Strange but False: Revealed: the awful untruth

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The Independent Culture
DID YOU know that the word 'Hussy' (originally hussie or hussey), meaning a loose or immoral woman, derives from Lady Arabella Hussey (1697- 1743), a Lady-in-Waiting to George II, who was dismissed for 'exposing herself in a manner that did cause much consternation unto the Prince of Wales'. She subsequently had a brief career on the stage, performing in a metallic costume as Arabella the Brazen Hussey, before marrying a cousin of Sir Robert Walpole.

None of the above is true, but neither is the rest of this column, which is presented as an antidote to the overdose of factual information in the rest of the paper. We have included one true piece of information - revealed at the end.

1 When Sir Robert Walpole was invited to costume parties given by George II, he went dressed as a lizard. The king once asked him why and received the reply: 'To keep cool, your majesty.'

2 In a pidgin English dialect spoken in Western Samoa, the expression for 'Prime Minister' is Big-fella-live-Downing-Street-tell-Mrs-Queen-what-do. When Mrs Thatcher became Prime Minister, they changed it to Big-fella-lady-live-Downing-Street-tell-Mrs-Queen-what-do.

3 Lloyd George was the only Prime Minister to keep a goat at 10 Downing Street.

4 The goat is the only quadruped with an Adam's apple.

5 The world's first successful kidney transplant on a goat took place in 1976 in Tokyo zoo.

6 The first dog in Spain to be fitted with contact lenses was knocked down by a car and killed. The dog's name was Stan. It happened in Bilbao.

7 Under a law made during the 18th-century vegetable famines, it is still illegal in the Bilbao region to eat carrots between Tuesday and Friday.

8 According to Sir Walter Raleigh's History of the World, the anteater was allowed on Noah's ark on condition that it would not eat the ants. It promised to eat carrots instead and consequently survived the flood.

9 When Raleigh visited Greenland, he asked the natives what manner of waterproof seal-skin garb they were wearing. They replied 'Anorak' and the word came into English usage. 'Anorak', in the local Inuit dialect, means 'mind your own business'.

10 The Greenland huskie bitch is famed for its fecundity, one such animal producing 23 offspring from separate matings with three different dogs in three separate litters, all in 1873.

11 Strictly speaking, a female huskie should be called a hussie. The collective noun for huskies is a directorship.

The only true item, as far as we know, is no 6.