Boston Public Library
Frequently Asked Reference Questions (and Answers)
General Reference Department
617-536-5400, extension 2270

Anniversary (wedding) gifts

Traditional
Jobes
Traditional
Post
Traditional
Vanderbilt
Revised/Modern
Vanderbilt
1st Paper Paper and plastics Paper Clocks
2nd Cotton Calico or cotton Cotton China
3rd Linen Leather or simulated leather Leather Crystal, glass
4th Silk Silk or synthetic material Books Electrical appliances
5th Wood Wood Wood, clocks Silverware
6th Iron Iron Candy, iron Wood
7th Copper or wool Copper or wool Copper, bronze, brass Desk sets, pen and pencil sets
8th Leather Electrical appliances Electrical appliances Linens, lace
9th Pottery or Straw Pottery Pottery Leather
10th Tin Tin or aluminum Tin or aluminum Diamond jewelry
11th Steel Steel Fashion jewelry and accessories
12th Linen (table, bed, etc.) Silk, linen Pearls, colored gems
13th Lace Lace Textiles, fur
14th Ivory Ivory Gold jewelry
15th Crystal Crystal or glass Crystal Watches
16th Silver hollow ware
17th Furniture
18th Porcelain
19th Bronze
20th China China China Platinum
25th Silver Silver Silver Sterling silver
30th Pearl Pearls Pearl Diamond
35th Coral Coral and jade Coral and jade Jade
40th Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby
45th Alexandrite Sapphire Sapphire Sapphire
50th Gold Gold Gold Golden jubilee
55th Emerald Emerald Emerald
60th Yellow diamond Diamond Diamond Diamond jubilee
65th Star saphire
70th Diamond Diamond
75th Diamond Diamond

Sources:
Traditional/Jobes: Dictionary of Mythology, Folklore and Symbols by Gertrude Jobes, 1962.
Traditional/Post: Emily Post's Etiquette, Peggy Post, editor, 1997.
Traditional/Vanderbilt and Revised/Modern Vandervilt: The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette by Nancy Tuckerman and Nancy Dunnan, 1995.

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Noon, midnight, a.m., and p.m.

The abbreviations a.m. and p.m. stand for the Latin "ante meridiem" and "post meridiem". "Ante" is Latin for "before", "post" for "after", and "meridiem" for "midday".

The period from midnight until noon is a.m. One minute before noon is 11:59 a.m. One minute after noon is 12:01 p.m. Many people distinguish between noon and midnight by saying 12 noon and 12 midnight. Noon and midnight are neither a.m. nor p.m.

Both a.m. and p.m. sometimes appear in capital letters, especially in printed matter.

Source: Random House Dictionary of the English Language, 2nd.ed., 1987.

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Names of the U.S. Time Zones

The U.S. time zones are listed below. Boston is located in the Eastern Time Zone. The times noted are the times in the other zones when it is 12 noon in the Eastern Time Zone (Boston).

Eastern 12 noon
Central 11 a.m.
Mountain 10 a.m.
Pacific 9 a.m.
Alaska 8 a.m.
Hawaii - Aleutian 7 a.m.


To check the current time in these zones, click here.

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Words ending in GRY


This is a "trick" question and may have nothing to do with "gry". It depends on how the question is stated, and often it is misstated. One version is:

Think of words ending in "gry". Angry and hungry are two of them. There are only three words in the English language. What is the third word? The word is something that everybody uses every day. If you have listened carefully, I've already told you what it is.

The answer is language -- the first two words being "the" and "English".

There are obscure "gry" words that have been found through the years, some of which are:

Aggry: variegated glass bead
Ahungry or anhungry: obsolete forms of hungry
Begry: beggary, extreme poverty
Conyngry: rabbit-warren
Gry: Measure equal to 1/10 of a line; dirt under the nail
Higry pigry: a purgative drug
Iggry: Hurry up!
Magry or maugry or mawgry: Ill-will, displeasure from one person to another
Nangry: Obsolete form of angry
Podagry: gout
Puggry: variation of puggaree, Indian turban
Skugry: secrecy

Source: Oxford English Dictionary

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The Library also provides reference over the telephone 617-536-5400, and electronically.