The words “porcelain” and “pork” share the same ancestry. “Porcelain” is derived from the old Italian word “porcellana,” meaning a cowrie shell (which porcelain resembles), but literally meaning “young sow,” because the shell resembles a pig’s back. Ultimately, both “porcelain” and “pork” come from the Latin word for pig, “porcus.” (Thanks to Sandra Needham of Seattle.)

n A Car is Born: A recent Bit mentioned that Mickey Rooney was given a Lincoln Continental by Henry Ford in the car’s debut year of 1939. The first Continental was actually made the year before, as the custom-designed personal auto of Henry’s son, Edsel Ford.

Which of these famous Italians does not have a major airport in Italy named after him?

A) Marco Polo

B) Amerigo Vespucci

C) Michelangelo

D) Leonardo da Vinci

Answer Monday.

Thursday’s answer: Actor Bruce Willis plays the harmonica.


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