It doesn't take a genius to realize that Parasoleil's name was taken from the parasol. Here's a little info-and five fun facts-about the invention that inspired our name.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a parasol is "a lightweight umbrella used, especially by women, as a sunshade." The word was first used by the French in 1580. They adapted it from the Italian parasole, which literally means "protection from the sun," from para- "defense against" (from verb parere "to ward off") + sole "sun," from L. solem (nom. sol).
So, now that you know that, here are the five fun facts:
- The parasol, though called something else, was used in the ancient Middle Eastern kingdom of Nineveh-but not by everybody. A parasol was the exclusive privilege of the supreme ruler. It was imperative that he protect his head from the sun-because he was always shaved bald!
- In the Catholic Church, a large umbrella, or parasol, is displayed in each of the Basilicas of Rome, and a cardinal bishop who receives his title from one of those churches has the privilege of having an umbrella carried over his head in solemn processions.
- In the Aztec Empire, armies carried a parasol made of feathers and pure gold. It served as a flag.
- In 1978, Bulgarian dissident writer Georgi Markov was killed in London by a dose of ricin injected via a modified parasol. The KGB is believed to have been responsible.
- In January 1902, an article in The Daily Mirror instructed women on how they can defend themselves from ruffians with a parasol.
Hope you enjoyed these 5 fun facts!