Back Then

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.


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. 

Hence the custom today of 

carrying a bouquet when getting married.

baby winking

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..

Old cabin

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.

Canopy bed

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. 


a bed with big posts 

and a sheet hung over the top 

afforded some protection. 

That's how canopy beds came into existence.

dirt floor

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 the saying a thresh hold.

(Getting quite an education, aren't ya?)


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...

Hanging bacon

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..

Pewter Plate

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 Cup

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; 


someone could be, 

saved by the bell, 

or was considered a 

dead ringer.

And that's the truth....


whoever said History was boring ! ! !

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