People speak an average of 16,000 words every day. It's not often that we take a moment to stop and think about the origin of each of these words the stories behind their creation, and how they came to be a part of our every day life. Below are some of the most interesting word origin stories of the English (and a couple other) language.
If you would like to read more, click on the source under each word.
The latin prefix pen comes from paene, which means almost. So a peninsula is almost an island, the penultimate thing is almost last. I wonder what that means about people named Penelope?
The word dingbat has an incredibly diverse array of meanings and applications. It's not just a funny insult to hurl at your friends.
First, it referred to an alcoholic drink in 1838. Then it evolved to mean something similar to words such as "thingamabob" or "gizmo" a stand in word for something that has no names.
Throughout the next century and a half, dingbat was really all over the map when it came to applications. It was used as one of a broad range of typographical ornaments ( la the typeface Zapf Dingbats by Hermann Zapf), a muffin, a woman who is neither your sister nor mother, a foolish authority figure the plural for male genitalia.
The word took on its current, most accepted definition of "foolish person" as early as 1905, but that application wasn't popularized until the 1970s, when it was used in the U.S. TV show, All in the Family.
Although it was widely popularized by the Warner Brothers character Yosemite Sam (What in tarnation!?!), this word has been floating around since 1784.
Tarnation started out as an American English derivative of "darnation," which was, as you may have already guessed, a milder way of expressing the profanity "damnation."
So where did that t come from?
The "t" in tarnation was influenced by "tarnal," yet another mild 18th century profanity derived from the phrase "by the Eternal," which was used as such: "Joe paid a tarnal high price for his dillydallying."
So, in essence, tarnation is a mash up of words that translate to mean eternal + damnation. Yet, it doesn't exactly seem to be used in that way anymore.
The origins of the word "peculiar" lie in the mid-15th century, when peculiar actually meant belonging exclusively to one person and denoted the concept of private property. As in, John's house is peculiar.
The English word derived its meaning from the Latin word peculiaris, which held a similar meaning.
Peculiaris, in turn, was plucked from the Latin peculium, which implied private property, but literally meant property in cattle. One might consider livestock to be a curious root for a term referring to private property, but in ancient times, cattle were considered the most important form of property, and wealth was measured by the number of cows one owned.
So how did we get from ownership to the meaning we have today?
The current meaning of peculiar (i.e. unusual) arrived in the 17th century. This definition surfaced after the term evolved to mean distinguished, or special in the late 16th century (because, naturally, people blessed with bovine abundance were considered distinguished and special).
The word slang was popularized in the English language throughout the mid-18th century. It originally referred specifically to the lexicon of thieves and sex workers of the time.
The word's origin is largely believed to have been Norwegian, derived from the phrase slengja kjeften, which literally meant to sling the jaw, but which carried the implication to abuse with words.
Its current meaning—informal colloquial speech that is used as a substitute for other terms or concepts in the same vernacular—became common in the early 19th century. The use of "slang" was popularized around the same time as the word slangwhanger, an American English term meaning "one who uses abusive slang" or "a ranting partisan". Sadly enough, slangwhanger is uncommon in our current lexicon, but I vote for a comeback!
There is a common belief that the word slang is actually just short for "shortened language." However, there are no reputable sources to verify this belief, and doesn't necessarily make sense because slang terms aren't always shorter than the language they are replacing. On the contrary, the factors required for colloquialisms to qualify as slang are that they are informal, and they are specific to a particular social group or culture.
Since the 1500s, the word periwinkle has been used as the name of two distinct items: an edible sea snail and a broadleaf evergreen plant—or, in its adjective form, periwinkle refers to the color of the periwinkle flowers.
Interestingly enough, each of the two noun forms comes from a distinct root with disparate—though not entirely unrelated—origins. The name of the plant is a diminutive form of the 12th century English word parvink, which is derived from the Old English word perwince, which is in turn derived from pervinca, the Late Latin word for the periwinkle plant. Pervinca is likely derived from the verb pervincire, which means entwine or bind. More literally, pervincire could be read as thoroughly bound, from per- (thoroughly) and vincire (to bind or fetter). This root presumably refers to the way the creeping plant grows, thickly and carpet-like, across the ground or other surfaces, entwining anything in its path.
