What is the origin of the word "Ciao".
Ciao! We all say it, often at the end of emails or as we leave. Ciao bello (or bella) is a gentle compliment. But what does 'ciao' really mean?
It seems it is derived from the formal and old-fashioned Italian schiavo, meaning "I serve," or, in its idiomatic meaning, "at your service". So it's helpful rather than a farewell!
The word 'trivia' itself is from modern Latin. It is the plural of trivium. 'Tri-' gives the clue that it is something to do with three, and 'via' relates to going somewhere - hence it originally referred to a Y intersection, where people would stop for a bit of chit-chat - light conversation - or, as they said in Latin, trivia!
It's an acronym, from the Latin 'salus per aquum' - health through water. Makes sense doesn't it?
Kowloon, in Hong Kong, means 'nine dragons' and was named in the 13th century for its eight hills. Eight? The ninth 'dragon' was a piece of flattery for the 13th century emperor, who was seen as a dragon too. He was the last of the Sung dynasty, and a ten year old boy at the time.
'Feeding the dragon' is the term used here for playing the slot machines, a popular past time, with many people travelling from Hong Kong to gamble in Macau's casinos. Other people call the machines 'hungry tigers'. In fact Macau is known as the "Monte Carlo" of the Far East, but some people called it the "Sin City" of Asia for the same reason.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge (which some have nicknamed 'The Coathanger') is continually being painted to keep it maintained properly. Before he became a famous film star, Paul Hogan worked as a painter on the bridge. It's a big job as the surface area is equal to about the area of 60 sports fields.
You may not know that a Sydharb is a unit of volume used in Australia for water. One sydharb (or sydarb), also called a Sydney Harbour, is the amount of water in the Sydney Harbour (Port Jackson): approximately 500 gigalitres (about 400,000 acre-feet).
A reformed alcoholic, Arthur Stace, left his mark - quite literally – on Sydney in the 1940s and 50s. His motto was Eternity, and he wrote it in chalk on footpaths, doorways and entrances all around town using beautiful flowing copperplate handwriting. In fact he made so much of an impression that his word was the centrepiece of the illuminations on the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the 2000 New Year's Eve fireworks display, and also during the opening of the Olympic Games in Sydney in the same year.
There are two Christmas Islands in the world. One is in the Indian Ocean and is a territory of Australia although it is much closer to Indonesia. Known for its multitudes of tiny red crabs. It was named by Captain William Mynors of the Royal Mary, a British East India Company vessel, who sailed past it on Christmas Day in 1643.
The other is in the Pacific, a coral atoll (the world’s largest at 322 square kilometres). It is otherwise known as Kiritimati and is part of the Republic of Kiribati. As it is in the most eastern time zone in the world, it is the first to welcome Christmas Day. And any other day for that matter. It was officially discovered and named by Captain James Cook on Christmas Eve (24 December) 1777.
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