Thursday, August 15, 2013

Facts of Life

Useless Facts About Life in the 1500's

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 you may or may not know: 
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 a bit, so 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, came the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Therefore, 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) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. So, we have 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.

Floors were all dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. That’s where we got 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 thresh hold."

Getting quite an education, aren't you? I’m not finished yet, there’s more to come. 


  1. Gracious! I had no idea! I love this post. I'm going to have to show it to my husband tomorrow. Such fun history. Yuck with the bath water.


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