Posted by $ Olduglycarl 10 months ago to Education
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Great Trivia
'A SHOT OF WHISKEY' - In the old west a .45 cartridge for a six-gun cost 12 cents, so did a glass of whiskey. If a cowhand was low on cash, he would often give the bartender a cartridge in exchange for a drink. This became known as a "shot" of whiskey.

BUYING THE FARM - This is synonymous with dying. During WW1 soldiers were given life insurance policies worth $5,000. This was about the price of an average farm so if you died you "bought the farm" for your survivors.

IRON CLAD CONTRACT - This came about from the ironclad ships of the Civil War. It meant something so strong it could not be broken.

RIFF RAFF - The Mississippi River was the main way of travelling from north to south. Riverboats carried passengers and freight but they were expensive so most people used rafts. Everything had the right of way over rafts which were considered cheap. The steering oar on the rafts was called a "riff" and this transposed into riff-raff, meaning low class.

COBWEB - The Old English word for “spider" was "cob.”

SHIP STATE ROOMS - Travelling by steamboat was considered the height of comfort. Passenger cabins on the boats were not numbered. Instead they were named after states. To this day cabins on ships are called staterooms.

SLEEP TIGHT- Early beds were made with a wooden frame. Ropes were tied across the frame in a crisscross pattern. A straw mattress was then put on top of the ropes. Over time the ropes stretched, causing the bed to sag. The owner would then tighten the ropes to get a better night’s sleep.

SHOWBOAT - These were floating theatres built on a barge that was pushed by a steamboat. These played small towns along the Mississippi River. Unlike the boat shown in the movie "Showboat,” these did not have an engine. They were gaudy and attention grabbing which is why we say someone who is being the life of the party is “showboating.”

OVER A BARREL - In the days before CPR, a drowning victim would be placed face down over a barrel and the barrel would be rolled back and forth in an effort to empty the lungs of water. It was rarely effective. If you are over a barrel, you are in deep trouble.

BARGE IN - Heavy freight was moved along the Mississippi in large barges pushed by steamboats. These were hard to control and would sometimes swing into piers or other boats. People would say they "barged in.”

HOGWASH - Steamboats carried both people and animals. Since pigs smelled so bad they would be washed before being put on board. The mud and other filth that was washed off were considered useless “hog wash.”

CURFEW - The word "curfew" comes from the French phrase "couvre-feu,” which means "cover the fire". It was used to describe the time of blowing out all lamps and candles. It was later adopted into Middle English as “curfeu" which later became the modern "curfew.” In the early American colonies homes had no real fireplaces so a fire was built in the center of the room. In order to make sure a fire did not get out of control during the night it was required that, by an agreed upon time, all fires would be covered with a clay pot called-a “curfew.”

BARRELS OF OIL - When the first oil wells were drilled, there was no provision for storing the liquid so they used water barrels. That is why, to this day, we speak of barrels of oil rather than gallons.

HOT OFF THE PRESS - As the paper goes through the rotary printing press friction causes it to heat up Therefore, if you grab the paper right off the press, it’s hot. The expression means to get immediate information.

There, don't you feel smarter now?

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  • Posted by $ allosaur 10 months ago
    Well, old dino feels a little smarter. CURFEW caused me to think of old shacks built the same way seen in run-down areas near abandoned steel mills in and about Birmingham and Bessemer.
    Each shack rarely with a car parked near it are perfectly squared with a quartered roof with all four ends that runs up to a chimney in the center of the house.
    If not a fireplace, a coal or a wood burning stove must have been directly below the chimney used both for cooking and winters that can really be cold despite it rarely snowing in Alabama.
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  • Posted by GaryL 10 months ago
    I'm surprised you missed a totally legit word in today's language. Those same barges floating down the rivers and across the seas often carried fertilizer. It was a known fact that if fertilizer gets wet it could ignite or even explode. Fertilizers were always labeled with the word S.H.I.T. which held a dual meaning, first, it was usually animal droppings or manure but more importantly shit stood for "Store High In Transit" so it did not get wet.
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  • Posted by freedomforall 10 months ago
    Interesting info, OUC. 👍
    I know of few handgun rounds that are currently valued near the same as a cocktail.
    (Black Talons come to mind.)
    I guess mass production has advanced more on cartridges and more
    taxes have been forced on liquor since the free market days of the old west.
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    • Posted by GaryL 10 months ago
      Interesting about the Black Talon bullets, I have a bunch of them from years ago and never even fired one. What is funny, there are bullets of the same design and same performance but since they are not black or called black, they are perfectly legal. I'll have to do some research to see what my 40 S&W boxes are worth.
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      • Posted by freedomforall 10 months ago
        IIRC, Winchester "Ranger T" are the current version (without the black teflon coating) introduced shortly
        after the Black Talons were inaccurately labeled "cop killers" by looting scum BATF.
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        • Posted by GaryL 10 months ago
          We apparently heard the discontinuation/Ban of the Black Talon bullets a little differently. Black was the operative term and blacks were the alleged targets of those well designed bullets. The bullet design and performance remains the same and only the Pronouns have changed. Lots of rounds still fragment like the Black Talons did but they don't have the"Black" connotation associated with them any more and they switched from the black teflon coating to another colored slick outer cover.
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          • Posted by freedomforall 10 months ago
            The Black Talon was long before the recent "racist, racist, racist" shouting began.
            It was in the early 90's when miraculously whites and blacks and other shades
            were all getting along famously in spite of the asinine policies of the Clinton gang of thugs.

