Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Some Word Origins


Apple, Inc:

It has been variously said that the two Steves, Jobs and Wozniak, named their company Apple because:
·       they wanted to be in front of Atari in the phone book;
·       they wanted a difference from the names of other computer companies at the time, such as IBM, Digital Equipment and Cincom;
·       it was a tribute to Apple Records, the name of the Beatles’ recording company.

Those aspects may have been considered but the reality is that Steve Jobs had just come back from an apple farm where he had worked for a few months, and he was on a fruit diet.  Jobs tghought that the name was “fun, spirited and not intimidating.”

Wozniak wrote in 2006: 
“It was a couple of weeks later when we came up with a name for the partnership. I remember I was driving Steve Jobs back from the airport along Highway 85. Steve was coming back from a visit to Oregon to a place he called an “apple orchard.” It was actually some kind of commune. Steve suggested a name – Apple Computer. The first comment out of my mouth was, “What about Apple Records?” This was (and still is) the Beatles-owned record label. We both tried to come up with technical-sounding names that were better, but we couldn’t think of any good ones. Apple was so much better, better than any other name we could think of.”


Run amok:

The phrase today is used to describe people behaving badly, frequently by causing injury or damage.  It can also be used to describe children running wild.

Amok is derived from the “Amuco,” a band of Javanese and Malay warriors who were known for indiscriminate violence.  A 1516 text “The Book of Duarte Barbosa: An Account of the Countries Bordering on the Indian Ocean and Their Inhabitants” contains a passage “There are some of them [the Javanese] who go out into the streets, and kill as many persons as they meet. These are called Amuco.”  

The phrase “run amok” was popularised by Captain James Cook, who wrote in 1772:

To run amock is to get drunk with opium… to sally forth from the house, kill the person or persons supposed to have injured the Amock, and any other person that attempts to impede his passage…  indiscriminately killing and maiming villagers and animals in a frenzied attack.

Captain James Cook

Baker’s Dozen:

A baker’s dozen means 13 in number, instead of 12

The term originated in 13th-century Britain under the reign of Henry III when a statute called the Assize of Bread and Ale stated that bakers could be fined, pilloried or whipped for selling their customers “lighter” bread, or loaves of lesser quality.  Because it was hard to make all loaves exactly the same, bakers would throw in a small piece of extra bread when they sold a loaf. If a customer ordered 12 loaves, the baker would add an entire “vantage” loaf to make a “baker’s dozen,” just to make sure he wasn’t accused of “short-weighting” the buyer.  The practice became so common that it was even written into the guild codes of the Worshipful Company of Bakers in London.  What should be noted, however, was that when bakers sold any quantity they added extra to be safe, not just when they sold 12 loaves.  The addition was called the 'in-bread' or 'vantage loaf', so that if a baker sold one loaf to a customer, he would add an additional quantity as in-bread.

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