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Origin of old sayings
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Origin of old sayings - August 7, 2009, 09:13 AM

Never cared to find out where these came from.


Friday education:



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...

And that's the truth...Now, whoever said History was boring ! ! !


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Alex
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August 7, 2009, 10:51 AM

Good find Alex, I'm not convinced on the last one but either way its good.


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August 7, 2009, 11:22 AM

Pretty cool! Thanks.

On the high seas they would wrap a corpse in canvas before having a burial at sea. The last stitch as they sewed the canvas around the corpse always went through the corpses nose.

The reason? If a stitch through the nose didn't wake them they knew they were really dead.
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August 7, 2009, 11:23 AM

Interesting. Now I seem to remember the saying, "Bite the bullet", coming from Civil War times......


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August 7, 2009, 11:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by #452-LE View Post
Interesting. Now I seem to remember the saying, "Bite the bullet", coming from Civil War times......
Didn't medics used to have patients bite a bullet as they'd tend to them as a way to help with pain?


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August 7, 2009, 11:26 AM

"Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey" comes from the mariners who had cannons on their vessels. The balls were stacked in pyramids near the cannons on something that sort of looked like a pool rack. It was made of brass so that the corrosive effects of the salt water weren't as much a concern. The consequence of using brass, however, was that it expands and contracts quite a bit with fluctuations in ambient temperature. Therefore, in cold weather the "brass monkey" as it was called could eventually contract enough to push the bottom layer of cannon balls up and out onto the deck--the balls of the brass monkey got frozen off.


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August 7, 2009, 11:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeShirtDude View Post
"Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey" comes from the mariners who had cannons on their vessels. The balls were stacked in pyramids near the cannons on something that sort of looked like a pool rack. It was made of brass so that the corrosive effects of the salt water weren't as much a concern. The consequence of using brass, however, was that it expands and contracts quite a bit with fluctuations in ambient temperature. Therefore, in cold weather the "brass monkey" as it was called could eventually contract enough to push the bottom layer of cannon balls up and out onto the deck--the balls of the brass monkey got frozen off.

That funky monkey!


http://www.youtube.com/view_play_lis...844F779ADF89CA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNDlf6hA6TY

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August 7, 2009, 11:35 AM

Even wondered about the origin of the word “ok”? During the American Civil War, there was a custom to write in the daily report the number of deads; if none, they wrote zero killed, or simply “ok”


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August 7, 2009, 11:45 AM

Back in the WWII days the machine guns on the fighters were normally fed with a single linked belt of .50 cal ammunition, whch was about 27 feet long. If they fired all their ammo, they had then shot "the whole 9 yards".
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August 7, 2009, 12:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by spud View Post

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.

Picture it. What if you are at a wake and suddenly the person hops up and says "why the party?"

I would shit bricks. (where did that term come from?)


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August 7, 2009, 12:51 PM

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Originally Posted by {SALVA} View Post
Good find Alex, I'm not convinced on the last one but either way its good.
Learned the last one in archaeology class...


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it's how many times you get back up!
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August 7, 2009, 12:59 PM

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Back in the WWII days the machine guns on the fighters were normally fed with a single linked belt of .50 cal ammunition, whch was about 27 feet long. If they fired all their ammo, they had then shot "the whole 9 yards".
That saying always baffled me. You hear it all the time in football but duh.. you need 10 yards.
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August 7, 2009, 01:05 PM

Quote:
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Picture it. What if you are at a wake and suddenly the person hops up and says "why the party?"

I would shit bricks. (where did that term come from?)
"Shit a brick" came from when poll tax was calculated by the number of bricks in your house in the 1970's, causing many people to unbrick their walls or "shit a brick" meaning to get rid of
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August 7, 2009, 01:06 PM

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That saying always baffled me. You hear it all the time in football but duh.. you need 10 yards.
which is even more baffeling considering football is "a game of inches"
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August 7, 2009, 01:28 PM

50 Fun Facts - some you already know


1. If you are right handed, you will tend to chew your food on your right side. If you are left handed, you will tend to chew your food on your left side.

