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  1. #1
    Senior Scrapper
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Found this in a blog.

    My sister sent me a cool email a while ago, which I fully intended on blogging,
    but it got lost along the way. My last blog entry brought it to mind when I wrote
    about decorating a pie crust. It was the phrase 'upper crust' which brought it to mind
    . Well, you'll see as follows:

    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

    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 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
    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 "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 that History was boring!!!!

  2. #2
    Senior Scrapper
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Fingerlakes Region, NY
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    I love these sorts of emails!Thanks for sharing- really makes sense when you realize where the words & sayings we use came from doesn't it?

  3. #3
    Senior Scrapper
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Loganville, Georgia
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    Very interesting! Thanks for posting.

  4. #4
    Senior Scrapper judyjay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Central Texas
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    I had heard a few of these before but several of them were new to me. Thanks for the education.

    Check out my scrappy blog at http://scrap-a-doodlestamping.blogspot.com/

    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil. 4:13



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