Strange but True- origin of these phrases

1. In the 1400s a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb.

Hence we have ‘the rule of thumb.’

2. Many years ago in Scotland , a new game was invented. It was ruled ‘Gentlemen Only…

Ladies Forbidden’… and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.

3. Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:

Spades – King David,

Hearts – Charlemagne,

Clubs -Alexander the Great,

Diamonds – Julius Caesar

4. In Shakespeare’s time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase……… ‘goodnight, sleep tight.’

5. It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride’s father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink.

Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.

6. In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts…

So in old England , when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them ‘Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down.’

It’s where we get the phrase ‘mind your P’s and Q’s’

7. Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim or handle of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service.

‘Wet your whistle’ is the phrase inspired by this practice.

8. In 1696, William III of England introduced a property tax that required those living in houses with more than six windows to pay a levy. In order to avoid the tax, house owners would brick up all windows except six. (The Window Tax lasted until 1851, and older houses with bricked-up windows are still a common sight in the U.K.) As the bricked-up windows prevented some rooms from receiving any sunlight, the tax was referred to as “daylight robbery”!

Now, there you have the origin of these phrases.

Interesting ….

Isn’t it.

Forwarded as received.

11 thoughts on “Strange but True- origin of these phrases

  1. Very nice share. I too am preparing something similar for my blog. This shall be a BIG help.
    Here is one from my collection:
    “Break the ice.”
    Meaning: To break off a conflict or commence a friendship.

    Origin: Back when road transportation was not developed, ships would be the only transportation and means of trade. At times, the ships would get stuck during the winter because of ice formation. The receiving country would send small ships to “break the ice” to clear a way for the trade ships. This gesture showed affiliation and understanding between two territories.

    Liked by 4 people

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