What does that have to do with snails, you ask?
Well, the common periwinkle is a marine mollusk native to the northeastern Atlantic Ocean—particularly the European coastline—though they can now be found on North American coastlines as well, perhaps having traveled over while attached to mid-19th Century sea vessels. These hitchhiking gastropods were likely called periwinkles as a cultural variation on their Old English name, pinewincle. With entirely different origins from parvink, pinewincle is comprised of the Old English pine-"—which is derived from the Latin word pina (mussel, originally from the Greek pine)—and wincel, which means spiral shell and comes from the Proto-Germanic prefix winkil- (bend, curve).
While its fascinating that two words implying curling, bending, binding and entwining came from entirely different origins, its not entirely clear why these two nouns converged into a homonym/graph/phone. It seems likely that its due to the similarity between the sounds and meanings—particularly those of the diminutive attribute of the plants name that implies its entwining growth (winkle from Latin) and the portion of the snails name that describes its curved shell (the Old English-Germanic wincel turned winkle).
So, if youve ever asked yourself that age-old question, What the heck do flowers and snails have in common? the answer is periwinkle.
(Thanks to Etymologist articulateantagonist for contributing this one!)
The word muscle derives from the Latin word "musculus", which translates to "little mouse".
When physicians were first observing musculature, it is said that they remarked that the muscles in the biceps and calves (most notably) looked like mice running under the skin.
So, I guess it stuck!
Quarantine comes from the French word "qarante", which means forty.
It comes from way back in the 1600s, when people were wary of diseases travelling by ship. When a ship arriving in port was suspected of being infected, it had to forego contact with the shore for a period of about 40 days. They would just float around for that period of time before coming in.
The word hazard comes from the Arabic "al zahr" which means "the dice".
The term came to be associated with dice during the Crusades and eventually took on a negative connotation because games of dice were associated with gambling.
The word disaster comes from the Greek "dis" meaning bad, and "aster", meaning star. The ancient Greeks used to blame tragedies on unfavorable planetary positions, hence "bad" "stars".
The word lemur comes from a Latin word that means "spirit of the dead". The person that named them was influenced by their nocturnal nature.
An Ultracrepidarian is a person who gives opinions beyond his area of expertise. It's a great one to whip out at a party.
The story behind the word goes like this...
In ancient Greece there was a renowned painter named Apelles. He was a little bit cocky, and sought out validation (don't we all) from others, so he used to display his paintings, then hide behind them to listen to the comments.
One time, a cobbler pointed out that the sole of the shoe was not painted correctly. Apelles fixed it. Encouraged by this, the cobbler began offering comments about other parts of the painting. At this point the painter cut him off with Ne sutor ultra crepidam meaning Shoemaker, not above the sandal meaning: one should stick to ones area of expertise.
The word "nice" comes from a Latin word meaning "ignorant".
Not a specific word, but rather a whole group of words. Consider that we call many animals by a different name than the food from them.
Cow = Beef.
Pig = Pork.
Chicken = Poultry.
Deer = Venison.
This can be traced back to the Norman Conquest of England in the 11th century, when the French came and took the crown. When the dust settled, England had French nobility ruling over peasantry with Germanic origins. As a result, the languages used were a mish-mash of French and Germanic.
What does this have to do with food? The peasantry raised the animals, so the names of the animals have Germanic origins. Cow from cou, pig from picbred, deer from dier or tier. Although they raised the animals, it was the nobility who ate the majority of them, so the words for the food come from French. Pork from Porc, Beef from Boeuf, Venison from Venesoun.
Obviously this doesn't hold true for all foods, especially those from the New World (which was many centuries after the Norman Conquest). And modern language has begun to eliminate some of the usages (such as calling the meat chicken instead of poultry).
Thanks to Etymologist SJHillman for contributing!
