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High Five

5 familiar names you probably didn't know are also towns

Yes, a sandwich is two slices of bread with something in between. But did you know that the word actually goes back to a town in Britain and a man who was too busy to sit down to eat?

In the mid-18th century, who could have predicted that the name of a medieval British town would one day literally be between everyone's lips? Today, the 4,500 residents of Sandwich in Kent are well aware of the history of the perhaps most famous snack in the world. It involves the story of John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich and - legend has it - the inventor of the sandwich.

Snack at the card table

The Earl is said to have been a bit of a rake, and he loved to play cards. He and his friends would spend hours at the card table, putting off meals or simply forgetting them. When he finally felt hungry, he would order his servants to prepare a quick snack, usually sliced meat wedged between two slices of bread. The cold meal was uncomplicated, and easy to eat while holding cards in his other hand.

Soon, the other players followed suit, ordering "what Sandwich is having." The snack stayed, and so did the name, at least according to legend.

Quick and easy

There's another version, however, that the Earl's descendants in particular like to tell. They say John Montagu was in fact such a hard-working man that he simply had no time to eat. Whichever version is true, the 4th Earl of Sandwich left the world a quick and easy to make snack, and that's what matters - today more than ever.

Other familiar household words also tie back to towns - click on the above High Five gallery to find out what they are!

 

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