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An umbrella or parasol is basically a portable canopy designed to protect the carrier against rain or sunlight...and large flocks of birds... There are many weird names for the umbrella, among them are brolly, parapluie, rainshade, sunshade, gamp, and bumbershoots. I can understand sun and rain shade but bumbershoot? Where did that one come from?
The word "umbrella" is a combination of two Latin words; "umbella" which is a flat-topped rounded flower, and "umbra" which means "shaded." The word "Parasol" comes from the root words "para" which means "to stop or shield" and "sol" which is an ancient and commonly known word for the sun.
Umbrellas are usually waterproof since they are made to keep rain away, but parasols are not generally waterproof because they are made primarily to protect against the harsh rays of the sun. Parasols can simply fashioned out of palm-leaves, just like the ones used to fan the Pharaohs in ancient Egypt and carried behind the Pope in modern day processions. The Chinese are credited with creating the collapsible umbrella around the year 21 A.D. These days most umbrellas are manufactured in China.
Whether hung right side up or upside down, these umbrella ornaments will add festive and decorative fun to any event or occasion involving children, markers and crayons.
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