Tragedy comes from the Greek word "tragodia" which means "song of the male goat".
Although there is no consensus as to how this came to be, there are a few theories. Here are the primary ones from the Oxford English Dictionary:
One is that Greek tragedies were known as goat-songs because the prize in Athenian play competitions was a live goat. The contests were part of worship to Dionysus, involving chants and dances in his honour. The Romans knew Dionysus later as Bacchus, god of all things bacchanalian: in other words he freed people from their normal self through madness, wine, and ecstasy.
Sometimes the goat would be sacrificed, and a goat lament sung as the sacrifice was made. Hence the goat-song became intertwined with the Greek plays.
Others believe that in the plays themselves men and women would wear goat-costumes to dress up as satyrs—half-goat beings that worshipped and surrounded Dionysus in his revelry.
But by far my favourite suggestion is one that was offered in the Guardians celebrated Notes & Queries section. In answer to why the word tragedy comes from a word for goat-song, a Mr Marcus Roome of Clapton in London wrote simply: Have you ever heard a goat sing?.
Before the invention of guttering, roofs were made with wide eaves, overhangs, so that rain water would fall away from the house to stop the walls and foundations being damaged. This area was known as the eavesdrop.
The large overhang gave good cover for those who wished to lurk in shadows and listen to others conversations. Since the area under the eaves was considered part of the householders property, you could be fined under Anglo-Saxon law for being under the eaves with the intention of spying.
Hence the word, eavesdropping!
Thanks to Etymologist Kelderm2 for contributing!
Pumpernickel is a dark rye bread originating from Germany. Originally, the word pumpernickel was an abusive nickname for a dumb person, originating from "pumpern" meaning, to fart, and "nickel", meaning goblin, lout, or rascal.
An earlier German name for pumpernickel bread was krankbrot, which translated to "sick-bread."
But as of now, the bread translates to farting goblin.
Enjoy that fact the next time you eat it!
The word "sinister" comes from the Latin word (also "sinister") meaning left. This is because left-handed people were blamed for being cowards, evil, and demons. You know, because obviously your dominant hand is a true sign of evil.
The word dunce, meaning idiot, comes from the name of Johannes Duns Scotus, a medieval philosopher and theologian who was really caught up in the battle that raged over the status of universals. He was a really good arguer, so spiteful trolls from long ago, who couldn't face him in the court of logic, just turned his name into a pejorative and fought him in the court of public opinion.
After he had been dead for 200 years.
That's how much that guy ruled. I personally don't agree with his views on the metaphysical status of universals, but I have to admit that it's pretty baller that people are so afraid of your logic and argumentative skills that it inspires this kind of response.
Thanks to Etymologist logos__ for contributing!
Pretty much every modern Christian holiday (and many holidays from other religions as well) correspond to Pagan holidays, and Valentine's day is no different.
Ancient Romans had a similar holiday, called Lupercalia, that took place from February 13 to 15. Christians felt left out so they created their own version.
One of the main things celebrated and encouraged at the Lupercalia festival was fertility. Obviously, the best way to make girls more fertile is for men to run around naked, swatting virgins with goat-skin thongs (strips of leather) - called februa.
And that's why we call the month February.
This fact isn't totally confirmed, but it's a hilarious theory on the origin of the word.
You probably use this word at least once a week, but have you ever bothered to look up the origin? Look no further, because we've got you covered...
In Ancient Rome, the mint (the place where all the money was kept) was in a temple of Juno on the Capitoline hill. At one point or other, a group of people were going to attack Rome. As they were coming up the hill, the geese who lived there started squawking, and alerted everyone to the fact that they were being attacked. The Romans believed that Juno had sent them this warning, and because of this, the temple became the temple of Juno Moneta - Juno the Warner. So, the word "money" comes from the word monre - to warn.
You probably know this word to mean something along the lines of a perfect paradise.
Well, it actually comes from the Greek , meaning "not," and , meaning "place," because a utopia is an impossible place - something that couldn't exist.
