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Fw: Fw: Interesting History (fwd)

Poster: "Brett W. McCoy" <bmccoy@lan2wan.com>

This is a bit silly...

--------- Forwarded message ----------
> Life in Medieval Europe
> Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in
> May and were still smelling pretty good by June.  However, they were
> starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the
> Baths equaled a big tub filled with hot water.  The man of the house
> the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other men, then the
> women and finally the children.  Last of all the babies.  By then the
> was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.  Hence the saying,
> 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, bugs lived in the
> When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip
> 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.  So, they found if they made beds with big
> and hung a sheet over the top, it addressed that problem.  Hence those
> beautiful big four poster beds with canopies. The floor was dirt.  Only
> wealthy had something other than dirt, hence the saying "dirt poor". 
> wealthy had slate floors which would get slippery in the winter when
> 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
> A piece of wood was placed at the entry way, hence a "threshhold."

> They cooked in the kitchen in a big kettle that always hung over the
> Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot.  They mostly
> vegetables and didn't get much meat.  They would eat the stew for
> leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over
> next day.  Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been in there for
> month.  Hence the rhyme, "Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas
> porridge in the pot nine days old."

> Sometimes they could obtain pork and would feel really special when
> happened.  When company came over, they would bring out some bacon and
> hang it to show it off.  It was a sign of wealth and that a man "could
> home the bacon."  They would cut off a little to share with guests and
> all sit around and "chew the fat."
> Those with money had plates made of pewter.   Food with a high acid
> caused some of the lead to leach onto the food.  This happened most
> with tomatoes, so they stopped eating tomatoes - for 400 years.
> Most people didn't have pewter plates, but had trenchers - a piece of
> with the middle scooped out like a bowl.  Trenchers were never washed
and a
> lot of times worms got into the wood.  After eating off wormy
> they would get "trench mouth."

> Bread was divided according to status.  Workers got the burnt bottom of
> loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the "upper

> Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey.  The combination would
> sometimes knock them out for a couple of days.  Someone walking along
> road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.  They were
> out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would
> around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.  Hence
> custom of holding a "wake."

> England is old and small and they started running out of
> places to bury people.  So, they would dig up coffins and would take
> their bones to a house and reuse the grave.  In reopening these
coffins, one
> out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and
> realized they had been burying people alive.  So they thought they
> tie a string on their wrist and lead it through the coffin and up
through the
> ground and tie it to a bell.  Someone would have to sit out in the
> all night to listen for the bell.
> Hence on the "graveyard shift" they would know that someone was "saved
> by the bell" or he was a "dead ringer".

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