TexasEscapes.com 
HOME : : NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : TEXAS HOTELS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : BUILDINGS : : IMAGES : : ARCHIVE : : SITE MAP
PEOPLE : : PLACES : : THINGS : : HOTELS : : VACATION PACKAGES
Texas Escapes
Online Magazine
Texas Towns by Region
  • Texas Hill Country
  • Central Texas North
  • Central Texas South
  • South Texas
  • East Texas
  • West Texas
  • Texas Panhandle
  • Texas Gulf Coast
    Texas Towns A - Z
    Over 2800 Towns

    Texas Ghost Towns
    Over 700 Ghost Towns

    Book Hotels
  • Texas | Columns | "It's All Trew"

    Modern terms' origins intriguing

    by Delbert Trew
    Delbert Trew

    “American Yesterday,” a 1956 book by Eric Sloane, tells of the origins of many terms handed down to modern times.

    For example, where did the term “pen knife” originate? In the days before fountain and ballpoint pens, a feather quill was sharpened to a point, dipped into a bottle of ink, used to write on paper, then blotted to keep the wet lines of ink from smearing. The pen knife was invented to sharpen the point of the quill.

    Grindstones differed from millstones. Grindstones were imported from England and Nova Scotia. By 1840, numerous grindstone and millstone factories were opened in early America. Grindstones were of fine grit and used to sharpen axes, hatchets, knives and other woodworking tools. The Grindstone Man appeared regularly on a route through the country, setting up his foot-pedaled grindstone and a portable sign stating the business was open.

    Millstones were of heavier grit, with grooves to carry the grain being ground into meal. Most were sold only to grain grinding concerns.

    A blacksmith derived his origins from “a man who strikes” as with a hammer on iron. The term “smith” is derived from the word “smite,” meaning the striking of an object with another.

    A wheel-wright, usually a blacksmith, derived his title from a problem of a broken or damaged wooden wheel of a wagon, buggy or implement being made “right” to work properly.

    The most unusual origin of all was the barber shop. Original barbers were also surgeons. Their specialty was blood letting, a procedure that drained off bad blood, allowing new blood to revive the human system.

    His professional advertisement was a wooden carved arm, hanged down from a mount, and painted red, simulating the work of blood letting. As this procedure outlived its time, the barber turned to grooming, often providing bath facilities in a rear room of the shop. The carved arm painted red, evolved into a round barber pole with red and white stripes advertising the service.


    © Delbert Trew -
    August 14, 2012 column
    More "It's All Trew"
    Delbert Trew is a freelance writer and retired rancher. He can be reached at 806-779-3164, by mail at Box A, Alanreed, TX 79002, or by email at trewblue@centramedia .net. For books see delberttrew .com.
    Related Topics:
    Texas | Texas Ranching | Columns | Texas Panhandle |
    Related Topics: Texas Hotels | Texas |
    Texas Town List | Texas Panhandle | West Texas |
    Custom Search
    Book Hotels Here - Expedia Affiliate Network

    CITY SEARCH


    TEXAS ESCAPES CONTENTS
    HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | HOTELS | SEARCH SITE
    TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES

    Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South | West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
    TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | FORTS | MAPS

    Texas Attractions
    TEXAS FEATURES
    People | Ghosts | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII | History | Texas Centennial | Black History | Art | Music | Animals | Books | Food
    COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

    TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
    Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators | Lodges | Museums | Rooms with a Past | Gargoyles | Cornerstones | Pitted Dates | Stores | Banks | Drive-by Architecture | Signs | Ghost Signs | Old Neon | Murals | Then & Now
    Vintage Photos

    TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | USA | MEXICO

    Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
    Website Content Copyright ©1998-2011. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved