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Some interesting facts about the 1500s - origins of sayings

 
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Mike2000
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Joined: 22 Apr 2006
Posts: 722
Location: Mexico City, MX

PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:31 pm    Post subject: Some interesting facts about the 1500s - origins of sayings Reply with quote

A friend of mine sent me this last night, and it was so interesting and fun that I thought I'd share it with you. Hope you like it. They explain, or at least pretend to explain, the origins of many a modern-day tradition or saying.

-.-.-


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 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
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 -made of 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 the 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 the saying "a thresh hold".


(Getting quite an education, aren't we?) Rire


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 the lord of the manor 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.


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 realised 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 ! ! !
Rire Rire Rire
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Rebekah 10
Unchained
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Joined: 13 Apr 2006
Posts: 953
Location: Northern Arizona

PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That IS amazing. That would crazy if it were true and it probably is too. Surpris
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Cpt_Zim83
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Joined: 05 Nov 2006
Posts: 215
Location: Upper Pennisula, MI

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So thats how the bouquet of flowers got started. I'm never going look at a wedding the same way again. Rire
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