5 Fun Facts about the Parasol...

  • Written by Parasoleil on May 25, 2015
  • Filed Under News

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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. In the Aztec Empire, armies carried a parasol made of feathers and pure gold. It served as a flag.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

By Parasoleil