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Ancient Greek athletes trained hard. The word ‘agony’ comes from the Greek agonia, meaning ‘contest’.

Å, Moskenes; Norway

Å, in the principality of Moskenes, Norway

The town with the world’s shortest place name is called Å. There are two of them, located in Denmark and Norway.

Akathisia is the inability to sit still, an involuntary jiggling of the leg, or a terror of sitting.

In Inuktitut, the word tunngahugittik means ‘welcome to the two of you’; the polite reply to this is the response tunngahukpuguk, which literally means ‘thank you, we feel welcome’.

The average Dutchman has sex for the first time when 16,6 years old, has seven sexual partners in a lifetime, has sexual intercourse lasting for twenty minutes (two minutes above world-average), and in total, has sex 94 times a year (far below world-average). Nevertheless, he or she marks life with a generous 7,9 out of 10.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

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In Ancient Roman plays, if a character had to die, actors were replaced by convicted rapists or murderers who were then killed on stage.

English: A group of acorns.

A group of acorns

The word acrobatics is Greek for ‘walking on tiptoe’.

An acosmist is one who denies the existence of the universe.

Acorns can be tested to find which ones will grow into oak trees. When put into water, the good ones will sink.

The acnestis is any part of the back that’s impossible to scratch.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

Greek Proverbs

Κόρακας κοράκου μάτι δε βγάζει

“The crow does not take the eye out of another crow.”

  • Meaning: People who are the same do not hurt each other.
  • English equivalent: Hawks will not pick out Hawk’s eyes.
  • Shqiptaro-Greke (1999). Albanohellenica. Albanian-Greek Philological Association. p. 22.

Η γλώσσα κόκαλα δεν έχει, αλλά κόκαλα τσακίζει.

“The tongue has no bones, yet it crushes bones.”

  • English equivalent: The pen is mightier than the sword.
  • Venizelos (1867). Paroimiai dēmōdeis. Ek tou typographeiou tēs “Patridos”. p. 95.

Καλή ζωή, κακή διαθήκη

“Good life, bad testament.”

  • Implying that most likely, you will leave little in your will by living a good life.
  • Chakkas (1978). Hapanta. Kedros.

Ο πνιγμένος, από τα μαλλιά του πιάνεται

“The drowning man grips to his own hair.”‘

  • Meaning: A person in a desperate situation will try the most desperate measures.
  • English equivalent: A drowning man will clutch at a straw.
  • Κριαρας (2007). Αλλελωγραφιαδυο:. ΕκδοσειςΠολυτυπο. p. 33.


In cryptography, a scytale (Greek for ‘baton’) is a tool used to perform a transposition cipher, consisting of a cylinder with a strip of parchment wound around it on which is written a message.

Reconstructed ancient Greek scytale (rhymes wi...

Reconstructed ancient Greek scytale

The ancient Greeks, and the Spartans in particular, are said to have used this cipher to communicate during military campaigns.

The recipient uses a rod of the same diameter on which he wraps the parchment to read the message. It has the advantage of being fast and not prone to mistakes—a necessary property when on the battlefield.

It can, however, easily be broken. Since the strip of parchment hints strongly at the method, the ciphertext would have to be transferred to something less suggestive, somewhat reducing the advantage noted.