Friday, 29 July 2011

Why Is A Doughnut Called a Doughnut?

My son has been asking me the most impossible to answer questions. With the 'doughnut' question above, I could explain to him the "dough" part but was stumped at "nut". He asked me that day as we passed a gym, "Why is a gym called a gym?". I try not to say "I don't know" even when I actually don't know the answer. I've noticed that there was a time when I answered him with an "I don't know", he'd answer me back the same way when I asked him a question. So in order to encourage him to actually use his brains in answering me and for him not to use "I don't know" on me, I've come up with several ways of answering him when I really don't know the answer.

I'm not sure, let me Google it and I'll get back to you
Doughnuts were first called Olykoeks or Oily cakes.
When olykoeks were put in oil the centers were rarely ever cooked. So, legend has it that in 1847, there was a lady named Elizabeth Gregory who was known in her New England circle to make a very fine olykoek. Her secret was to add a hint of nutmeg and fill the center with hazelnuts or walnuts. She even had a special name for her creation -- dough-nuts. And so that name stayed on.

A more fair explanation is that early recipes instructed amateur chefs to create "little nuts of dough" and place these balls into the hot oil. Hence, the name Doughnuts.
source: Yahoo! Answers

What do you think?
Answer a question with a question. I found this quite effective actually and it makes him think of an answer himself. I know it could backfire on me one day, but I'm looking on the bright side of it - it'll help keep Alzheimer's away.

Maybe...there was a nut in the dough but it fell through the hole?  
I think a person named Jim started the gym.
Come up with a silly answer. Of course, get back to him on the correct answer when you've had the time to Google it. Sure beats having to say "I don't know", no?

Let's go and check the dictionary
Great way to get him acquainted with the dictionary.  But, the dictionary's not going to tell you why a doughnut is called a doughnut. So, Professor Google will still give you a better answer. You can use this method to teach your kids how to look at a dictionary and look up the meaning of a word.

Why don't you ask Daddy
Pass the buck. Happens on days I just don't have the mood for answering questions.

Look! An aeroplane!
Yes distract him so that he'll forget what he asked. NOo, I'm just kidding! Don't use this on your kids, they'll use it back on you.

Have you any ideas what to say to your kids when you don't want to say "I don't know" to a question you really don't know? ( I know, I'm complicated)

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