2. If you stop getting thirsty, you need to drink more water. For when a human body is dehydrated, its thirst mechanism shuts off.

3. Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying.

4. Your tongue is germ free only if it is pink. If it is white there is a thin film of bacteria on it.

5. The Mercedes-Benz motto is “Das Beste oder Nichts” meaning “the best or nothing”.

6. The Titanic was the first ship to use the SOS signal.

7. The pupil of the eye expands as much as 45 percent when a person looks at something pleasing.

8. The average person who stops smoking requires one hour less sleep a night.

9. Laughing lowers levels of stress hormones and strengthens the immune system. Six-year-olds laugh an average of 300 times a day. Adults only laugh 15 to 100 times a day.

10. The roar that we hear when we place a seashell next to our ear is not the ocean, but rather the sound of blood surging through the veins in the ear.

11. Dalmatians are born without spots.

12. Bats always turn left when exiting a cave.

13. The ‘v’ in the name of a court case does not stand for ‘versus’, but for ‘and’ (in civil proceedings) or ‘against’ (in criminal proceedings).

14. Men’s shirts have the buttons on the right, but women’s shirts have the buttons on the left.

15. The owl is the only bird to drop its upper eyelid to wink. All other birds raise their lower eyelids.

16. The reason honey is so easy to digest is that it’s already been digested by a bee.

17. Roosters cannot crow if they cannot extend their necks.

18. The color blue has a calming effect. It causes the brain to release calming hormones.

19. Every time you sneeze <http://www.hemmy.net/2006/04/30/50-interesting-facts/#> some of your brain cells die.

20. Your left lung is smaller than your right lung to make room for your heart.

21. The verb “cleave” is the only English word with two synonyms which are antonyms of each other: adhere and separate.

22. When you blush, the lining of your stomach also turns red.

23. When hippos are upset, their sweat turns red.

24. The first Harley Davidson motorcycle was built in 1903, and used a tomato can for a carburetor.

25. The lion that roars in the MGM logo is named Volney.

26. Google is actually the common name for a number with a million zeros.

27. Switching letters is called spoonerism. For example, saying jag of Flapan, instead of flag of Japan.

28. It cost 7 million dollars to build the Titanic and 200 million to make a film about it.

29. The attachment of the human skin to muscles is what causes dimples.

30. There are 1,792 steps to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

31. The sound you hear when you crack your knuckles is actually the sound of nitrogen gas bubbles bursting.

32. Human hair and fingernails continue to grow after death.

33. It takes about 20 seconds for a red blood cell to circle the whole body.

34. The plastic things on the end of shoelaces are called aglets.

35. Most soccer players run 7 miles in a game.

36. The only part of the body that has no blood supply <http://www.hemmy.net/2006/04/30/50-interesting-facts/#> is the cornea in the eye. It takes in oxygen directly from the air.

37. Every day 200 million couples make love, 400,000 babies are born, and 140,000 people die.

38. In most watch advertisements the time displayed on the watch is 10:10 because then the arms frame the brand of the watch (and make it look like it is smiling).

39. Colgate <http://www.hemmy.net/2006/04/30/50-interesting-facts/#> faced big obstacle marketing toothpaste in Spanish speaking countries. Colgate translates into the command “go hang yourself.”

40. The only 2 animals that can see behind itself without turning its head are the rabbit and the parrot.

41. Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

42. The average person laughs 13 times a day.

43. Do you know the names of the three wise monkeys? They are:Mizaru(See no evil), Mikazaru(Hear no evil), and Mazaru(Speak no evil)

44. Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

45. German Shepherds bite humans more than any other breed of dog.

46. Large kangaroos cover more than 30 feet with each jump.

47. Whip makes a cracking sound because its tip moves faster than the speed of sound.

48. Two animal rights protesters were protesting at the cruelty of sending pigs to a slaughterhouse in Bonn. Suddenly the pigs, all two thousand of them, escaped through a broken fence and stampeded, trampling the two hapless protesters to death.

49. If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural cause.

50. The human heart creates enough pressure while pumping to squirt blood 30 feet!!


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