As for the word dystopia, it just means a bad utopia. The word was coined after "utopia" by John Stuart Mill and based directly on it.
The word shambles has a very confusing backstory.
The Latin word it's derived from, scamillus just means a little stool or bench.
"Shambles" originally meant a stool as well.
The word then came to mean, more specifically, a stool or stall where things were sold.
Then, a stall where meat was sold.
Eventually, a meatmarket.
Then, a slaughterhouse.
Eventually, "shambles" just came to mean a bloody mess. (That was a pun - "shambles" now just means something along the lines of "a scene of destruction.")
So, there you have it! Shambles!
Thanks to Etymologist camelopardalisx for contributing!
The word lunatic derives from the Latin word "luna" meaning "moon". This was because people believed that insanity was caused by changes in the moon.
The word dinosaur comes from a comes from two words, first the Greek , meaning "terrible, awesome, mighty, fearfully great."
Second, , meaning lizard.
So, a big ol' scary lizard.
This word origin is hilarious! The word itself means "the estimation of something as worthless or valueless," but it comes from four Latin words that all mean the same thing: flocci, nauci, nihili, and pili - all meaning something like "at little value" or "for nothing." Total absurdity.
Okay, get ready to get a little scandalous with this one!
Today, lots of people use the word vanilla to mean something that's kind of boring or bland, (or, you know, the flavor), but after you get a load of it's origin, you might not be able to think that way ever again.
The word vanilla comes from the Latin word vagina! Vagina in Latin means sheath, and another meaning for the word sheath is the husk of a plant.
Vagina becomes Spanish vaina, also meaning "sheath," which becomes the diminutive form vainilla, meaning "vanilla plant." If you're confused, take a look at this picture and you'll see where they grabbed the inspiration...
Camelopardalis is a Latin word and it's origin is pretty hilarious.
The word camelopardalis is just Latin for "giraffe." But it's a portmanteau of two other words (meaning they just took two words and smushed them together). Can you guess which words they smushed together?
Camelus, meaning "camel,"
and pardalis, meaning "panther."
Why? Because the ancient Romans and Greeks thought a giraffe looked like a cross between a camel and a panther. I'm not exactly sure how, though.
This isn't exactly an English word, but it's a rather unexpected cross-family connection.
Now, as you may know, English is a member of the Indo-European language family, which includes languages from Icelandic to Bengali. Japanese, however, is not, and is most likely unrelated to any other language on Earth.
Check this out, though: The Japanese word (well, maybe it's a bound morpheme) for 'honey' is , typically3pronounced as , or mitsu.
Then, there's this English word, 'mead', which is a alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey. Now, 'mead' and 'mitsu' certainly sound similar, but to imagine that they are in any way related is surely a stretch of the imagination.
Turns out, they're cognates! That is, they come from the same root. How, you ask? Well, English 'mead' comes from Old English medu, from Proto-Germanic *meduz, still referring to mead. This, in turn, came from Proto-Indo-European *mdu, one of two4 words in PIE meaning 'honey'.
Japenese mitsu is a borrowing from Middle Chinese *mjit (preserved in plenty of modern Chinese languages, e.g. Mandarin m) which was borrowed from one of the freakin' Tocharian languages, which are an extinct group of Indo-European languages that were spoken in the Tarim Basin in modern Xinjiang, China. 'Honey' in Tocharian B, for example, was mit. This came from Proto-Tocharian *t() from, you guessed it, Proto-Indo-European *mdu.
Thanks to Etymologist canineraytube for contributing this!
The word "sardonic" comes from a sardonia mushroom. It was fabled that if you ate it, it caused facial convulsions resembling those of sardonic laughter, usually followed by death, bringing the meaning of sardonic humor to a whole new level.
The words "candidate" and "candid" both come from the Latin "candidus", meaning bright white. Why is this, you ask?
Well, way back in the day, orators and high-ranking Roman politicians would wear very clean, white togas when speaking to crowds to try to convey a sense of trustworthiness. Thus, the English word "candid's" modern definition of honest or trustworthy ties back to the perceived honesty of politicians. Kinda funny when you look at politicians today.
