Fat Hands

she used to sit in this cafe, and just face the wall. And it wasn’t coffee she was drinking

Madness to Pins

Posted by Alix on 11 November 2007

Here we go, a few more tidbits from Pears. Don’t worry, it’ll be over soon .

Mad as a Hatter– “is simply a corruption of ‘mad as an adder'”

Actually, opinion is divided on this point of etymology – it could also be derived from the fact that hat makers often would go mad from mercury poisoning. I got the following from here:

The chemicals used in hat-making included mercurious nitrate, used in curing felt. Prolonged exposure to the mercury vapors caused mercury poisoning. Victims developed severe and uncontrollable muscular tremors and twitching limbs, called “hatter’s shakes”; other symptoms included distorted vision and confused speech. Advanced cases developed hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms.

Nasty business, millinery.

Nursing– “is generally done better by women than by men; but if a man does it well at all he is almost certainly better than any woman. The five important qualifications are – Temperance, cleanliness, firmness, gentleness and patience”

God bless sexists.

in Oxford University– “Candidates for M.A degrees in olden times had to show proficiency in grammar and in birching a boy, for which the boy got 4d”

Pins- “It is calculated that from 50 to 60 millions pins are made every day in England alone. One sometimes sees a bent pin, but never a broken or worn out pin. Where do they all go to? Probably several million are ‘lost’ everyday”

This is the funniest of the lot – the poor cyclopaedia compiler has clearly had a long day, and has allowed himself to run off on a vaguely desperate, baffled tangent (I write emails that sound like this). I am dubious about the figures involved – that’s a lot of pins to be manufacturing. I guess if people will ‘lose’ them…

(note – yes I have sodded up the html/ css. Hopefully this will be sorted at some point, as it is I am a bit in the dark as to what I need to do to fix it. It looked fine in Firefox…).


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