony
Corporation insists on Walkman Personal Stereos.
Coca-Cola tries to use global branding whenever possible,
but discovered that the term ‘diet’ in Diet Coke had a connotation
of illness in Germany and Italy; consequently, the brand has
become Coca-Cola Light outside the USA and UK.
A British nobleman named John Montagu, the Earl of Sandwich
(1718-1792), loved to play cards and didn’t like to stop his
game for meals. When he was hungry, he asked his servant to
bring him a piece of meat between two slices of bread; this
way he didn’t have to use a fork and knife, and his hands
stayed clean. He gave the sandwich its name.
Bus and Coach:
The British make a careful distinction between large passenger
vehicles used primarily for local journeys and large passenger
vehicles used for longer or more specialized trips, such as
days out to the seaside. The former are called buses and the
latter coaches, even though the vehicles used may be identical.
In the USA, garage means a building to keep one or more cars,
vans, etc, while in Britain, it indicates a place where vehicles
are repaired and sold and where petrol and oil may also be
In the USA and Taiwan, the public school means the educational
institution run by the government. In Britain, it means private
school, normally prestigious one. What Americans would call
the public school is known in Britain as the state school.