We often use the words "uppercase" and "lowercase" to denote which kinds of letters we're using, but have you ever stopped to ask yourself what these terms actually mean?
The words come from the way in which print shops were organized hundreds of years ago. Individual pieces of metal type were kept in boxes called cases. The smaller letters, which were used most often, were kept in lower cases that were easier to reach. The bigger letters were, as you have probably already guessed, kept in the upper cases.
Not many people realize that the term "Nazi" it was a label long before the National Socialists came to power.
You see, lots of Bavarian farmers were Catholics. Lots of Catholics named their children after Saint Ignatius. So, lots of people called Ignatius came to be viewed as "dumb country folk" (which, by the way, is an insult that came from English peasant farmers named Richard). And Igantius ("Ignazius" in German pronunciation) is shortened to 'Nazi'.
Calling the National Socialists Nazis is a bit like calling (a made up political party) the 'Red States for the Next America' the 'RedNex'.
Thank you for reading!
Love is crazy. I've finally come to that conclusion. And marriage, you take your life in your hands and just throw caution to the wind in hopes of survival with that step.
When love falls apart, things can get real messy, real fast. And I've always been stunned by people's behavior when love subsides.
More often than not, it's like they become different people. Sometimes people are beset by tragedy and grief and sometimes people smile wide and move on. It's a coin toss.
But my favorite post divorce personality has to be the sudden super villain. Oh honey watch out for them!
Redditor u/hyperyog wanted to hear all the tea from the divorcees out there by asking:
Divorced Redditors, what is the craziest thing you or your former spouse did after divorce?
I once had a friend who burned her ex's house down when he wasn't home. He had started seeing someone almost immediately, so she thought, lemme set their sparks. Yeah, she wasn't well. Whatever happened to just a quick goodbye?
Swipeddean winters crying GIF by MayhemGiphy
"She removed the retaining clips for my windshield wipers, but put the wipers back on the arms. First storm after I got my car back from her, driver side wiper flew off the car on Interstate 40. Good times."
"He wrote suicide notes and put them in my kids backpacks for them/me to find. Then he turned off his phone and went to a coworkers house to play crib and have drinks.. all the while knowing I would be freaking out searching for him thinking he was in danger or worse. Thankfully my kids didn't see the notes and didn't know what was going on. This was just one of the many, many crazy things he did. Two years out and he just recently stopped showing up at my work and driving by my house at night."
A Sad End
"Died of a drug overdose. To be fair, her drug addiction was the reason for the divorce, so maybe that isn't too crazy."
"That's so incredibly difficult to have gone through. I unfortunately know the depths of this kind of pain, and while I'm sure the circumstances surrounding it are different, the loss that still happened is a tragedy. My condolences."
"Stalked me for 5 years. Would make fake social media profiles to try to follow me (which I would block endlessly) and would try to find where I worked so she could talk to me. This lady cheated on me with 7 different men 2 months after we were married. I kicked her a** to the curb and made her sign the court papers."
"When we had our day in court she cried in the judges office while I just wanted to get this crap done. After, my dad was with me and he threw 50 dollars at her and told her to "change your freaking last name." Good guy Pops. I haven't seen or heard from her in about 5 years, thank goodness."
Take it All!skin care spinning GIF by Primal Life OrganicsGiphy
"I had an ex-boyfriend go through my apartment and take back every gift he had given me that he could find. Then he went in my bedside table and took the condoms. And the vibrator he had given me."
See now, when I'm out... I'm out! I don't want to see you, hear from you or know you. I wish you well in life, but please live it far from me. Anyone agree? Clearly not the people here. Let's continue...
For the Boybicycling father and son GIF by NETFLIXGiphy
"All I wanted was custody of my son, I gave her everything else except one of our cars. She fought me through 5 hearings, I won. She never came to see him again."
"My ex cheated on me the week my mom died in the hospital. She spent a year and a half trying to get in touch with me. She would call my old work and make fake accounts trying to message me on FB. It was insane. She later sends a certified letter explaining she was sorry that she did what she did and that she aborted our child."
