''Piss Poor''

Started by Private User on Wednesday, May 25, 2011


  • Private User
    Geni member
  • Dene James
    Geni member
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Private User
5/25/2011 at 1:30 AM

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used
to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & 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

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 odour.
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 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 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 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 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 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!!!

Dene James
5/25/2011 at 2:06 AM

Dog poo was also part of the Tanning process. People would go round the streets and gather up the dog poo and sell it to the tanner as a way of getting money. The tanner's family usually had to live on the outskirts of the village because of the smell that went with them.

Sparrow Starvers were young boys who were employed by shopkeepers etc to sweep the streets outside their shops of the horse manure that attracted the sparrows who found a free feed in the manure.

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