How old were you when you first learned that “Peggy” is, somewhat inexplicably, a nickname for “Margaret?” If your answer is something like, “Today. I was today years old,” don’t worry; you’re in good company. It turns out there actually is a reason “Margaret” is sometimes shortened to “Peggy,” by the way—and what’s more, it’s far from the only nickname with a surprising origin story out there.
There’s nothing quite like a bright green Granny Smith apple; between its delightful color and slightly tart sweetness, the fruit is lauded as much for its appearance as it is for its taste. But have you ever wondered where the Granny Smith apple gets its name? Was there ever a real “Granny Smith,” or is the apple’s moniker just a catchy marketing phrase?
Maybe you’ve seen pictures of them—strange-looking illustrations of mummified hands clutching candles or with their fingertips aflame. They’re called Hands of Glory, and they’re not just recent inventions meant to spook modern audiences. The folklore of the Hand of Glory stretches back a long, long way—and most of the stories associated with this grisly item are even spookier than you probably think they are.