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Where did Piss Poor come from?


Interesting History


In the 16th century is was common practice to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all urinate in a pot and then once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery.......if you had to do this to survive, you were "piss poor".  But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot......they "didn't have a pot to piss in" & were the lowest of the low.


Now, 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. Here are some facts about the 1500s:


Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.

Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

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 planking underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs, etc) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off or through 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 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 cold and 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 added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside, so a piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.


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


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. 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 high acid content would cause some of the lead to leach into the food, which, in turn would cause death by lead poisoning. As this happened most often with tomatoes, for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were thought to be 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 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; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer.

And that's the truth....Now, whoever said history was boring!!!




 

 

HERE THEN IS A POEM CONCERNING THE LUNACY OF OUR LANGUAGE. PLEASE BEAR WITH ME FOR AN "ENGLISH LESSON"
WE'LL START WITH BOX, THE PLURAL IS BOXES BUT THE PLURAL OF OX IS OXEN, NOT OXES. NOW ONE FOWL IS GOOSE AND TWO ARE CALLED GEESE YET THE PLURAL OF MOOSE SHOULD NEVER BE MEESE.
YOU MAY FIND A LONE MOUSE OR A WHOLE LOT OF MICE BUT YOU CAN NEVER FIND MOUSES IN A ROW OF OLD HICE. IF THE PLURAL OF MAN IS ALWAYS CALLED MEN THEN WHY CANT THE PLURAL OF PAN BE CALLED PEN??
THE COW IN THE PLURAL CAN BE COWS, KINE OR CATTLE BUT THE PLURAL OF VOW IS JUST VOWS, NO VINE AND NO VATTLE. I SPEAK OF A FOOT, YOU SHOW ME YOUR FEET AND I GIVE YOU A BOOT... WOULD A PAIR BE CALLED BEET??
IF ONE IS A TOOTH AND A WHOLE SET ARE TEETH WHY SHOULDN'T THE PLURAL OF BOOTH BE CALLED BEETH?? IF THE SINGULAR IS THIS AND PLURAL IS THESE THEN WOULD MORE THAN ONE KISS BE NICKNAMED KESE??
NOW ONE MAY BE THAT AND THREE MAY BE THOSE BUT THE PLURAL OF HAT WOULD NEVER BE HOSE. WE SPEAK OF A BROTHER AND ALSO OF BRETHEREN BUT THOUGH WE SAY MOTHER, WE NEVER SAY METHEREN.
THE MASCULINE PRONOUNS ARE HE, HIS AND HIM BUT IMAGINE THE FEMININE SHE, SHIS AND SHIM?? SO OUR ENGLISH, I THINK YOU ALL WILL AGREE IS THE TRICKIEST LANGUAGE YOU EVER DID SEE.
NOW, I TAKE IT, DEAR FRIENDS, YOU ALREADY KNOW OF TOUGH AND BOUGH AND COUGH AND DOUGH. AND OTHERS MAY STUMBLE, OH NO, BUT NOT YOU ON HICCOUGH AND THOROUGH AND SLOUGH AND THROUGH !!!
WELL DONE !!! AND NOW YOU WISH, PERHAPS TO LEARN OF SOME LESS FAMILIAR TRAPS. BEWARE OF HEARD, A DREADFUL WORD THAT LOOKS LIKE A BEARD AND SOUNDS LIKE A BIRD.
THEN THERE'S DEAD, SAID LIKE BED, NOT BEAD AND FOR GOODNESS SAKE, NEVER SAID DEED! ALSO WATCH OUT FOR MEAT, GREAT AND THREAT BECAUSE THESE WORDS RHYME WITH SUITE, STRAIGHT AND DEBT.
MOTH IS NOT MOTH, WHEN APPEARING IN MOTHER NOR BOTH AS IN BOTHER OR BROTH AS IN BROTHER. HERE IS NOT A MATCH FOR THERE NOR DEAR AND FEAR FOR BEAR AND PEAR.
THEN THERE IS DOSE, ROSE AND LOSE JUST LOOK THEM UP... WITH GOOSE AND CHOOSE. AND CORK AND WORK AND CARD AND WARD AND FONT AND FRONT AND WORD AND SWORD.
AND DO AND GO, OH YES, THWART AND CART COME COME, DEAR FRIENDS, I'VE HARDLY MADE START. A DREADFUL LANGUAGE? WHY MAN ALIVE I'D LEARNED TO SPEAK IT BY THE TIME I WAS FIVE.
AND YET TO WRITE IT THE MORE THAT I FUSS I STILL HAVEN'T LEARNED IT AT AGE FIFTY-PLUS
LET'S FACE IT ......... ENGLISH IS A CRAZY LANGUAGE. THERE IS NO "EGG" IN "EGGPLANT", NOR "HAM" IN "HAMBURGER"; NEITHER "APPLE" NOR "PINE" IN "PINEAPPLE". ENGLISH MUFFINS WEREN'T INVENTED IN ENGLAND, NOR FRENCH FRIES IN FRANCE. SWEETMEATS ARE CANDIES WHILE SWEETBREADS, WHICH AREN'T SWEET, ARE MEAT.

