Origins of Wonga
The payday lender Wonga has gone into administration. How did ‘wonga’ come to be used as slang for money?
— The term is believed to have derived from the Romany word ‘wangar’ which, although used as a term for money, in fact means ‘coal’. This in turn has Indo-Iranian origins.
— In English, too, ‘coal’ or ‘cole’ were used as slang for ‘money’ in the 17th and 18th centuries, when the possession of coal really did equate to wealth.
The Venezuelan economy is estimated to have shrunk by half over the past five years. How does that compare with the most severe economic crises of the past 150 years?
|Uruguay, early 1930s||-36.1%|
|Spain, early 1930s||-34.6%|
Source: American Economic Review
Where popes go
- The Republicans are facing a bleak electoral landscape – and Trump is to blameRick Wilson15 September 2018
- Forget hard and soft Brexit – we’re heading for a blind BrexitJames Forsyth22 September 2018
- What happens when Steve Bannon is given a platform?Douglas Murray18 September 2018
Pope Francis visited Ireland. No pope left Italy and the Vatican City from 1809 until Pope Paul VI travelled to Jordan and Israel in 1964. Which countries have received the largest number of papal visits since then?
|Germany, Spain, Switzerland||6
|Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Cuba, Philippines, Brazil, Austria, Czech Republic/Czechoslovakia, Malta||4|
Snipping the civil service
Brexit secretary Dominic Raab said he was looking to increase the number of civil servants working on Brexit from 7,000 to 9,000. Which government departments employ the most civil servants?
|Department of Work
|Ministry of Justice||65,370
|Ministry of Defence||48,110
|Foreign and Commonwealth Office||4,390|
|Department for Education||3,350
And what areas do they cover?
|Science and engineering||11,640|
|Digital, data and technology||10,410
- Who was the first suicide bomber? The Spectator 15 September 2018
- Don’t worry Brooks Newmark: paisley was sexy once... The Spectator 4 October 2014
- Is EU referendum rebellion career suicide? Ask Harold Wilson’s cabinet... The Spectator 9 January 2016
- Barometer The Spectator 27 April 2013
- How many NHS dentists earn more than £600,000 a year? The Spectator 8 July 2017
- Barometer The Spectator 11 May 2013