Why is a tournament where each team plays the other in turn called a round robin? The answer involves ribbons, religious refugees, and ringleaders.
Why do we say “once upon a time” when beginning a story? The answer involves great time, great distance, and great imagination.
Where does pie come from, and why do we eat it on Thanksgiving? The answer involves a certain bird known for collecting miscellaneous objects, Queen Elizabeth I, and elaborate dinnertime entertainment.
Why do we take something uncertain “with a grain of salt”? The answer involves a universal antidote to poison, Bible commentary, and some questionable photos of Ireland.
Where does the phrase “to take a gander” come from? As one of the many delightful goose-related idioms in the English language (see “goose egg” and “silly goose”), the history of “to take a gander” involves male waterfowl and nosy neighbors.