Where did “piss poor” come from?

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posted on Dec, 14 2011 @ 10:02 PM
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I was thinking and talked to another old friend of mine, May-Be,,,, That Spiced Rum Should Not Have Been Opened


We older people need to learn something new every day -- just to keep the grey matter tuned up.


They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot
and then once a day it was taken and 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," and 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 into existence.

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 footing.
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.”
(Getting quite an education, aren't you?)

In those old days, We 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. We ate mostly vegetables
and did not get much meat. We 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.”
{ I used the word WE above because, It was a norm in our home }
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.”

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 whiskey.
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.”

I've read, 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.”
And that's the truth.
Now, whoever said History was boring!!!?




posted on Dec, 14 2011 @ 10:08 PM
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Originally posted by guohua
And that's the truth.



The truth is that overwhelimg vast majority of word etymologies you find on the internet are simply not true.
For some reason, people just like making these up.

Here, for example is probably the real piss poor

However, the expression piss-poor is recent and has nothing to do with tanning. The current state of research suggests that it may have been invented during the Second World War, because the first examples in print date from 1946...


Edit - the rest of that text seems to be a version of something debunked here...
Life in the 1500's

edit on 14-12-2011 by alfa1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 14 2011 @ 10:29 PM
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Nice post, already new most of it though
still interesting.



posted on Dec, 14 2011 @ 10:55 PM
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Originally posted by alfa1

Originally posted by guohua
And that's the truth.



The truth is that overwhelimg vast majority of word etymologies you find on the internet are simply not true.
For some reason, people just like making these up.

Here, for example is probably the real piss poor

However, the expression piss-poor is recent and has nothing to do with tanning. The current state of research suggests that it may have been invented during the Second World War, because the first examples in print date from 1946...


Edit - the rest of that text seems to be a version of something debunked here...
Life in the 1500's

edit on 14-12-2011 by alfa1 because: (no reason given)

I am pretty sure it refers to the Not got a pot to piss in. that was p-poor



posted on Dec, 14 2011 @ 11:01 PM
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reply to post by guohua
 


Like never look a gift horse in the mouth. When buying a horse one of the first things you look at is its teeth.
edit on 14-12-2011 by steveknows because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 14 2011 @ 11:59 PM
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reply to post by alfa1
 


I don't know where you got the idea to debunk anything, If your old enough and heard of some saying or other, add to the old wives tales or urban tales of old.
Don't debunk,,, add!!!!



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 12:00 AM
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Originally posted by steveknows
reply to post by guohua
 


Like never look a gift horse in the mouth. When buying a horse one of the first things you look at is its teeth.
edit on 14-12-2011 by steveknows because: (no reason given)


RIGHT!!!! Look in it's mouth before you decide to sell it or not!!



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 12:03 AM
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Originally posted by guohua
I don't know where you got the idea to debunk anything,



Mainly the bit where you come on to a website who's motto is "deny ignorance" and write a message containing the text "And that's the truth" in a forum where the terms and conditions disallow the posting of knowingly false material.



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 12:11 AM
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Originally posted by alfa1

Originally posted by guohua
I don't know where you got the idea to debunk anything,



Mainly the bit where you come on to a website who's motto is "deny ignorance" and write a message containing the text "And that's the truth" in a forum where the terms and conditions disallow the posting of knowingly false material.



I Do Believe I'm In The Folk Tales and Legends Thread Area,,,, Alls Good Here!!!!
Maybe You Should Lighten-Up a Little Or Better Yet,,,, Report Me
For Posting of Knowingly False Material

If Not, Take This Thread For What It is,,,,, Folk Tales from Old Folk,,,,,,,,, Been Around Awhile

This Quote here:


Mainly the bit where you come on to a website

What's This Come On To A Website B.S.
I've Been On This Website Long Enough


Stop Trying To Derail This Thread Just Because You're To Serious For You're On Good! What's Wrong,,,Don't Like To Have Fun and Think Of The Good Old Days,,, Like when You Used Your Night Bowel in Your Bed Room
edit on 15-12-2011 by guohua because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 12:48 AM
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I've always liked finding out where some of our odd expressions came from.

One that I've found to be especially perplexing is "the whole nine yards". No one seems to know for sure when, where or why this phrase came into existence.

There are a lot of suggestions:
The material needed to make a kilt/suit/saree/wedding train/funeral shroud
The yardarms of a three masted schooner
The length of a machine gun belt
The capacity of a cement truck

The problem is that there's no printed evidence of that phrase being used before the 1960's.



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 01:14 AM
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Originally posted by guohua

Originally posted by steveknows
reply to post by guohua
 


Like never look a gift horse in the mouth. When buying a horse one of the first things you look at is its teeth.
edit on 14-12-2011 by steveknows because: (no reason given)


RIGHT!!!! Look in it's mouth before you decide to sell it or not!!


Yes but this doesn't mean that.
This is a courtesy many people no longer have.

This expression "never look a gift horse in the mouth" means when someone gives you a PRESENT you shouldn't criticize it or check it for flaws. It is a GIFT HORSE AND YOU GOT IT FOR NOTHING so what do you care if it's teeth aren't perfect? That is not meant to keep you from looking at the horses teeth but meant to keep you from remarking to the send-ee about the condition of the horse.

