No, not Legionnaire's Disease, that stuff sounds awful and I don't want to discuss or even think about it. We're going to the French military as it's been discussed briefly in recent Ham'dams and I find the topic interesting. The French military has been rightly criticized (ridiculed?) for their performance in both World Wars, but they also maintain an incredible military history outside of that embarrassing era. Everybody knows about the brilliance of Napoleon, but from early times (Gauls sacking Rome) to now (French Foreign Legion), France has been a leader in military history. They were the first to encounter modern terrorism and decide how to fight it in their occupation of Algeria. They created the modern military structure of hierarchy based on ability, promotion, and many tiers of leadership that replaced the landed gentry leadership of slave or serf infantry that was the norm prior to the French Revolution. Military words like rifle, carbine, and grenade are French in their etymology for a reason.
Hey, if French military history bores you, how about a brief etymology on the history of the word grenade that includes everybody's favorite Hamsterdam topic: Booze. The pomegranate is a strange but tasty fruit that originated in Iran and is known primarily to Americans through the brand POM Wonderful's pomegranate juice, but should probably be known better as a fruit due to its delicious seeds (called arils) that strangely sit by the hundreds within a lattice pulp structure, I can't think of another fruit with a similar structure. All of that is encased by the hard shell of the pomegranate which gives a structure and appearance that inspired and named the first grenades (see above picture). How did we get from "pomegranate" to "grenade"? Through the intermediary of "grenadine", which originally was an alcoholic tonic made from the bark of pomegranate trees to cure intestinal worms but quickly became the word for a liquer from pomegranate juice. Over time the name and flavor got watered down into something red, sweet, vaguely cherry-tasting and usually containing no pomegranate juice. You can now get this concoction at most grocery stores, but you can still find good grenadine made from pomegranates in specialty stores. Try some if you get a chance. Tasty.
Anyway, I've kept you too long with my strange side stories. On to Hamsterdam!