Origins of Scrabble

I bet there is nobody reading this who has not played a game of Scrabble in their lifetime! I love the game along with many of my family and friends.
But when did Scrabble come into being? Of course, I am going to be able to tell you after having done a little research.

Lexiko

Lexiko

It started when an American architect, Alfred Hosher Butts, created the game in 1938 from an earlier game know as ‘Lexiko’.

The two games had the same set of letter tiles and Lexiko was originally know as ‘Criss-Crosswords’ because of its similarity to cross-words puzzles.

Alfred H.Butts manufactured a few sets but he was not successful in getting any of the major game companies interested.

Alfred H. Butts-Criss-Crosswords

Alfred H. Butts – Criss-Crosswords

Then in 1948, James Brunot, a resident of Newtown, USA, and more importantly, a owner of one of the few Criss-Crosswords games in existence, bought the rights to manufacture the game from Alfred Butts, in exchange for granting him royalties on each game sold in the future.

James Brunot did not change much in the game apart from slightly re-arranging the ‘premium’ tiles and simplifying the rules of the game. And of course, he changed the name to what we all know and love…Scrabble…which means, ‘to scratch frantically’.

By 1949, James Brunot was manufacturing Scrabble, with the help of his family, in a converted schoolhouse in Dodgingtown, Newtown. Around 2,400 games were made but the family was losing money.

James Brunot

James Brunot

According to a very nice legend, the big break came for Scrabble in 1952, when the President of Macy’s, Jack Srauss, was on his vacation and played the game. He loved it and was surprised to learn his store did not stock Scrabble.

That quickly changed and he ordered that a large order be placed with James Brunot. Within a year, everyone had to have the game in their home.

Later in the same year, James Brunot found himself unable to cope with the demand for the game and so sold the rights to the Long Island based company, Selchow & Righter.

First Scrabble Edition

First Scrabble Edition

They had originally turned the game down when they had been approached in the past but were quite happy to now take on the game.

In it’s second year of manufacturing, they sold nearly 4 million games. In 1955, they started selling Scrabble to England and Australia, and as they say, the rest is history!

Now, of course, we do not have to have our opponent at the same table, we can play on line with distant friends, which is how I play most of my games at the moment, but when I am back in England for a visit, I love to play Scrabble with my sons…even if they win most games!

Jo Tempest.

Bad Girls Series – Now 6 Books!

There are now six books available in my ‘Bad Girls’ series…amazing women who led such interesting lives and breaking so many boundaries to follow their dreams. Click on any book cover to go to Amazon and see it.

Jo Tempest xxx

Female Assassins - Jo Tempest Female Spies - Jo Tempest
Female Cross-Dressers- Jo Tempest The Mistresses - Jo Tempest
Female Explorers Female Serial Killers- Jo Tempest

All Good Things Come To An End!

My Home Selimiye - Jo Tempest

My Home Selimiye

As you know, I am living in Turkey at the moment. Fortunately, in a very sleepy coastal village as there was a military coup in this country four days ago.

Things settled down very quickly although there has been an extreme crack down on the perpetrators by the existing government, and it is the third coup here since the 1980’s.

But it has made me think that maybe it is time for me to leave this country and head back to England. I will miss it terribly and all the lovely friends I have made here, but hopefully I can come back to visit them in the future.

Selimiye Sunset Jo Tempest

Selimiye Sunset

The great thing is that now that I am writing my Bad Girls series and hopefully my novel one day, I can actually live anywhere, as long as I have internet.

I have a lot to think about if I am going to leave here, as well as a lot to organise but I am not going to rush.

I will keep all you lovely readers updated.

Jo Tempest. x

Female Serial Killers Now Published!

Female Serial Killers Jo TempestWell I have finished and published another book in my ‘Bad Girls’ series……….
Female Serial Killers, and it really is a fascinating book. Thirteen women who turned to murder, sometimes for monetary gain, and other times for revenge, or in one instance, to protect her son when he went away to war.

You will read about the woman once jilted by her lover taking revenge on young female serfs under her control, torturing and murdering so many before she was stopped.