"Piss poor" I think means you did not even have piss to sell. You are "piss poor" or lacking piss.
Doesn't have a pot to piss in means quite literally exactly what is said. One way of acquiring money (similar to giving blood nowadays) was to piss in a pot (if you had a pot) and then sell it to tanners.
edit on 15-12-2011 by newcovenant because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 03:40 PM
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Piss poor, without even a pot to piss in, as in- back when folks didnt have toilets and used a pisspot but some were too poor even for that.
Im guessing. I done seen similar references on "Deadwood" tv and such.



posted on Dec, 16 2011 @ 04:42 AM
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reply to post by guohua
 


I think the saying may come from the Depression days.. the urine sample of a poor person was not as 'healthy' as a well fed person.

if you pissed poor - that meant you were not eating good food.

It meant you were poor. Protien and sugar show up in urine tests. The rich people prolly had more protien or sugar than a poor person....

our urine samples are very intricite now but years ago, the color and smell was what they relied upon.

edit on 16/12/2011 by Thurisaz because: add



posted on Dec, 16 2011 @ 04:49 AM
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Originally posted by N3k9Ni
I've always liked finding out where some of our odd expressions came from.

One that I've found to be especially perplexing is "the whole nine yards". No one seems to know for sure when, where or why this phrase came into existence.


The problem is that there's no printed evidence of that phrase being used before the 1960's.



best place to start to find that one would be the use of the actually word. Yard is measurement and it is relatively new incomparison to older ways of measuring.

en.wikipedia.org...

There was a dispute about what a yard encompassed when the new system of measuring came in so that a person wanted the whole nine yards.... it ended up being .9144 mtrs per yard... and of course people were dubious of the changes at the time (did not want to get ripped off) of any of the portions of land they owned.

so I think that people use the term to indicate that they are smart to the schemes that others might do to rip them off...and that was directed at the govt of the day.

People 'did not come down with the last shower of rain'...




edit on 16/12/2011 by Thurisaz because: add



posted on Feb, 28 2012 @ 03:35 PM
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reply to post by guohua
 


one of my clients got this from his church the other day, good read especially the dead ringers part!



posted on Feb, 28 2012 @ 03:49 PM
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OP, this is simply a post of an email that has been going around the Internet for quite awhile. If you think this is "getting an education," then maybe you'd better take another look. Most all of it is hogwash. And you did not provide your source. These is not your original words.

In any case, look here for an explanation of many of your terms.
edit on 2/28/2012 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 28 2012 @ 05:04 PM
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reply to post by schuyler
 


My Goodness schuyler, Sorry we stole your Thunder or What Ever it was,,,,, Like I said in the beginning, We were talking and drinking,,, Much Like We Are Right Now,,,, Yup, The Rum is being poured,,,, Sloppily too, some is spilling,,,, but not to worry, we have more.
My retired friends and I have some more thoughts to share, YES,,,,,,schuyler, I have friends that send e-mails to me and I have friends over and at our Advanced Age,,,, Drink and Talk and get On ATS for some fun and enlightenment,
I sorry if you have a problem with that,,,,,,, You could just choose not to Click and Read,,,, Won't Hurt My Feelings At All.

So hear is our latest drink fest e-mail we have to Ponder and Share our thoughts and to read your thoughts,,,,, Any Body Got A Problem With That?

No? Good!
We Ask You,,,,,

Can you cry under water?
How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?

I normally wear cut offs and Jesus shoes and a T-shirt with Holes


How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?
Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?
Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?
Really Why?
Why is "bra" singular and "panties" plural?
I'm Not going there,,,, My wife would Kill Me if I told anyone what I thought

Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?
Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane?
Cool thought, We're all Toasting to that one,,,, In Our Will's, Hearse must use Car-Pool Lane and Do 10 over Speed limit!

Wait,,,, Wait a Moment,,,,,,I need some Ice and More Rum,,,,,,,, OK, I'm Back!!

Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?
Why did you just try singing the two songs above?

If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?
edit on 28-2-2012 by guohua because: (no reason given)
edit on 28-2-2012 by guohua because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 28 2012 @ 05:12 PM
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Originally posted by guohua
reply to post by schuyler
 


My Goodness schuyler, Sorry we stole your Thunder or What Ever it was.


I don't think that phrase applies here. I don't have any thunder for you to steal nor am I claiming such. What you did is post something that was not yours without attribution and suggested it was a series of true statements. You even implied we would "get educated" if we read this stuff.

It turns out that this travel-weary email has been on the Net for years and that nearly all the "insights" listed are completely bogus. They are not true at all. All I did was point this out and provide a link to an outside source that discusses these issues.

Perhaps now YOU will "get educated" so that next time you won't try to pass ignorance off as truth.

"Deny Ignorance" Remember?



posted on Feb, 28 2012 @ 06:41 PM
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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 footing. 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.” (Getting quite an education, aren't you?)
reply to post by schuyler
 


Now I've had a little to much to drink and I am Very Befuddled that the above statement has Up set You So Badly,,,,,,,,, Geeeeeeeeee, I was Educated by that little piece of history,,, I don't know everything Like You Do,,,,, So,,,, My reading the above, I was Educated, Is that such a bad thing and then to pass it on,,, this upset you?
You want the rest of us to be Ignorant to such knowledge.
Sorry to have upset your little Kingdom,,,Really

Now that you've derailed the thread and made it all about you,,, I'll go back to Drinking
edit on 28-2-2012 by guohua because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 28 2012 @ 06:57 PM
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The OP would never deliberately steer anyone wrong. Heck, I have heard the same sayings my whole life and thought they were true too.





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