How did bikini get its bizarre name?

Dec 06, 2011, 09:24 IST | Agencies
Want to know what's really behind a bikini? Or why we say bluetooth?

New book Harvey Wallbangers And Tam O'Shanters reveals the people and stories that inspired everyday words and phrases.

The two-piece swimsuit takes its name from the Pacific atoll in the Marshall Islands which was the site of 23 nuclear weapons tests between 1946 and 1958.

The bikini came out a few days after the first test -- and was said to be "split like the atom".

According to the book, the word hooker, is derived from the Corlears Hook area of Manhattan island, US, where prostitutes worked. Meanwhile, the word chauvinist, now used to describe someone who is sexist, originally meant a person who was excessively patriotic, after Nicolas Chauvin -- an alleged foot soldier in the French army of Napoleon Bonaparte -- who was famous for his blind loyalty to his country.

The book also explains that Bluetooth is inspired by 10th Century King Of Denmark, Harald Bluetooth, who was responsible for spreading Christianity across Scandinavia.
When Swedish mobile phone firm Ericsson wanted a name signifying good communications, they dug into history to choose his.

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