� #1
Old 05-11-2008, 07:50 AM
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Default Next Time You Feel Like Complaining.......

Interesting indeed....

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 1500's:

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 i t 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 entranceway. 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. 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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� #2
Old 05-11-2008, 04:05 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: USA
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so interesting, Health Junkie!!

there is so much history in language, isn't there? when I was a kid, I never looked up words I didn't know.. I would figure them out from context. Didn't want to stop to look it up.

but now with computers, I often look up words that I am not familiar with, because a lot of times you can see where the word came from, or the phrase, and it is very interesting.. and funny sometimes.

so, thanks for posting this, HJ.. enjoyed it.
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� #3
Old 05-11-2008, 04:26 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The End of A Wire (Sometimes)
Posts: 207
Boss is on a distinguished road

There used to be, (and I'm sure still was in the 1500's), a rather crude method of tax called Window Tax.

People got taxed by the Window. The more you had the more you paid.

Many people blocked up a lot of their windows, to pay less, and in some older houses, certainly in Britain, you can see walls where the windows were bricked up, as the brickwork isn't inkeeping with the rest of wall, so the outline of where a window had been, was made obvious.

It's obviously so true about people smelling a lot though. Even during the times of Queen Elizabeth I, she only bathed once a month, and she was recognised as probably the cleanest person in Britain at that time.

It reminds me of that infamous line in Monty Pythons Holy Grail, when the King comes through a local town.

One guy says the stranger must be a King. Another one asks why, and the first guy says because he hasn't got s*** all over him.
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