Online Encyclopedia

FOOLSCAP

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V10, Page 616 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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FOOLSCAP, the cap, usually of conical shape, with a cockscomb running up the centre of the back, and with bells attached, worn by jesters and fools (see Fooa); also a conical cap worn by dunces. The name is given to a size of writing or printing paper, varying in size from 12 X 15 in. to 17 X 131 in. (see PAPER). The name is derived from the use of a " fool's cap " as a watermark. A German example of the watermark dating from 1479 was exhibited in the Caxton Exhibition (1877). The New English Dictionary finds no trustworthy evidence for the introduction of the watermark by a German, Sir John Spielmann, at his paper-mill at Dartford in 158o, and states that there is no truth in the familiar story that the Rump Parliament substituted a fool's cap for the royal arms as a watermark on the paper used for the journals of parliament. FOOL'S PARSLEY, in botany, the popular name for Aethusa Cynapium, a member of the family Umbelliferae, and a common weed in cultivated ground. It is an annual herb, with a fusiform root and a smooth hollow branched stem i to 2 ft. high, with much divided (ternately pinnate) smooth leaves and small compound umbels of small irregular white flowers. The plant has a nauseous smell, and,like other members of the order (e.g. hemlock, water-dropwort), is poisonous.
End of Article: FOOLSCAP
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