The woman who cooked up her victims to make soap and cookies to distribute to neighbours and friends (this is the crazy woman trying to protect her son when he went to war).

Another woman married three plumbers and managed to murder two of them before being caught and hung!

I have not included any women who preyed on children and actually, the two who come to mind, Rose West and Myra Hindley, did not work alone. Whereas these thirteen women acted solely on their own for their own misguided reasons.

It is a macabre book but also truly engrossing so down-load it now for a great read.

Do not forget all the other books in my ‘Bad Girls’ series….Female Assassins, Spies, Cross-Dressers, Mistresses and Explorers, which you can find for download on my page at Amazon.

Jo Tempest.

The Bee’s Knees

Bees Knees!

Bees Knees!

I was chatting with my Turkish girlfriend, Aysun, a couple of days ago and used the expression ‘The Bee’s Knees’ and she looked at me bemused until I gave her the explanation.

That got me thinking as to where that phrase came from and then to thinking it would be fun to research a few more we often use without thinking, so here you are!

 

 

‘The Bee’s Knees’

These days we tend to use it to signify an ‘outstanding person or item’ but it was first recorded in England in the late 18th century when it meant someone or something was small and insignificant. Then in the 1920’s, American slang became popular and ‘The Bee’s Knees’ changed to being what it is known as today.

Other American slang used around that time included ‘The Canary Tusks’,
The Flea’s Eyebrows’ and ‘The Cat’s Whiskers’, which is still used today.
The switch in meaning for ‘The Bee’s Knees’ probably came about as it was similar in pattern and structure as the other sayings.

‘A Pig’s Ear’

A Pig's Ear

A Pig’s Ear

This phrase originated in America in the 1850’s and became a variant to ‘In A Pig’s Eye’. It is used as an expression of incredulous disbelief, similar to the phrase ‘Tell İt To The Marines’.

To ‘Make A Pig’s Ear’ of it came about in the mid 20th century to mean completely botch something or make a complete mess of something. It first appeared in print in the 1950’s in the well known Readers Digest.

A similar phrase, ‘You Can’t Make A Silk Purse Out Of A Sow’s Ear’, dates back as early as the 16th Century. The famous English clergyman, Stephen Gosson, published a romantic story in 1579 known as ‘Ephemerides’.

In his book, the expression referred to people engaged in hopeless tasks. He used the words ”Seekinge too make a silk purse of a sowe’s eare.” The language has been adapted to new English but we still use the phrase today. (Also  English Cockney rhyming slang for ‘A Beer.’)

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie’

Let Sleeping Dogs...

Let Sleeping Dogs…

We use this phrase when we want to say ‘Do not instigate trouble’ or ‘leave a situation alone, otherwise it will cause trouble.’ It was first heard as early as the 14th Century when the English writer, Chaucer, used it in his story ‘Troilus and Criseyde ‘.

It was also used in the French language around the same time. ”Ne Reveillez pas le chien qui dort” translates to ‘do not wake the dog that sleeps’. That phrase probably originated from the Latin phrase, ‘Quieta non movere.’ Do not move settled things.
 
‘Heard It On The Grapevine’

On The Grapevine

On The Grapevine

This is my favourite one as regards to it’s origin.

This phrase is used to say that ‘you have heard unofficially’, rather than through an official announcement. It originated in America in the 19th Century. A very clever man, Samuel B. Morse, invented the telegraph system.

It required thousands of metres of telegraph wire to be installed and fixed to huge telegraph poles, that were place several metres apart along the proposed routes. The wires were fixed very high above the ground.

As communities watched the erection of these poles, they often commented that the poles and attached wires looked like the strings that were used to train grape vines to climb. So the telegraph system soon became known as ‘The Grapevine.’

Then, during the American Civil War, the telegraph system became such an important aid, as information could easily be passed across the States. But it also had another use during the Civil War, as rumours were also deliberately sent through the telegraph system to confuse both armies. When people were asked whether a particular story was true, they would often reply, ‘I heard it through the grapevine.’

