Misleading Terms for Things Your Ancestors Knew

There are several phrases and terms for events and items your ancestors knew very well. Today the phrase is still here but can mean something different.

Think of the term ‘Trailers‘ as the preview of upcoming movies in a theater show before the main movie film starts. Your ancestors knew trailers at the end of the feature movie, hence the name, shown at the end of upcoming movies.

The food, ‘French Fries‘ early on for your ancestors were thought to originate in Belgium or even Spain, but later people associate the food with France.

Any ancestors who lived in the 1800s would have known of the popular ‘Panama Hats‘, especially when showcased at the 1855 World’s Fair in Paris. But really back then this style hat was made in Ecuador (in the South American continent). How that name ‘Panama’ came was the shipment of hats by land that went north from Ecuador to Panama to be met by ships on either the west or east side to be picked up and transported by ships around the globe. Panama hats are made using the toquilla palm, whose soft, flexible and durable fibers provide the perfect material for such a dynamic hat. The hats became even more popular when Theodore Roosevelt wore one while he visited during the construction of the Panama Canal.

A mistaken name for those flashing flying creatures at night is ‘Fireflies‘. Yes, there is a flashing light but they are actually beetles not flies at all.

You might know a popular game as ‘Chinese Checkers‘ but years ago it was a German game named ‘Halma’ and was re-invented in the US on a star-shaped board. So it is not Chinese or even checkers.

You are in a Chinese Restaurant and look forward to getting your ‘Fortune Cookies‘. Only they were not originally from China but rather from Japan then brought to the US by Japanese immigrants who worked or operated Chinese restaurants especially in San Francisco, CA.

Photo: Examples of ‘Panama Hats’ for men and ladies.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Quaint Sayings

Funny Sayings By Your Ancestors

Finding the Humor

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