            "n 1991 Winchester introduced a new line of ammunition at that year’s Shot Show.
            Little did anyone in that company know they had just produced what was to become t
            he most hated ammunition on the planet, the Black Talon.

            Black Talon bullets were coated in a black molybdenum disulfide, otherwise known as
            Lubalox, (not Teflon as was reported over and over again throughout the 90s).
            When the bullet expanded it formed six petals with perpendicular tips.

            After they were used in the 101 California Street Shootings and then the Long Island
            Railroad shooting, both in 1993, the media and those in office wasted little time in
            going after the Black Talon ammunition, now bearing the “cop killer” label.

            The media frenzy made the bullets out to be so bad that it seemed a person could
            not survive any wound sustained by these projectiles—they would rip huge chunks
            out tissue and bone right out of your body.

            By the end of 1993, Winchester had pulled the Black Talon ammunition off the market
            as the company caved in to the hysteria surrounding the scandal. There was never
            any real proof that these bullets kill cops deader than other bullets but those at
            Winchester realized they were on the losing end of the battle.

            So what are the “cop killer” bullets now? According to the asinine Brady Campaign, it is any
            hollowpoint bullet on the market. For those of you that don’t know what a hollowpoint bullet
            really does, it is designed so that it does not over penetrate instead relying on it doing
            more tissue damage and expending all of its kinetic energy inside the target.

            This means that is less likely to penetrate a vest than other solid bullets.
            Wait, I thought “cop killers” were designed to penetrate polices vests?

            Well, it would seem once a bullet gets painted with the capricious “cop killer” brush,
            you don’t have to let a little things like “precedence” and “reality” get in your way."
            Here's a more recent review and armor and gel penetration test.
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            • Posted by GaryL 10 months ago
              Having been a LEO during that time the Black Talon was listed as a Fragmenting bullet painted black. Upon impact there was no way to know where the fragments that formed tiny razors would end up after hitting hard surfaces or what damage they might do. Safe to say none of us ever want to be shot with any fragmenting bullet! Today there are numerous fragmenting bullets we can buy and load our guns with that do the exact same damage but they ain't black coated. Winchester folded just like S&W did and unlike the most recent "Woke" corporations like Budweiser, Target and many more who are beginning to see the light. Soon to come, green tipped armor piercing rounds are sure to be banned because they are bad for space little green aliens. Of course, bullets painted white will be perfectly acceptable.
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  • Posted by ssipress 10 months ago
    Some of these sound extremely far-fetched, so I have to ask:

    Did anyone check to see if any of these are actually true?

    I checked the first one, and found this:

    Why a Shot of Whiskey Is Called a “Shot”

    The most likely origin for the word (and unfortunately the most boring) is found deep in Old English. In Nathan Bailey’s 1721 compendium, An Universal Etymological English Dictionary, Bailey says “shot” referred to “a Flagon which the Host gives to his Guest if they drink above a Shilling.” A similar note in Bailey’s dictionary for “ale-shot” indicates “a Reckoning or Part to be paid at an ale house,” aka a tab for drinking all that ale. About 300 years of etymological evolution can explain the shrinking of those shots down to a single gulp and the disappearance of the “reckoning” sense of the word.

    OK, enough boring etymology. On to the fun theories (that are total bull, but still pretty cool).

    A few stories erroneously associate the term “shot” with the Old West. One claims that cowboys paid for their whiskey at the local saloon by trading booze for bullets.

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