i heart learning

i heart learning

Saturday, July 30, 2011

spotted dick and barleycorns

British people can be very strange.
They use funny words like 'dodgy' and 'pram.'
They also eat 'spotted dick' like it's going out of style. (I learned today spotted richard also comes in a can. Yumsters for the tumsters.)

But the truly odd thing I learned about Brits today is that they measure their feet using 'barleycorns' instead of sizes 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14. (I'm sure some bball players have the big 14).

One barleycorn computes to about 1/3 of an inch. 
And i think that must be those weird numbers you see on the bottoms of your shoes every once in a while. I think mine is 38 barleycorns. 
Of course if I wanted to confirm I could always go to a shoe pace and do it with a metal foot thingy...
I learned today this contraption that we all know and love is actually called a 'brannock device' and not a metal foot thingy
This hunk of metal with white jibberish is actually not jibberish at all - it measures american foot sizes....as well as british barleycorns!

Next time I do a little footwear spree I will be sure to double check my 38 barleycorns!

(and oh! I forgot to mention that this lovely little fact came from Kale, who learned it on the British tv show QI.)

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