"Wanted me to meet her somewhere so she could apologize face to face. She already married some other guy that she had children with and was still trying to get in touch with me. I never understood her."
"After years of telling me she wanted a child, that she wanted to be a mom, that her life's dream was to be a stay at home mom, she got pregnant with the first guy she slept with while we were getting divorced and put the kid up for adoption even before it was born. This was a long-standing thing with her, she always wanted something (car, house, dog, cat, marriage, etc) and the second she got it she immediately hated it."
"Called me and pretended he had been hit by a car while we were talking. He even tried to voice the crowd that had gathered around his "body." God-awful acting, but pretty funny listening to him try to mimic a woman's voice. Points for trying to be inclusive, I guess."
"I think he was trying to get me to re-live my trauma of being on the phone with a friend who actually HAD been hit by a car while we were talking. Too bad he didn't realize that hearing the real thing is worlds different than hearing a dumba** try to act it out."
"I was sending 600 dollars a month to support my daughter because she's the only thing I give a sh!t about. My ex texts me and tells me I need to be sending 1200 a month because she's broke and can't pay her bills and I should feel guilty about it. She left me for another guy while I was on deployment I told her to go screw herself--call my lawyer."
Pop OffTom Hanks Drinking GIF by The Good FilmsGiphy
"Took the sodas from the fridge as he walked out the door. Dumfounded."
See, I blame Alanis Morissette and her "Jagged Little Pill" album. All I'm going to say is... the secret song. I think she gave people ideas. (I love that song) Y'all, seek therapy if you can't shake people. When it's done, let it be done.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is highly regarded for his delicious plates, his ability to run a solid restaurant, and, let's face it, his stage presence.
He's also a foul-mouthed Brit who is all too willing to dismantle people's self-esteems and compare them to livestock animals.
Alas, as watching all reality television goes, we love to see the crashing and burning.
But what if the shoe was on the other foot? What if you were the one being torn into by the sailor of all chefs, Mr. Gordon Ramsay.
Wondering what horrible dishes were lurking in unknown kitchens all over the place, Redditor FalloutSl*t413 asked:
"What's something you made that was 100% delicious but Gordon Ramsay would slap you for anyway?"
Some people talked about those purely functional meals that are just perfect for piling on enough protein and calories to get through the day.
"My mom used to make us 'Volcanoes.' Mashed potatoes topped with ground beef with some ketchup. I still tear it up to this day."
Quick and Easy
"I make weeknight 'enchiladas.' "
"You stick frozen taquitos in a casserole dish and cover them with canned or frozen chili and cheese. Bake them until everything's hot, serve with a dollop of sour cream. They sound disgusting but they taste amazing, and they take like, five minutes to prep."
"I know it looks like, smells like, and probably tastes like cat food but potted meat sandwiches. Look, when you're poor as hell and you can make 3 sandwiches with one little can that cost like 20 cents, it's pretty good."
"While I'm at it, Treet and bologna are pretty great. I have the taste palette of a raccoon and I like it that way."
"When I was younger I would make this thing where it was a patty melded of:"
- "a can of tuna"
- "two eggs
"And I would eat that almost daily, pan-fried, for lunch. Just slap me now and lets get it over with."
Others shared the recipes they make to feel fancy despite being totally trashy.
A Nuanced Process
"I call them 'chicken puffs.' Some par-cooked chicken (white or dark meat, either works) with sauteed serrano peppers and onions and garlic."
"All wrapped in crescent roll dough in little balls (a bit smaller than a baseball), put in a casserole tray filled juuuuust above the top of the little dough balls with cream of roasted chicken soup. Baked to completion/safety."
"Overly indulgent and delicious."
A Famous Side
"I consistently make a box of pastaroni angel hair and herbs as a side with meals I prepare for people. EVERYONE always asks for the recipe LOL please don't tell my secret"
Just a Couple Additions
" 'Fancy Ramen' Ramen made normal. Don't mix seasoning. Drain water. Add Mayo. Then mix in seasoning. And Volia. A lot of people question it. Until they try it."
