Topic: Where did this phrase come from?

Although, this is lenghty I found it to be an interesting read.  I hope you enjoy this also.

Where did this phrase come from?
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
"didn't have a pot to piss in" & were the lowest of the low.

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 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

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 an 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.

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!"

(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
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 ! ! !

So .. . . get out there and educate someone! ~~~ Share these facts with a
friend like I just did! ! !


Re: Where did this phrase come from?

I can add this one from my decorative arts course. The fancy plastered ceilings in old English castles were difficult and time consuming to make. Once up on the scaffolding the plasterer was set to work creating elaborate decoration. To keep the plaster the right consistency, wine and other forms of alcohol were added to the plaster mixture. Ofcourse workers also helped them selves to the drinks which is why getting drunk is called getting plastered.

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

Re: Where did this phrase come from?

This is great for us English language speakers.I knew a lot of it,I think we hark back to this a lot in Australia              Janet

Re: Where did this phrase come from?

Loved it! Loved it! Loved it!  How fun to wake up to this...thanks.


Re: Where did this phrase come from?

That was great.  I also had heard of some of these, but did learn a few new ones. Thanks!

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Where did this phrase come from?

What a great read.  Thanks for the fun education.

Wishing all God's blessings!