Saturday, June 17, 2006

Useless Trivia

Hundreds of years ago ...

The floors were 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 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 a “thresh hold.”

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.”

Bread was divided according to social status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or “upper crust.”

more later ...

5 comments:

Matt said...

Wow! I sometimes wondered where these little saying came from! Why would one want nice slate floors and then cover them up with straw though? Not cute.

Mary Christine said...

I love looking at the etiology of sayings, expressions, words... thanks!

Diego said...

thanks for the trivia.....have a great weekend!

Diego said...

wait.....that was "useless trivia"...sorry....

BigSkymAAck said...

I liked the idea of learning that stuff. Straw must have been different then. The stuff I have been around can be pretty slick. I thunk it was some good learning I's getn then MC went put one them hi dollr words in thar so now I'm havin to go find a dicionery. I amin't evn got un ofem.