Others outlined the things they eat that combine some ingredients it may seem disgusting to mix together.
Throw An Egg On There
"Fu** it lasagna, alternating layers of bread and shredded cheese (your choice which, I use cheddar) then crack an egg on top and put it in the microwave. Old depression meal, but it still holds up."
Hard to Wrap Your Head Around
"As a kid I would eat a banana with a cheese slice. Haven't tried it in years but it might hold up" -- Send_it_to_me
"Let's not" -- Sea-Entertainer-4974
"When I was younger I would make toast with peanut butter on it, then add pepperoni. Delicious then but I cringe thinking about trying it today"
The truly horrifying thing? There are so many more recipes out there that would leave Ramsay trembling.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
People love to talk about food. There are blogs, books, television shows, conversations in bars and farmers markets. In all likelihood, there is a recipe swap happening right this second in some deep corner of a suburb somewhere.
But sometimes talk is a lot of hot air. And the topic of food sure isn't immune to that criticism.
You can't get through a day without some telling you what "you gotta try."
The problem is, talking about food is often far more exciting than the food itself.
Redditor anicaodha asked:
"What food is overhyped?"
Many people were angry about garnishes. They hated the way restaurants try to entice people to eat certain menu items by slapping some kitschy ingredient on there.
A Very Expensive Burger
"Anything with gold flakes, absolutely pointless." -- Spend_Total
"ugh, i just remembered throwing up gold flakes from goldschlager, yuck!" -- spaceygracie12
"Aka how to add a crunch to your dish like a douche." -- CakeBot_TheReckoning
Catches the Eye Though
"Any rainbow food, rainbow grilled cheese, rainbow smoothie..."
"Just a cheap money grab."
No Breath On My Meal Please
"Dragon's breath/ nitro puffs or any dessert that contains liquid nitrogen to make it look cool." -- throwjango
"This stuff exists? God, I'm out of the loop." -- -The-Magic-8-Ball
"Truffle oil, usually doesn't contain a single truffle." -- BlckontheMoon
"The 1 thing I love about Truffle oil is I've never seen someone use it on a cooking competition show and not lose." -- igotmadshirts
Some people talked about the big trends that they just never could quite figure out.
That Almighty Nectar
"Remember when people were treating Nutella like it was the second coming of Christ?" -- Grapezard
"I had an Italian friend once invite me to his birthday party in high school. His mom made a Nutella pie and it was one of the greatest desserts I've never had the pleasure of trying again. It was so simple, like a soft flaky dough covered with Nutella."
"I don't want to come out of the blue and ask this kid for his mom's recipe 15 years later so I'll just suffer I suppose." -- JupiterTarts
"Red velvet is literally a red chocolate cake that has nowhere near enough chocolate and to much red food coloring. It literally was invented when done dudes chocolate turned kinda red when he added vinegar to the chocolate cake mix."
"Friends loved the color, but it was finicky to get the red color without changing flavor of cake, so he decided to use red food coloring."
"Fu**ing Avocado Toast.
"Avocado is a buck. Toast is few cents. Avocado Toast is $10+"
And some discussed the things that people insist are fancy and delectable, but are really just run of the mill entirely.
Meat is Meat?
"steak is good, and I'd even say a high quality steak can be very very good. But people act like it's better than busting a nut and that's just not true. It's just meat"
"Lobster. It's good, but poor value given it's almost always the most expensive protein available."
"Plus most places just drown it in butter, which again, fine, but if all you taste is butter, why spend that much?"
Depends on the House
" 'Housemade' ketchup. Give me the damn Heinz and get your banana aoili mess away from me." -- peanutbutterallytime
"I live in Pittsburgh and I have seen multiple restaurants try and fail to make housemade ketchup work. Every single time they go back to Heinz." -- HooBoy401
So if you find yourself tired of hearing people go on and on about something you don't go wild over, know that there are others fuming too.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
It's not easy to always do the right thing.
