Staten Island Web logo



Most people get married in June. Why? Because in olden days they took
their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by June. However,
they were starting to reek a little so brides carried nosegays of flowers
to hide the putrefaction. (“June Bride”)

On the subject of the yearly bath – the tub was filled with hot water and
the man of the house had the privilege of the clean water, then in turn,
the sons, then the wife and daughters and at length, the children. Last
of all the babies, by then the water was so murky that 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
pets, dogs, cats and other small animals along with mice, rats and bugs
lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and the animals
would fall off the roof, hence the saying: “Its 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 really
mess up your bed. So they found if they made beds with big posts and hung
a sheet or large piece of material over the top, it addressed the
problem. Hence these beautiful four poster beds with canopies and the
saying, “Good night and don’t let the bedbugs bite”.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, hence
the saying, “dirt poor”. The affluent had slate floors, which would get
slippery, in the winter, when wet. So they spread thresh 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 sliding outside. To
remedy the problem a piece of wood was placed in the entry. Hence, “
Threshold”

More to come….





Staten Island Web® Forums Index.