As promised, here is the second edition of Questions and Answers!
1. Alright Mr. History, I’d like to hear a blog about how the *-stan countries got their names.
First off, let me say I do love the nickname “Mr. History” I think I may have to adopt this one permanently. Anyways to the task at hand. The suffix -stan actually is an ancient Persian/Farsi word that means land or place of. Curiously enough there are 7 nations in Asia that have that suffix so its a wonder why this ending was tagged on the end of several nations. Up until 1991, 5 of these countries Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan were part of the Soviet Union but even with this unique circumstance it turns out the names were in place before their inclusion into the Iron Curtain. Interestingly enough the reason that they all carry the suffix as a throwback to a common history they all share. Around the 6thcentury BC they were all part of the Achaemenid (Persian) Empire and it is in this common historical bonding that they all gained the common ending. It is in the beginning of each nation’s name that they represent their unique nationality:
· Afghan (means Pashtun people, ancient Afghani ancestors) – Land of Afghans
· Kazakh (means independent and free)-Land of independence and freedom
· Kyrgyz (means 40) – Land of the 40 clans
· Tajik (means Iranian speaking people) – Land of Tajiks
· Turkmen (means I am a Turk) – Land of the Turks
· Uzbek (means generous man) – Land of generous men
· Pakistan is a unique situation as it means Land of the pure but the name is also derived as an acronym of the variety of Muslim people that live in the five northern regions of India that eventually became Pakistan. Punjab, Afghan, Kashmir, Sind, Baluchistan.
(*note the “I” was added to aid pronunciation)
2. Why are hot dogs called hot dogs when they aren’t made from dogs?
The term “dog” has been used to refer to sausage dating back to 1884 in Germany, as there was suspicion that dog meat was often used to make sausage. The first example of the phrase “hot dog” in print appeared in a New Jersey news article about a local traveling vender known as “Hot Dog” Morris. All you dog lovers out there have no reason to worry though as there doesn’t seem to be any proof that dogs were ever actually used to make a hot dog.
3. Where did “there’s more than one way to skin a cat” come from?
This well-known proverb used for saying there is more than one way to reach your goal made its first appearance in print in 1840 appearing in a short story by American humorist Seba Smith.
I hope you enjoyed the 2nd edition of Questions and Answers! Remember if you have any questions you’d like answered for the next edition please feel free to leave the comment on the blog.