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An Interesting History Lesson     Попытаться подобрать серию (одинаковое название и разные цифры в конце) к этой публикации
Юмор > Анекдоты на английском

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  Прислал: cchhee
   15 Января 2006
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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 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

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 wood
underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the
dogs, 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

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 ice 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 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."

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
the 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 caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead
poisoning and 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
"upper crust."

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would
sometimes knock them 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
thought 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...(and whoever said that History was boring!)

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