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You know you have always wanted to know!

You know you have always wanted to know!

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  • MariahsMommy 06-06-06 | 09:59 PM
  • In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames
    by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress
    tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the
    phrase "goodnight, sleep tight."

    It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that
    for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would
    supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead
    is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based,
    this period was called the honey month or what we know today
    as the honeymoon.

    In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in
    old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would
    yell at them mind their own pints and quarts and settle
    down. It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's."

    Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle
    baked into the rim or handle of their ceramic cups. When
    they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some
    service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this

    In Scotland, a new game was invented. It was entitled
    Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden.... and thus the word GOLF
    entered into the English language.

    Most people got married in June because they took their
    yearly bath in May and were still smelling pretty good by
    June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides
    carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the b.o. Baths equaled
    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, 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 pets. . . dogs, cats and other small
    animals, mice, rats, 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

    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 really mess up your nice clean
    bed. So, they found if they made beds with big posts and
    hung a sheet over the top, it addressed that problem. Hence
    those beautiful big 4 poster beds with canopies.

    The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other
    than dirt, hence the saying "dirt poor." The wealthy had
    slate floors which would get slippery in the winter when
    wet. So they spread thresh on the floor to help keep their
    footing. As the winter wore on they kept adding more thresh
    until when you opened the door it would all start slipping
    outside. A piece of wood was placed at the entry way, hence
    a "thresh hold."

    They cooked in the kitchen in a big kettle that always hung
    over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things
    to the pot. They mostly ate vegetables and didn't 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 the stew had food in it that had been in
    there for a month. Hence the rhyme: " peas porridge hot,
    peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."

    Sometimes they could obtain pork and would feel really
    special when that happened. When company came over, they
    would bring out some bacon and hang it to show it off. It
    was a sign of wealth and that a man "could really 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 a high
    acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food.
    This happened most often with tomatoes, so they stopped
    eating tomatoes . . . for 400 years.

    Most people didn't have pewter plates, but had trenchers --
    a piece of wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl.
    Trenchers were never washed and a lot of times worms got
    into the wood. After eating off wormy trenchers, they would
    get "trench mouth."

    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 them 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 they started running out of
    places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and
    would take their bones to a house and re-use the grave. In
    reopening these coffins, one out of 25 coffins were found to
    have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had
    been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a
    string on their wrist and 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 to listen for the
    bell. Hence on the "graveyard shift" they would know that
    someone was "saved by the bell" or he was a "dead ringer."
  • twinkletoes twinkletoes's Avatar 06-06-06 | 10:28 PM
  • I've always loved these!! Keep them coming
  • cynthia cynthia's Avatar 06-07-06 | 02:42 AM
  • Very interesting!!
  • erinjj erinjj's Avatar 06-08-06 | 09:55 AM
  • Interesting!
  • Beckamarie2 Beckamarie2's Avatar 06-08-06 | 11:43 PM
  • How funny and very interesting

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