IT people keep using the word benchmark all the time. “We need to benchmark ourselves to the best in the industry”. I used to wonder where the word came from. Was it a mark that was placed on benches that people sat on? Well, the actual origin is more logical.. engineerically logical.
A “benchmark” was originally a mark cut into a stone or a wall by surveyors measuring the altitude and/or level of a tract of land. The cut was used to secure a bracket called a “bench” upon which they mounted their measuring equipment, and all subsequent measurements were made in reference to the position and height of that mark. Voila, “benchmark,” which first appeared in English around 1842, and quickly began to be used figuratively in the “standard of quality” sense we see today.
Checkmate comes from Shah Mat – The King is dead
Coffee comes from Kahveh which originally meant wine
Sugar comes from Sukkar for (ahem) sugar
and my favorite:
Mocha comes from Al-Mukah, a city in Yemen where wild Ethiopean coffee beans were brokered from which fine coffee could be made
“I’ll have a Cafe Mocha with no Sugar please. Waleikum Assalam”