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Todays Lesson:

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 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....
 

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And here's one for you. This law is still on the books. In Montana a Man can beat his wife with a stick as long as it is no bigger than 1/4" in dia. ans 3 ft. long. :shades:
 

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I've actually heard most of those, compliments the 'net :)

I was thinking of some saying the other day, can't remember now and wonder how it got started...

Now laws, that's a whole nutter barel of monkies/bottle of wax/can of worms!

There's one in OK about it's illeagle to park your horse (goat?) on the 2nd floor unless there's 2 escapes. Another that it's illeagle to eat/cook(?) a hamburger on Sundays... (that's the good part of moving here not growing up here!)
 

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Two sayings I've heard the origins of:

I can't remember exactly which gun this pertains to, but machine guns such as the MG42 are belt fed, and the belts are 3 feet/ 1 yard long. An ammo can, attached to the gun, can hold 9 belt sections, which are clipped together. So, when the gunner shoots off an entire ammo can of rounds, he's said to have "given them the whole nine yards."

Large multi engine aircraft have a control lever ("throttle") for each engine. Alot of times, the top of the throttle levers have a ball on them, to grip just like a standard shift transmission. To accelerate to full throttle, you would push all four power levers all the way forward into the dash, hence "balls to the wall."
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Back in WWII when the P-51 Mustangs where loaded with bullets, each gun/cannon took 27 feet of belted ammunition. So when the pilots landed and where getting rearmed they would say they used the "whole 9 yards."
 

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Thanks weebee! I feel so enlightened now! :)
 

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weebee said:
Back in WWII when the P-51 Mustangs where loaded with bullets, each gun/cannon took 27 feet of belted ammunition. So when the pilots landed and where getting rearmed they would say they used the "whole 9 yards."
The ammo belts may or may not have been 27' long. The phrase wasn't used until the 60's in print or lingo. So this reference is lacking substance. We need to look elsewhere... :shrug:
 
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