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Think Any of this Stuff is True?

 
 
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 03:06 pm
I got it in an email. It is entertaining, at the least.


History Lesson

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-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 fall on top of your bed. Hence, a bed with bi g posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence, and the saying "Don't let the Bed Bugs bite".

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 the
saying 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. Ever y 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 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, thread 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.
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 03:08 pm
@edgarblythe,
Quick skim and my first impression is that not one is true.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 03:15 pm
Myths, fictions mixed in with some facts.
0 Replies
 
George
 
  5  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 03:28 pm
Before bells had clappers, a poor soul known only as "the village idiot" would
go up to the belfry and ring the bell by slamming his head into it. Hence the
expression:









"I don't know your name, but your face rings a bell."
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 03:29 pm
@George,
George you are a very deep man.
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  2  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 03:32 pm
@edgarblythe,
It was necessary to keep a good supply of cannon balls near the cannon on old war ships. But how to prevent them from rolling about the deck was the problem. The best storage method devised was to stack them as 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/rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate with 16 round indentations, called a Monkey. But 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 wh en chilled.&n bsp; Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannon balls would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey. And all this time, you thought that was a vulgar expression, didn't you? You must send this fabulous bit of historical knowledge to at least a few & unsuspecting friends.
hamburgboy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 03:51 pm
@mysteryman,
what i always wanted to know ... but was afraid to ask - GRIN .
good stuff !
hbg
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 09:24 pm
@George,
George, I get the impression that your major in college was philosophy; it was my minor.
George
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 07:01 am
@cicerone imposter,
Cicero wrote:
George, I get the impression that your major in college was philosophy; it was my minor.

Scholastic Philosophy, to be precise, but how did you guess that?
0 Replies
 
 

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