December 09, 2003

*Ask Jen

Reader Jeff wants to know, "How are Indira and Mahatma Gandhi related?"

They're not. Mohandas "Mahatma" Gandhi (1869-1948) and Indira Gandhi (1917-1984) share a last name, but are not related at all. Indira's married name became Gandhi (her husband was no relation to Mohandas Gandhi) in 1942. Her father was the first Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharial Nehru, who was a follower of Mohandas Gandhi.

Reader B. writes, "Why do we say someone is on the wagon or falling off the wagon?"

This comes from the days when a water wagon was commonly used to keep the dust down on dirt roads. A water wagon sprayed water on the roads. Someone abstaining from liquor was said to be on the water wagon (drinking mainly water instead of alcohol)...over time, the phrase was shortened.

Do you have a question for me? You can e-mail it. If I know the answer, I'll answer it. If I don't, I might make something up.

Posted by Jennifer at December 9, 2003 03:14 PM