Toothpick



A toothpick is a piece of wood or other substance such as plastic used to remove detritus from the teeth, usually after a meal. A toothpick usually has one or two sharp ends to insert between teeth.

Toothpick grooves have been found in the teeth of prehistoric humans.

There are several references to toothpicks from ancient historical times. Marcus Valerius Martialis mentions Dentiscalpium in his Epigrammata (86-103 AD). Furthermore, a toothpick is also mentioned in Satyricon by Petronius Arbiter (60 AD).

Shakespeare mentions a toothpick in Act II, scene I of Much Ado About Nothing:

I will fetch you a toothpicker now from the furthest inch of Asia; bring you the length of Prester John’s foot; fetch you a hair off the Great Cham’s beard; do you any embassage to the Pigmies, rather than hold three words’ conference with this harpy.

The first use of the toothpick in the United States was perhaps in the Union Oyster House of Boston, Massachusetts, one of the oldest restaurants in the United States. Charles Forster, who had imported toothpicks from South America, apparently decided that the best way to increase demand for his innovation was to pay Harvard students to eat there and to request toothpicks.

The first toothpick-manufacturing machine was patented on February 20, 1872, by Silas Noble, and J. P. Cooley of Granville, Massachusetts.

The toothpick is now part of many utility knives, such as some models of the Swiss Army's.

The toothpick is the centerpiece for a pool game simply called toothpick. Players pick teams and one player dives to the bottom of the pool, placing the toothpick somewhere on the pool floor. The object of the game is to be the first to see the toothpick as it rises out of the water and grab it while jumping in before anyone else can. A player has to catch it in the air as they may not swim around for it or move their arms in the water to find it. A player can have multiple chances at it if they get out of the pool and jump again. Players from opposite teams can play defense against the other by boxing them out but can not push the other player into the pool or hold him back from jumping. However, a player can push an opposing player while he is in the air in order to change his flight path and miss the toothpick.

* The American state of Maine claims to be the toothpick capital of the world, producing "90% of the country's toothpick supply." [citation needed]
* The toothpick is claimed to be the object Americans most often choke on. [citation needed]
* The toothpick may be made out of plastic, wood, or in recent cases, rubber.
* Toothpicks may come in a variety of colors.
* Joe Pesci is an avid toothpick fan.
* Sylvester Stallone's character in the movie Cobra always had a Matchstick jutting out his mouth.
* A toothpick is a slang name for a very narrow pointed boat.
* A Spanish toothpick (also called toothpick bishop-weed or bisnaga) is an umbelliferous plant (Ammi visnaga) whose hardened rays of the umbel are used as toothpicks.
* A toothpick is also a BMX trick. It is a stall/grind performed on the front peg/axle only.
* Paleontologists have found evidence of toothpick use by 600,000 year old hominids.
* Wonko the Sane, a character in So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish claimed that the instructions on a packet of toothpicks was definitive proof that the world had gone insane.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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