If you dont, blame my Mommy, she sent them to me!
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
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
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
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 dropp ings
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 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
thing s 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
poisoni ng 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
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 p eople. 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."
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Bill that was quite interesting. I never knew where some of those saying came from. By the why, thanks for all your advice you give away on this site. I have learned a great deal from reading your posts. Also your last Yok's Yaks was pretty cool to, it is amazing how some things can become such a big part of your life, and you might not relize it until someone puts it into perspective. Good Job!
after all, he was there.