Friday, December 24, 2010

Very Interesting History Of The Origin Of Some Common Sayings

Interesting  History

They used to use urine to tan  animal skins, so families
used to all pee in  a pot & then once a day it was taken  &
Sold to the tannery.......if you had to  do this to survive
you were "Piss  Poor"

But worse than that were the really  poor folk who couldn't
even afford to buy a  pot......they "didn't have a pot to
piss in"  & were the lowest of the low

The next  time you are washing your hands and  complain
because the water temperature isn't  just how you like it,
think about how things  used to be. Here are some facts about
the  1500s:

Most people got married in June  because they took their
yearly bath in May,  and they still smelled pretty good by
June..  However, since they were starting to smell .  ..... .
Brides carried a bouquet of flowers  to hide the body odor.
Hence the custom today  of carrying a bouquet when  getting married.

Baths consisted of a  big tub filled with hot water. The man
of the  house had the privilege of the nice clean water,  then
all the other sons and men, then the  women and finally the
children. Last of all  the babies. By then the water was so
dirty  you could actually lose someone in it.. Hence  the
saying, "Don't throw the baby out with  the Bath water!"

Houses had thatched  roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no
wood  underneath. It was the only place for animals to  get
warm, so all the cats and other small  animals (mice, bugs)
lived in the roof. When  it rained it became slippery and
sometimes  the animals would slip and fall off the  roof...
Hence the saying "It's raining cats  and dogs."

There was nothing to stop  things from falling into the
house. This  posed a real problem in the bedroom where  bugs
and other droppings could mess up your  nice clean bed.
Hence, a bed with  big posts and a sheet hung over the  top
afforded some protection. That's how  canopy beds came to

The  floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something  other
than dirt. Hence the saying, "Dirt  poor." The wealthy had
slate floors that  would get slippery in the winter when wet,
so  they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep  their
As the winter wore on, they  added more thresh until,  
when you  opened the door, it would all start  slipping outside.                             A piece of wood was placed  in the entrance-way.
Hence: a thresh  hold.

In those old days, they cooked in  the kitchen with a big
kettle that always  hung over the fire.. Every day they lit
the  fire and added things to the pot. They ate  mostly
vegetables and did not get much meat.  They would eat the
stew for dinner, leaving  leftovers in the pot to get cold
overnight  and then start over the next day. Sometimes  stew
had food in it that had been there for  quite a while. Hence
the rhyme: Peas porridge  hot, peas porridge cold, peas
porridge in the  pot nine days old. Sometimes they  could
obtain pork, which made them feel quite  special. When
visitors came over, they would  hang up their bacon to show
off. It was a  sign of wealth that a man could, "bring  home
the bacon." They would cut off a little  to share with guests
and would all sit around  and chew the fat.

Those with money had  plates made of pewter. Food with high
acid  content caused some of the lead to leach onto  the food,
causing lead poisoning death. This  happened most often with
tomatoes, so for the  next 400 years or so, tomatoes  were
considered poisonous.

Bread was  divided according to status. Workers got the  burnt
bottom of the loaf, the family got the  middle, and guests
got the top, or the upper  crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination
would Sometimes  knock the imbibers out for a couple of  days.
Someone walking along the road would  take them for dead and
prepare them for  burial. They were laid out on the  kitchen
table for a couple of days and the  family would gather
around and eat and drink  and wait and see if they would wake
up. Hence  the custom of holding a  wake.

When a criminal had been sentenced to hang at the gallows they would be taken by horse drawn wagon down the road past the pub to the gallows. The custom was to offer a chance for one last drink or one for the road. If the prisoner declined he was considered on the wagon.

England  is old and small and the local folks started  running
out of places to bury people. So they  would dig up coffins
and would take the bones  to a 
bone-house, and reuse the
grave. When  reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25  coffins
were found to have scratch marks on  the inside and they
realized they had been  burying people alive... So they would
tie a  string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it  through the
coffin and up through the ground  and tie it to a bell.
Someone would have to  sit out in the graveyard all night
(the  graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus,  someone
could be saved by the bell or was  considered a dead ringer. 

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