Another interesting email to share before I delete
I appreciated this info -hope you do too!
I find it very interesting -the origin of sayings et al...and how they are handed down to the generations .
I did not know these things. Did you? I found some of these amusing...so on with the post.
There is a bit of history buff in all of us.
Here are some interesting tidbits that just maybe you didn't know.
In George Washington's days, there were no cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him
standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how
many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are 'limbs,' therefore painting them would cost the buyer
more.. Hence the expression, 'Okay,but it'll cost you an arm and a leg.' (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint)
As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October) Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their
heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn't wash the wigs, so to clean them
they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the
term 'big wig.' Today we often use the term 'here comes the Big Wig' because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.
In the late 1700's,many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used
for dining. The 'head of the household' always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally a guest, who was usually
a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting
in the chair the 'chair man.' Today in business, we use the expression or title 'Chairman' or 'Chairman of the Board.'
Personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee's
wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman's
face she was told, 'mind your own bee's wax.' Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term 'crack a smile'. In addition, when
they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt . . .. Therefore, the expression 'losing face.
Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A proper and dignified woman, as in 'straight laced'. . Wore a tightly tied lace.
Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the 'Ace of
Spades.' To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be
stupid or dumb because they weren't 'playing with a full deck.'
Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TV's or
radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars. They were told to 'go sip some ale' and listen to people's
conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. 'You go sip here' and 'You go sip there.' The two words
'go sip' were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we have the term 'gossip.'
At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid's job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the
drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in 'pints' and who was drinking in 'quarts,' hence the term 'minding
your'P's and Q's '
One more and betting you didn't know this!
In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was
necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a
square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen.. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be
stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem...how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under
the others. The solution was a metal plate called a 'Monkey' with 16 round indentations.
However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make 'Brass Monkeys.'
Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled.
Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the
monkey.. Thus, it was quite literally, 'Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.' (All this time, you thought that was an improper
expression, didn't you.)
Sorry no source of info. These make sense to me - sound legit -but if there are any inaccuracies, please by all means, set the OP straight .
Thought this was interesting info and wanted to pass it on-
edit on 30-3-2012 by SeekerLou because: (no reason given)