Forums / Off Topic / A little bit of history...the origins of some familiar english phrases...

4 years 24 weeks ago, 2:17 PM

dockit

dockit's picture

Rank:
Major General
Points:
472
Join Date:
Nov 2009
Location:
North battleford , saskatchewan, Canada

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:

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 "didnt have a pot to piss in" and were the lowest of the low.

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, 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.

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...

I intend to live forever, or die trying. It Could Be that the Purpose of Your Life is Only to Serve as a Warning to Others. Join the Army, meet interesting people, kill them. All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand.
4 years 24 weeks ago, 2:45 PM

luckybychoice

luckybychoice's picture


Rank:
Secretary of the Treasury
Points:
6795
Join Date:
May 2009
Location:
United States
great article

son of a gun

i tried being reasonable,i didn't like it, NRA LIFE MEMBER,USMC VETERAN
4 years 24 weeks ago, 4:01 PM

greg az

greg az's picture

Rank:
Secretary of Homeland Security
Points:
5873
Join Date:
Oct 2009
Location:
New York, NY, Israel
Yeah great post Dockit

How are things up north buddy.. you guys getting snow yet..

i know that my Grandparents talked about having a "weekly" bath.. and i know that wall paper for a lot of folks that grew up poor was used to keep the wind out..

a man has to hold his word, hold his beliefs, and hold a good sight picture.
4 years 24 weeks ago, 4:05 PM

HKBauer

HKBauer's picture

Rank:
Lieutenant General
Points:
1532
Join Date:
Jul 2010
Location:
United States
Thank Dockit

That was a great post! Learn somthin everyday

4 years 24 weeks ago, 4:17 PM

dockit

dockit's picture

Rank:
Major General
Points:
472
Join Date:
Nov 2009
Location:
North battleford , saskatchewan, Canada

Off and on with the snow Yorkton has a little sticking, not much sticking here not cold enough.

Anytime fella's Keep em' straight down there will ya, ok eh.

I intend to live forever, or die trying. It Could Be that the Purpose of Your Life is Only to Serve as a Warning to Others. Join the Army, meet interesting people, kill them. All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand.
4 years 24 weeks ago, 5:28 PM

HKBauer

HKBauer's picture

Rank:
Lieutenant General
Points:
1532
Join Date:
Jul 2010
Location:
United States

You betcha dont you know eh

4 years 24 weeks ago, 5:41 PM

tallguy007

tallguy007's picture

Rank:
Lieutenant General
Points:
2068
Join Date:
Aug 2010
Location:
yavin, outer rim, American Samoa
woow

lol very kooooooooooooooooooooool

DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR
4 years 24 weeks ago, 10:30 PM

Bigshot Nobody

Bigshot Nobody's picture

Rank:
Lieutenant General
Points:
721
Join Date:
Oct 2009
How bout 1 more

The Bombing runs over Germany is where the term 'the whole nine yards' comes from. The machine guns were belt fed,, so buddies would ask how a bomb run went when they made it back to the airbase. Most were met with "I give 'em the whole nine yards" (the length of the belt of ammo).

"We fight not for Glory nor for Honors; but only and alone we fight for Freedom, which no Good Man surrenders but with his life" - Robert the Bruce "Declaration of Arbroath"
4 years 24 weeks ago, 10:35 PM

Larry Wagner

Larry Wagner's picture

Rank:
Lieutenant General
Points:
1860
Join Date:
Nov 2009
Location:
Arizona, United States
Evening Big

I have heard that one before, I love that "did you know" stuff.

Any day above dirt is a good day!!! My New Motto: Where Do I Sign? (Oh yes I would)

Who's Online

Guns Lot Activity
Users
Currently Active Users: 759 (0 members and 759 guests)

Users Active within the last 24 hours
DanH, jf.chandler sr., captmax, tallguy007, daisycutter, Pa Pa Tom, DanO, LLE, teko52, BushBoy
Guns Lot Statistics
Stats Topics: 8,748, Comments: 162,459, Members: 23,517
Welcome our newest member: Hank6046

Recent Activity