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Where did that come from...

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posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 10:04 AM
I ran across this article today, and thought I would share. From explaining common phrases to long-lived rumours, here are some of my favorites:

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

I had always wondering about this... people must have been eating tomatos up until the time that pewter became popular. Did people think the tomatoes had suddenly turned poison after having been able to eat them for years and years without lead dishes?

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 "upper crust."

I've always liked the middle.

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 thought 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."

One in 25? Holy crap! I would hope that is an exaggeration. I have always wanted to know why it was called a "graveyard" shift. This story ties in pretty nicely with another one on this link about having a "wake" for recently deceased.

Link to Article - Weird History

posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 09:09 AM
You might also enjoy this site:

posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 10:12 AM
I love odd little bits of history and peculiar words! I want to organize a set of bookmarks on for those odd tidbits and factoids. I'll be doing some work as a museum docent this summer and quirky bits of lore like that are always entertaining to drop into any spiel.

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