Now You Know

What exactly is a “family circle”?

When the early Normans brought fire indoors they built semicircular
open fireplaces. To keep warm at night or when the air was cool, the
family would sit in a semicircle opposite the one formed by the hearth,
creating a complete circle where they would spend time telling stories
or singing songs within what they called the “family circle.” When
neighbours were included, it became “a circle of friends.”

Why do we call wealthy members of society “the upper crust”?

In the days of feudalism, when noblemen gathered for a meal in the
castle, those of higher rank sat at the head of a T-shaped table, and the
rest sat in order of diminishing importance away from them. For such
occasions a yard-long loaf of bread was baked, and the honour of making
the first cut belonged to the highest-ranking person at the head
table, who would then pass the bread down in order of rank, but always
keeping for himself the “upper crust.

Why do we say that someone with a hidden agenda has “an axe to grind”?

As a boy, Benjamin Franklin was sharpening tools in his father’s yard
when a stranger carrying an axe came by and praised the boy on how
good he was with the grindstone. He then asked Franklin if he would
show him how it would work on his own axe. Once his axe was sharpened,
the stranger simply laughed and walked away, giving young
Franklin a valuable lesson about people with “an axe to grind.”

Why is a newcomer called a “rookie”?

A rookie is anyone new to an organization requiring teamwork and
whose lack of experience may cause errors. The word originated in the
American military during the Civil War when massive numbers of
young and untrained soldiers were rushed into battle, causing major
problems with discipline. The veterans called these incompetents
“reckies,” an abbreviation of recruits, which through time became

From The Book Titled "Now You Know" by Doug Lennox