WE TAKE ENGLISH FOR GRANTED. BUT IF WE EXPLORE ITS PARADOXES, WE FIND THAT "QUICK"SAND WORKS SLOWLY, BOXING "RINGS" ARE SQUARE, AND A GUINEA PIG IS NEITHER FROM GUINEA, NOR IS IT A PIG. AND WHY IS IT THAT WRITERS WRITE BUT FINGERS DON'T FING, GROCERS DON'T GROCE AND HAMMERS DON'T HAM? IF THE PLURAL OF TOOTH IS TEETH, WHY ISN'T THE PLURAL OF BOOTH, BEETH? ONE GOOSE, 2 GEESE. SO ONE MOOSE, 2 MEESE? ONE INDEX, 2 INDICES?

DOESN'T IT SEEM CRAZY THAT YOU CAN MAKE AMENDS, BUT NOT ONE AMEND? OR THAT YOU CAN COMB THROUGH THE ANNALS OF HISTORY, BUT NOT A SINGLE ANNAL? IF YOU HAVE A BUNCH OF ODDS AND ENDS AND GET RID OF ALL BUT ONE OF THEM, WHAT DO YOU CALL IT? IF TEACHERS TAUGHT, WHY DIDN'T PREACHERS PRAUGHT? IF A VEGETARIAN EATS VEGETABLES, WHAT DOES A HUMANITARIAN EAT? IF YOU WROTE A LETTER, PERHAPS YOU ALSO BOTE YOUR TONGUE?

SOMETIMES I THINK ALL ENGLISH SPEAKERS SHOULD BE COMMITTED TO AN ASYLUM FOR THE VERBALLY INSANE. IN WHAT OTHER LANGUAGE DO PEOPLE RECITE AT A PLAY AND PLAY AT A RECITAL? OR, SHIP BY TRUCK YET SEND CARGO BY SHIP. HAVE NOSES THAT RUN AND FEET THAT SMELL? PARK ON DRIVEWAYS AND DRIVE ON PARKWAYS? HOW CAN SLIM CHANCE AND FAT CHANCE BE THE SAME, WHILE A WISE MAN AND A WISE GUY ARE OPPOSITES? HOW CAN OVERLOOK AND OVERSEE BE OPPOSITES, WHILE QUITE A LOT AND QUITE A FEW ARE ALIKE? HOW CAN THE WEATHER BE HOT AS HELL ONE DAY AND COLD AS HELL ON ANOTHER? WHY DO WE PUT SUITS IN A GARMENT BAG AND PUT GARMENTS IN A SUITCASE?

HAVE YOU NOTICED THAT WE TALK ABOUT CERTAIN THINGS ONLY WHEN THEY ARE ABSENT? HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A HORSEFUL CARRIAGE (AS OPPOSED TO A HORSELESS ONE), OR A STRAPFUL GOWN (AS OPPOSED TO A STRAPLESS ONE)? HAVE YOU EVER MET A SUNG HERO (UNSUNG) OR EXPERIENCED REQUITED (UNREQUITED) LOVE? HAVE YOU EVER SEEN SOMEONE WHO WAS COMBOBULATED, GRUNTLED, RULY OR PECCABLE? AND WHERE ARE ALL THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE SPRING CHICKENS OR WHO WOULD ACTUALLY HURT A FLY?

YOU HAVE TO MARVEL AT THE UNIQUE LUNACY OF A LANGUAGE IN WHICH YOUR HOUSE CAN BURN UP AS IT BURNS DOWN; IN WHICH YOU FILL OUT A FORM BY FILLING IT IN AND IN WHICH AN ALARM CLOCK GOES OFF BY GOING ON. ENGLISH WAS INVENTED BY PEOPLE, NOT COMPUTERS, AND IT REFLECTS THE CREATIVITY OF THE HUMAN RACE (WHICH, OF COURSE, ISN'T A RACE AT ALL). THAT IS WHY, WHEN THE STARS ARE OUT, THEY ARE VISIBLE, BUT WHEN THE LIGHTS ARE OUT, THEY ARE INVISIBLE. AND WHY, WHEN I WIND UP MY WATCH, I START IT, BUT WHEN I WIND UP THIS ESSAY, I END IT
Grrr!Waited 2 whole days just to see if Fubar had any clue......&
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