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dale means valley or farm as in Scottsdale


How Scottsdale got its dale

Today's question:

What is the origin of the suffix "dale" that is attached to so many towns' names, such as Scottsdale or Glendale?

A dale is valley and generally has sort a pleasant connotation.

The word comes from the Old English word doel and the Old English probably got it from the Old Norse word dali, which was a common name for a farmstead.

So a small town in a dale might be called Scotts-in-the-dale or something like that. Over time, the suffix just got stuck on towns' names whether they were in a dale or not.

How can we blow out different temperatures of breath - a warmer breath used to fog up a window or a cooler breath used in blowing out candles?

I was going to say something snarky about this question, but I decided to be nice instead.

You can't change the temperature of your breath. It gets its temperature from your body's temperature. You can't make it go up or down.

That said, you are technically correct about colder breath putting out a candle.

To burn a candle needs fuel the wax, oxygen and heat to keep it burning. When you blow on a candle your breath, being cooler than the flame, cools the wax to below its combustion temperature.

Every day I see joggers running in the asphalt street immediately along side in most cases a very wide concrete sidewalk. Am I to believe jogging in the asphalt street is softer thereby affording some therapeutic benefit versus the sidewalk? If that were true then how come you can't see the asphalt giving way when a large truck rolls by?

Concrete is about 10 times more dense than asphalt.

Asphalt paving can expand and contract with the heat and the moisture and has a lot more give to it. So it is easier on a jogger's legs.

And I suppose that if you had the proper high tech tools or cameras or whatever you might see an asphalt surface sag a bit if a big truck drive over it.

Reach Thompson at or 602-444-8612.


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