So there you go! Hope you have enjoyed this little bit of information, great little conversation pieces for your next dinner party!

Jo Tempest.

Zodiac Signs and Their Angels

In all the years I have been interested in Astrology and Angels, I never knew each sign had its own angel, until I recently read a book on angels. The names of the associated angels do vary from different writings, but these I am going to tell you about come from some of the earliest observations, and I like the idea of that.

I do believe we have angels around us all the time to keep us safe and help us on our journey through life. Sometimes they leave us signs that they are around for us and I am often finding a beautiful feather in the most unlikely of places.

I keep them all and I was amazed as to how many I now have. One day I will do something with them but I am waiting for the right inspiration.

Anyway, back to our Zodiac Angels, here is a list for you to learn who is around for you on a daily basis.
Capricorn Angel

 

Capricorn ~ Angel Casujoiah helps you to be careful and responsible for all you undertake on a daily basis.

 

Aquarius Angel

 

Aquarius ~ Angel Ausiel keeps you idealistic and also brings out the humanitarian side of your character.

 

 

Pisces Angel

 

Pisces ~ Angel Barakiel helps you in your artistic endeavours as well as helping you emotionally.

 

 

 

Ares Angel

 

Aries ~ Angel Haniel keeps you confident and assertive in your daily life.

 

 

Taurus Angel

 

Taurus ~ Angel Asmodel is there to make sure you are being practical as well as reliable.

 

 

Gemini Angel

 

Gemini ~ Angel Ambriel shows you how to be social as well as adaptable in daily life.

 

 

Cancer Angel

 

Cancer ~ Angel Muriel is helping you to be sympathetic and sensitive to all those people around you.

 

 

Leo Angel

 

Leo ~ Angel Verchiel is responsible for you being an open and generous person.

 

 

Virgo Angel

 

Virgo ~ Angel Hamaliel makes sure your analytical mind keeps working efficiently.

 

 

Libra Angel

 

Libra ~ Angel Zuriel (the Prince of Principalities) keeps you on the right track of always trying to be diplomatic and create harmony around you.

 

Scorpio Angel

 

Scorpio ~ Angel Barbiel keeps your powerful and intense personality in check!

 

 

Sagittarius Ange

 

Sagittarius ~ Angel Hamaliel wants you to always be optimistic as well as adventurous.

 

 

Twelve different angels with twelve very different roles but always around; how wonderful is that!
Jo Tempest.

My Unwelcome Visitor!

My Unwelcome Visitor - Jo Tempest

My Unwelcome Visitor

After being in England for a couple of weeks, my darling Laurel and Hardy thought they would bring me in some presents to welcome me home.

Actually it was Laurel both times with Hardy watching with respect! The first present was a bird that I rescued and released with just a few missing feathers.

The following evening I was working on my laptop and did not take much notice of the cat-flap being used. That was until I was aware of Laurel by my feet and ‘something’ running over them! Then looked down and saw a small rat run away towards the kitchen.

Laurel just looked bemused as he had no idea what to do with his present, apart from giving me a problem. I pulled the fridge out as I saw it disappear behind but no luck. I wasn’t fast enough.

There was nothing I could do until the next morning, when I headed straight down to the hardware store to buy a trap….no little mice traps in Turkey, but serious rat traps. That evening I baited it with a little sausage and slid it under the kitchen units well away from little cat paws. But really no problem as Laurel and Hardy had already forgotten it was in the apartment.

Later that night, my partner, Baris, saw it emerge from its hiding place and eat the cat food! And of course, the next morning, an empty trap, but it had somehow taken the sausage!

The following evening, re-baited, the trap caught nothing. This was one smart rat but I was determined to catch it. I often have little lizards running around the apartment in the summer and I really do not mind, especially as they will catch small flies. But this rat was definitely unwelcome.

On the third evening, I put a newly baited trap inside one of the cupboards where it had been, and during the evening, I heard the snap of the trap. Gingerly opening the cupboard door, I was relieved to find a very dead rat. Even so, I was hesitant to pick it up but forced myself to do so and quickly took it outside.

