June 17, 2003
A while back, we offered readers a handful of tried and true sayings, each containing nuggets of wisdom plus a bit of humor. They seem to have been well received, so now here are a few more supplied again by our friend and correspondent, Roy Kendrick. Try these on for size.
Next time you're 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 by June they still smelled pretty good. However, they were starting to smell so brides carried a bouquet to hide the body odor.
Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of using the nice clean water first, then all of the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children — last of all, the babies. By then the water was so so dirty you could actually lose someone in the tub. 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 dogs, 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 droppings of bugs and other varmints could really mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big post 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 when wet in the winter, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrances. Hence, a "thresh hold."
If you enjoyed these well try to come up with some more.