Which is why most people don't usually do the right thing. Doing the right thing involves a lot of thought, empathy for others, and a self-awareness of your place in the world. You're not making a choice just for yourself, you're more often than not doing it for someone else. This, in itself, presents a difficult hill for most people to climb so, usually, they feel it's easier to make the selfish choice.
Doesn't mean people always do. They can surprise you sometimes.
*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.
What's the hardest moral decision you've ever had to make?
Even when the choice amounts to something small, it can still matter to someone else.
How Dare You Make Me Morally Astute?!
"This is small potatoes compared to most of the people on this thread but many years ago I was travelling and had very little money. I went to a stall at a market, handed them a 10 dollar bill. Item cost 5 dollars but instead of handing me a five dollar note, the handed me a 50."
"I was walking away from the stall when noticed. My first thought was BONUS. But I had lately been hanging out with a bunch of people who were really into karma. So I stormed back to the stall, slammed the 50 down on the counter and told them off for making me make moral decisions. Lady behind the counter was like "ahhhhhh, thanks"
Didn't Believe The First Time, But Can't Deny Visual Evidence
"I told a co-worker his wife was cheating on him. It ruined our friendship for a good amount of time, until he caught her himself."
"To bad he couldn't just believe you."
Owning Up To The Mistake
"Fessing up to an error I made at work that cost the company 5k. I was a manager and misinterpreted a sales promotion. I almost lost my job, this is the one time that telling the truth actually saved me. It's true what they say that the cover up is usually worse than the crime. Lesson learned.."
Doing something morally correct when it comes to family can be tricky. On one hand, you don't want to ruffle the feathers of the people you're going to be related to for the rest of your life...which is how family works.
On the other hand, do the right thing.
Making The Best Call For Your Children
"Removing the mother of my two sons out of their lives completely as she was unfit and abusive while I was on deployment. They were 3-4 years old then and now they are 17 and 15 with their mother never attempting to come back into their lives which I would prefer at this point."
Because They're Going To Be Sad Later...
"My grandmother died, and I lied to my parents about it."
"My grandparents were 95 and my parents hadn't had a vacation in 30 years. So when she passed away with only 5 days remaining on their vacation, my family decided not to ruin it for them; instead, we'd plan the entire funeral and if my mother wanted to make adjustments when she returned, we'd arrange it for her; there was nothing they could do to get her back."
"Having to decide on the DNR (do not resuscitate) order for my father who had been victim to a massive stroke..."
"I know millions have done it before and millions will again but to me it was devastating....."
"As a health worker, you did the right thing by your father. I've come across families of patients who keep them alive for their own peace of mind while the patient themselves is tired and in alot of pain mentally and physically from the constant treatments and would rather rest from it all. Don't feel bad for your decision."
Never doubt your actions when it comes to protecting children.
"Calling CPS on a student's family after she begged me not to. CPS did an investigation and she was pissed at me for months until the vice principal had a talk with her and explained that I only did it because I care and didn't want her to get hurt."
"That VP is awesome. I sat in his office while he coached me through the call, since it was my first time calling CPS."
Standing Up For Your Friend, Even When No One Else Will
"I was in high school and my best friend was being bullied on the bus. She brought a knife to school and had previously mentioned a list of people. I cried a lot when I went to the principal to turn her in. I knew I was ruining her life but I wanted her to get help. I didn't want anyone to get hurt because we were all just kids. She was expelled and forced into therapy. We had been friends since we were 11."
"My mom listened on the phone line when I was trying to comfort my friend (while absolutely not admitting it was me) and my mom jumped on and told her I'm not allowed to be her friend anymore. I had told my mom I had turned her in and she had no empathy for this girl. Because I had been bullied and stood up for myself and never "did anything like that". My friend was getting cornered on the bus by 4 people whereas I was normally taunted in public and was lucky enough to always have an upperclassmen or school employee around to help me out. I felt guilty about turning her life upside down for many years but would do it again because she did get help."
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/