Since then, I have had stern words with Laurel, telling him how much I love him but please refrain from bringing me anymore presents!

Summer Is Coming To Selimiye

5 minutes away home 229 home 326 home 437 jo photos 2 223

 

 

Laurel and Hardy’s Spring Update

Inseparable Brothers-Jo Tempest

Inseparable Brothers

Hi readers,

You have not heard from us for a while. We are still living with Jo and are happy to say she is still spoiling us!

If she has chicken or fish, then we have chicken or fish….in fact, we have to have ours served first as there is no way we will let her eat hers until our dishes are full.

We love our new home as we have our own garden and no other cat dares to enter it without being chased off by our brave selves! There are just too many places in the garden to have a little nap or just laze in the sun.

Serious Napping-Jo Tempest

Serious Napping

Jo has put our own ‘cat-door’ into the kitchen door so we can come and go as we please, but we both still like to tap on the patio doors to make her get up from her work and let us in. That is a great game!

And of course, we have to have our ‘mad half hour’ where we tear around the apartment, opening cupboards and pulling thing out (which we are so good at) and just generally making a lot of noise.

But we make up for all that by insisting on being picked up and cuddled which seems to make Jo really happy.

So, all in all, nothing to complain about and so guess we will continue to grace Jo with our presence while she continues to spoil us as we have become accustomed.
Laurel and Hardy.

The Angel Makers Of Nagyrev

Zsuzanna Fazekas - The Angelmakers

Zsuzanna Fazekas

The village of Nagyrev in Hungary was a very dangerous place to live early in the twentieth century, if you were seen as no longer needed!

Mrs. Zsuzanna Fazekas was a middle aged midwife who arrived in the village in 1911, without her husband (no one knows what happened to him).

Between that year and 1921, she was imprisoned ten times for illegal abortions, but was always acquitted by judges sympathetic towards abortion. She soon found an assistant, Susi Olah, who was going to be her supportive helper in her new vocation.

In Hungarian society at that time, the teenaged bride would have her husband selected for her by her family and would be forced to accept that choice. Divorce was never an option, even if the husband was abusive or an alcoholic.

During WWI, all the able bodied men were sent off to fight in the Austria-Hungary war, and rural Nagyrev became an ideal location for Allied prisoners of war. They were allowed a lot of freedom within the village and many of the local women took a prisoner, sometimes more than one, as a lover, while their husbands were away fighting in the war.

When the war was over and the husbands returned, they rejected their wives’ affairs and wanted to reclaim their wives. It was at this time that Zsuzanna, along with Susi, started plotting to help the unhappy wives of the village. She was boiling flypaper and skimming off the residue, which was a very effective, deadly poison. This poison was then sold to the wives with instructions as to how to dispose of their unwanted husbands, with the words, ”Why put up with them?”

Sometimes not just the husband, but other unwanted relatives were also poisoned to free the way for the wife to live her life as she wanted, and also to gain her inheritance.

By the mid 1920’s, Nagyrev had earned the nickname, the ‘Murder District.’ Zsuzanna was a busy lady and it helped that her cousin was the clerk who filed all the death certificates. Between them, they would put down causes of death such as drowning, illnesses, etc., to cover up the truth.

The murders became public in 1929 when the editor of a small local newspaper received a letter accusing the women from the Tiszazug region of poisoning members of their families. Eventually, the authorities exhumed dozens of bodies and found the large majority had been poisoned. Over thirty local women and one man were arrested.

Zsuzanna could not face conviction and poisoned herself before she could be taken away by the police. Eventually, 26 women were tried. including ‘Auntie Susi’, as she came to be known, who was executed, along with one other woman. Twelve other women received prison sentences.

The authorities decided that all the local village women had been gripped by madness for many years, brought on by their promiscuity. This was the only explanation that they could come up with.

What an amazing story and I have decided to include it in my new ‘Bad Girls’ book, due out later this year, titled Female Serial Killers. It is a scary book!

Jo Tempest.

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