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The Cold, Hard Facts

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The Cold, Hard Facts

Interesting but True Trivia.

TRIVIA
Trivia - The Cold Facts
Geographical Trivia
WAHM Terms
Famous Quotes (Some not so famous)


Famous Historical FIRSTS
1500 - 1700's
1800's
1900 - 1960
1961 - 1999
2000's


GOING TO THE DOGS
Animal Trivia
Can Dogs See Color?
Water -- It's Essential
Puppy love
If a dog were a teacher...

Trivia has always fascinated me -- simply because wack-o things really do happen! And, from those seemingly weird events, customs and sayings have been passed down through the generations!

Did you ever wonder where some of these old clichés came from? The following historical facts are interesting — and true.

Interesting Tid Bit

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 odour. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Interesting Tid Bit

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."

Interesting Tid Bit

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."

Interesting Tid Bit

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house, which posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really 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.

Interesting Tid Bit

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, "dirt poor."

Interesting Tid Bit

The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, 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 entranceway. Hence the saying, "thresh hold."

Interesting Tid Bit

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 the 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."

Interesting Tid Bit

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."

Interesting Tid Bit

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 and death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Interesting Tid Bit

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 crust."

Interesting Tid Bit

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock them 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."

Interesting Tid Bit

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 thought 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...




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