Who said history was boring?

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Lardmaster
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Who said history was boring?

Post by Lardmaster » Sun Aug 26, 2007 10:20 pm

-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 odour. 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 wood 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 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 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 entranceway. Hence the saying: a threshold.

-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 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 cups were used to drink ale or whisky. 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 realised 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.

Now, whoever said history was boring?
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Post by korexus » Sun Aug 26, 2007 10:47 pm

Not entirely historically accurate, but an amusing list nonetheless. Cheers, LM.
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Post by trewqh » Mon Aug 27, 2007 8:30 am

Very interesting, LM!

History is not boring, as long as it's not history of politics, warfare or royal genealogy. :)

Btw, did anyone read the Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson? A history novel by a sf writer that concentrates on the history of science. Very enjoyable!
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Post by Dragonette » Mon Aug 27, 2007 9:51 am

i agree trewqh royal geneolagy and poltics is boring

warfare however is not. a lot of history involves fights and battles, whether its between a person or a group of people.

i want to have a job with history when im older. archeology, geology or maybe just a plain historian. ive want to have something to do with history for years. thats proberbly why im so good at it in school. to british people i am a level 6a/7c and for history it only go's to a 7a. i dont know wheter it is the same system in the rest of the world.

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Post by Nemesis » Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:32 am

I'm British and don't know what 7a/6c etc means. Although I would guess that was your assessed SAT score for History? If so then that is a very high mark for your age, nice work! :D

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Post by Hryllantre » Tue Aug 28, 2007 7:35 pm

Warfare is NOT boring trewqh.....

When someone mentions what 'shaped our world' the reference isn't just from a geological perspective. Without wars there'd be no history as mankind has fought for it's very existence since pre-dinosaur era.

Why do tribes migrate!! What calamitous event has forced them to do so. It's my humble opinion that without migration, peoples from our distant past would of become extinct where they stood. Therefore, without tribes clashing to contest fresh provinces and thus warfare we'd be no more...

Without warfare there'd be no history!!.

What a splendid quote though from Dragonette
ive want to have something to do with history for years

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Post by trewqh » Tue Aug 28, 2007 8:14 pm

I know. :)

I actually enjoyed 'Alexander the Great' by Peter Green. I was referring to the incompetence of the history teachers I had in primary and high school and how the curriculum seemed so limited. :)
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Post by Lardmaster » Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:55 pm

I had to do British politics in the late 19th century so think yourself lucky Trewqh!!! Now that was boring.
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