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1. The Hundred Years’ War did not last for 100 years but 116. It was actually a series of separate campaigns and battles which continued for 116 years (from 1337 to 1453).
2. The Blitz was not a blitzkrieg, it was an example of strategic bombing. A blitzkrieg is “a headline word applied retrospectively to describe a military doctrine of an all-mechanized force concentrating its attack on a small section of the enemy front then, once the latter is broken, proceeding without regard to its flank.”
3. In golf, the clubs commonly referred to as “woods” are usually made of metal. The club heads for “woods” were formerly made predominantly of wood.
4. An egg cream is really chocolate flavored syrup with seltzer and milk. It typically contains neither eggs nor cream. [Pictured above]
5. Head cheese is actually a meat product.
6. Anti-semitism usually refers to hatred of jews. But the fact is, semites refers not just to jews, but to all semitic peoples which includes Arabs. The proper term for what is normally regarded as anti-semitism would be anti-jewish.
7. An inchworm is neither an inch long, nor a worm.
8. Tear gas is not a gas, but a (solid) crystalline substance.
9. The East River is not a river, but a tidal strait.
10. The titmouse is a bird, not a mouse.
11. Despite its name, the Jerusalem artichoke has no relation to Jerusalem, and little to do with artichokes. Jerusalem derives from Girasole, the Italian word for sunflower, by folk etymology. The taste of the tuber of a Jerusalem artichoke merely resembles the taste of the leaves of the Globe Artichoke.
12. Arabic numerals originated in India, though they came to be associated with the Arab world.
13. Panama hats are made in Ecuador, but are associated with Panama as they were widely worn during construction of the Panama Canal.
14. French fries did not originate in France. There are some doubts about their origin, but they most likely were invented in Belgium. They’re called “French” because vegetables sliced in that manner are called “julienned”, which sounds French. [Pictured above]
15. Mongolian barbecue is neither Mongolian in origin nor barbecue. It has its origins in Taiwan and actually derives from Japanese-style teppanyaki which was popular there at the time.
16. White chocolate is not actually considered chocolate by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States and other bodies, even though it contains cocoa butter.
17. The term “tidal wave” is often applied to tsunamis, even though they are not caused by tides.
18. Sugar soap contains neither sugar nor soap.
19. An egg roll is an appetizer usually made by wrapping a combination of chopped vegetables, not eggs.
20. Chinese checkers did not originate in China (or even Asia). It was invented in Germany in 1893 under the name “Stern-Halma”, as a variation on the older American game of Halma.
1. A firefly is not a fly – it is a beetle
2. A prairie dog is not a dog – it is a rodent [image above]
3. India ink is not from India – it is from China and Egypt
4. A horned toad is not a toad – it is a lizard
5. A lead pencil does not contain lead – it contains graphite
6. A douglas fir is not a fir – it is a pine [image above]
7. A silkworm is not a worm – it is a caterpillar
8. A peanut is not a nut – it is a legume
9. A koala bear is not a bear – it is a marsupial
10. An English horn is not English and it isn’t a horn – it is a French alto oboe
11. A guinea pig is not from guinea and it is not a pig – it is a rodent from South America
12. Shortbread is not a bread – it is a thick cookie [image above]
13. Dresden China is not from Dresden – it is from Meissen
14. A shooting star is not a star – it is a metorite
15. A funny bone is not a bone – it is the spot where the ulnar nerve touches the humerus
16. Chop suey is not a native Chinese dish – it was invented by Chinese immigrants in California
17. A bald eagle is not bald – it has flat white feathers on its head and neck when mature, and dark feathers when young [image above]
18. A banana tree is not a tree – it is a herb
19. A cucumber is not a vegetable – it is a fruit
20. A jackrabbit is not a rabbit – it is a hare
21. A piece of catgut is not from a cat – it is usually made from sheep intestines
22. A Mexican jumping bean is not a bean – it is a seed with a larva inside
23. A Turkish bath is not Turkish – it is Roman
24. A sweetbread is not a bread – it is the pancreas or thymus gland from a calf or lamb