Did you KNOW? The origin of symbols version!


We’re going to look at some origins of things this time around to spice things up. So here we go and enjoy!

First up – Barber Shop Poles

From Wikipedia (who I don’t always trust but I knew some of this beforehand so we’ll go with it this time) The origin of the red and white barber pole is associated with the service of bloodletting and was historically a representation of bloody bandages wrapped around a pole. During medieval times, barbers performed surgery on customers, as well as tooth extractions. The original pole had a brass wash basin at the top (representing the vessel in which leeches were kept) and bottom (representing the basin that received the blood). The pole itself represents the staff that the patient gripped during the procedure to encourage blood flow.

Now I know some poles also have a blue stripe and there is some speculation that this is to pay homage to the US flag colors. I can’t imagine letting my hair dresser do surgery on me. She’s wicked with a stacked in the back bob but not so much with an amputation!

We also have the many pub signs that I love to see. I hear it is a dying art but I think the originals are wonderful. Mostly they were used so that illiterate people were able to understand that here they could buy drinks. They don’t always mean what you think the mean though. Apparently it was popular to have a certain name for a time and then another name would come in fashion and it could change. Then again I found that sometimes the Nag’s Head pub with its horse symbol could be tongue in cheek because they really meant Nag as in a wife!

Vicky B wanted to know about the three balls on Pawn Shops. This is what I found on infoplease.com : Pawnbrokers often joke that the three balls represent the motto “Two to one, you won’t get your stuff back.” In actuality, the three gold balls are said to be a symbol of the Medicis, a family of powerful merchants in Florence, Italy, during the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Last one and then you can share your own!

Stop signs. Now I scoured the internet for this one because it is such a different shape than the other road signs out there. Top answer and most consistent is that the designers wanted something different, something that would clearly define the action. And because there are fewer of these signs than any other road sign it was cheaper material-wise to create an octagon!

So there you go and now you know!

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