[moon] home
IPv4

Erlkönig: phrases-from-the-1500s.shtml

parent
[parent webpage]

server
[webserver base]

search
[search erlkonig webpages]

trust
[import certificates]


homes
[talisman]
[zoion]
From: Phil_Glockner
-----Original Message-----
From: Mcmurray, Gene
Sent: 5/24/00 9:57 AM
Subject: 1500's

These are plausible, but I can't verify their truth. 

Here are some facts about the 1500s:     
 
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. 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
dogs, cats and other small animals (mice rats, and 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 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.

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 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 entry way--hence, a "thresh hold."

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."

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 a 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.

Most people did not have pewter plates, but had trenchers, a piece of wood
with the middle scooped out like a bowl. Often trenchers were made from
stale paysan bread which was so old and hard that they could use them for
quite some time. Trenchers were never washed and a lot of times worms and
mold got into the wood and old bread. After eating off wormy moldy
trenchers, one would get "trench mouth."

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."

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would some
times 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."  (or, maybe they were "dead drunk"..that's me, adding
that....sjune)

England is old and small and they started out 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, one 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."

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
encrypt lang [de jp fr] diff backlinks (sec) validate printable
Klein bottle for rent; inquire within.
[ Your browser's CSS support is broken. Upgrade! ]
alexsiodhe, christopher north-keys, christopher alex north-keys