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Sayings and history

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posted on May, 14 2003 @ 02:51 AM
Thought you folks might enjoy this, and see fit to add some you know about as well:


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

Here are some facts about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in
May and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting
to smell so 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
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
dogs, 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, that
a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could
really 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
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 the floor to help keep their
footing. As the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when
you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of
was placed in the entranceway. Hence the saying 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 the stew had food in it that had been there for quite a
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
"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
and 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 "upper

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would
sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along
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."

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 "bonehouse" 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
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 that History was boring ! ! ! ! !

posted on May, 14 2003 @ 03:04 AM
The there were the ladies of questionable repute who used to hang around General Joe Hooker's tent during the Civil War. (Seemed he liked his lady friends.) Eventually they were call "Hooker's girls" and this was later shortened to "Hooker's".

posted on May, 14 2003 @ 03:07 AM
Did you cut this off? I've seen so many of them I'm not sure if it was the same one, but the "Wake"? lol...

After someone dies usually there is a wake, today it is a bit of a get together.

However the term originated in the 1500s or such and comes from the fact that often during these time periods, people would oft wander the rural streets and get drunk. So people would be on their way home and find a man not moving, and seemingly not breathing in along the road side.

They couldn't be sure if he was just passed out from over drinking or dead so they would lay the body some where in their homes and wait for him to "wake". If after a few days he didn't wake-up the household or whoever took him in were pretty certain he was dead and so had him buried.

posted on May, 14 2003 @ 03:10 AM
LoL jagdflieger I never thought to bring that one up but since you did I'll tell you an interesting story when talking with my grandma about that.

I got to thinking "Well how did Hookers come to be called Hookers...we all know where the name comes from, General Hooker and his mistresses...but how did it come about?"

So then all of a sudden it hit me.

Soldier 1: "Who are those ladies over there?"

Soldier 2: "They're Hooker's"

And forever more those ladies were Hookers, not "Hooker's"


Case solved

posted on May, 14 2003 @ 03:31 AM
Then there was the story about the early days of computers (ENIAC). The story goes that one day the computer wouldn't work. A check of the electronics revealed that an insect had entered the circuitry and caused a malfunction. So "getting the bugs out" was invented and later the term "bug" was used to mean a program error.

posted on May, 14 2003 @ 03:36 AM
Well I never heard that as a story, I heard that as a fact, that they would go in and make sure to clean out all the bugs before powering up those big vaccum tube computers back in the 50s lol...

Man I should get out that book of "old sayings" this is fun.

Ohh ok I remembered one.

A "Crank" comes from the middle ages, a term applied to a dead soldier on the battle feild who had died in a twisted and contorted manner. His limbs forming angles that we now come to call a "crank" or an elbow shape.

posted on May, 14 2003 @ 03:47 AM
Very, very informative. Thankyou Thomas.

posted on May, 14 2003 @ 03:59 AM
Then there was the days of the flint lock rifles or pistels. Powder, bullet, and wadding were placed in the barrel. Fine powder was placed in what was called the flash pan and a cover was closed over it. A small hole led from the flash pan to the end of the barrel where the powder charge for the bullet was. When the weapon was fired, the flint would strike a plate and cause a spark which would ignite the powder in the pan.
The fire would then go down the tube and ignite the powder charge in the barrel. Sometimes the tube got clogged and the charge in the barrel would not ignite.
Hence the term "flash in the pan".

posted on May, 14 2003 @ 04:18 AM
Reminds me of my gramps making a cannon lol...worked the same way only not flint-lock so there was no pan, just light the little funnel of powder (which he home-made, strong stuff lol), and well worked the same way lol

posted on May, 14 2003 @ 07:23 AM
Not a saying, but the salute comes from the middle ages, when knights in armour were nipping about on their horses slaying people and all that, but if two knights didn't recognise each other they would have a fight. So eventually to stop killing each other when they met they would tilt back the face of the helmet to show their ugly mug and this turned into a sign of respect and hence the salute.
The same period also produced the stripes on a unifrom. They represent broken lances in a joust, ta daa Lance corporal etc.

posted on May, 14 2003 @ 08:28 AM
And just in case anyone thinks England was the only mad place in the Middle Ages...or that gender-bending and sexual unorthodoxy is anything new... in Venice there is the delightful Ponte delle Tette (much admired by tourists) and this means "Bridge of Breasts" ("t*ts" is closer).
Partly because there was so much competition from male prostitutes, and partly because of government concern at what were then called "i sodomiti" - the female prostitutes used to stand bare-breasted on this bridge so that customers could see that they were actually ladies...rather than gentlemen..of the evening.

posted on May, 15 2003 @ 06:42 AM
Can you tell me where this bridge is? I go to Venice about three times a year, and I'll go to the bridge next time I'm there


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