8 Random Historical Facts That Will Help You Survive Small Talk

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There are countless scenarios we find ourselves in daily which lead to the absolute panic of filling that awkward silence.  Whether it’s a job interview, a family reunion, or you run into your new year’s kiss at the dentist. Fear not, help is at hand! These 8 conversation starters will help you through every awkward eventuality… and let’s be honest, if you are obliged to make small talk, you might as well make it of the historical persuasion? historical small talk image

small talk image 1

*awkward silence*

“Great beard you have there…Did you know, Russia’s Peter I introduced a beard tax in 1705? Tax payers carried a silver token bearing the phrase “The beard is a superfluous burden”. Luckily for you times have changed eh? So…fancy buying me a coffee with all that cash you’ve saved?”

*You fall in love. Get married. The end*

(You’re welcome)

SMALL TALK IMAGE 2 copy

*awkward silence*

“Cars are so expensive right? What with tax, gas and not to mention if you have an accident…Did you know, you never actually have to worry about being called a bad driver. In 1895 there were only two cars in the entire state of Ohio, and they both managed to crash into each other.”

*both scoff at man’s early attempts to operate vehicles*

small talk image 3

*awkward silence*

“I love your kilt/dress. Did you know, during the 1600’s, boys and girls in England wore dresses until they were about seven years old.”

*laugh over that one time Beckham wore a SARONG*

SMALL TALK 4Source: Trecklens

*awkward silence*

“Has anyone ever told you what particularly long arms you’ve got?* Not like Henry I of England. Did you know, had Henry’s arms been 42 inches long, the unit of measure of a “foot” today would be fourteen inches. But his arm happened to be 36 inches long and he decreed that the “standard” foot should be one-third that length: 12 inches.”

*you both ponder the meaning behind all units of measurements…and go your separate ways*

*You have to judge the mood carefully before you roll this one out

small talk 5Source: nydailynews

*awkward silence*

“Hey, I couldn’t help notice the American flag on your bumbag/fannypack. Did you know, New York City was briefly the U.S. capital from 1789 to 1790. 

*high five* 

SMALL TALK 6 Source: Telegraph

*awkward silence*

“This queue is so long, right? I only came in to buy some stamps. Oh, you to? Snap… *scoff* … Did you know, before 1883 the three-cent U.S. stamp was also used for advertising. The advertisement was located on the back of the stamp for various products.” 

*bond over your hatred of advertising, even thought you both work in advertising*

SMALL TALK 7 Source: DailyMail

*awkward silence*

“Those doves were a waste of money don’t you agree? Speaking of wedding traditions, did you know during the 16th century, newly married couples in France had to stand naked outdoors while the groom kissed the bride’s left foot and big toe. Better we had the doves don’t you think?”

*both laugh because you know you are now picturing each other naked*

SMALL TALK 8 Source: DailyFinance 

*awkward silence*

“Oh I must remember to buy this months issue, it looks great! You won’t believe this, but who do you think was named Time Magazines man of the year in 1938?”

“No idea”

“Hitler”

*still awkward*

(Sorry)

Annabelle

Founder and editor of Historical Honey, Annabelle is a museum and media professional who specialises in the Tudor (AKA Anne Boleyn) period

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