Interesting Srories Behind the Tales Or Plain Crap?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by HellsKitchenmanNYC, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. HellsKitchenmanNYC

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    Someone sent me these explanations for certain sayings,,,,here we go...



    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 whiskey. 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.

     
  2. B_subgirrl

    B_subgirrl New Member

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    I got this email too and loved it! As someone who is pretty interested in history, I can say that there is at least some truth in many of the stories above. Some of them are very untrue. The tomato one for instance. Tomatoes were rejected pretty much straight away when they arrived in England. No one ate them, so there was no opportunity for them to be called poisonous through association with lead poisoning. They were thought to be poisonous, but not for this reason.
     
  3. HellsKitchenmanNYC

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    Great!@ thx Subgirl. But now we have to go and see if yr tale of tomato rejection is true! Heee It could be as true as the orig. stories...got me? :D
     
  4. vince

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    In the days before air travel and air conditioning were common, the normal mode of transportation from Britain to India and the Far East was by sea. First in sailing ships and later by steamer. The longest part of the journey was the north-south leg from Southhampton to the Cape and this meant they spent days or weeks in the tropical heat. The coolest, more comfortable side of the ship was the side that got the morning sun and was shaded in the afternoon and cabins on that side cost more to book than the hot side. On the trip out, that was the left side which is called "port". The right or "starboard" took the sun in the afternoon. The situation was reversed on the journey home. Hence, if you had the money, when you booked your passage, you would but a ticket that was Port Out, Starboard Home. This is how the word "Posh" came into being.
     
  5. B_subgirrl

    B_subgirrl New Member

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    Hee, hee. Feel free. I'm interested in anything you find out. :smile:
     
  6. B_subgirrl

    B_subgirrl New Member

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    There's a song in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang about that, and when I was a kid every time we watched the movie my mum told the story you just told. But I always thought she was making it up!
     
  7. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    There are many historical/practical reasons why these expressions came into being and I've heard most of them before, many from historians who would know. I think the stories are great fun.
     
  8. Gillette

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    The version I had heard was that it was in reference to trans Atlantic crossings originating out of England where the Southern facing cabins were preferred; Port Over, Starboard Home.

    Neat to learn it had another application.
     
  9. justmeincal

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    Thanks Hells, that made for an interesting read.
     
  10. HellsKitchenmanNYC

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    Now if we could only find out why bitter old women are called Old Crones. What on earth is a crone? I guess I should check Wiki?! lol
     
  11. justmeincal

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    a crone is an old malicious woman usually with powers, think of an old ugly witch.
     
  12. beachbum1971

    beachbum1971 Member

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    I have purchased books with stories like these as Christmas gifts for people who are impossible to buy for. They make a great fascinating read! Thanks for sharing.
     
  13. ronin001

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    Thanks for the post Dude, if I ever get on Jeopardy, these out of the way facts will be a great help I am sure
     
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