Fake Etymologies

Interesting is better than true.

pa‧per, n. /ˈpeɪpɚ/

From Old French papier, itself a variant of papiel, meaning “relating to the Pope.” (See also “Papal” and Spanish papel.) One of the things Marco Polo brought back from his trip to Asia was paper, and the first Westerner to write on paper – though most historians agree Polo neglected to mention his own experience out of deference – was Pope Gregory X. He awkwardly wrote out The Lord’s Prayer in Latin with a long brush, misspelling only two words.